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March 11, 2015

Falcons win 1,600-meter relay outright this year

Photos/Greg VanNostrand
Fauquier's Donavin Thompson completes a clean baton exchange with 1,600-meter relay anchor Raul Chavez Tuesday at the Virginia 4A indoor track and field championship at Liberty University's Tolmas Center, in Lynchburg. The Falcons broke the state record, eclipsing nearly 12 seconds off the mark set last year by another Fauquier team and won the exciting climax to a great two-day event.
Tyler Benson ran Fauquier's second leg, picking up a second as the Falcons stretched their lead.
By Chuck Jackson
Sports Editor

For varied reasons, Fauquier’s 1,600-meter indoor track relay team hasn’t run together all year.

Until Tuesday at the Virginia 4A indoor track championship at Liberty University’s Tolmas Track Center, in Lynchburg.

With Sam Oravec taking the first 400, followed by Tyler Benson, Donavin Thompson and anchor Raul Chavez, the quartet easily bested its heat.

They clocked 3:26.793.

Then the Falcons watched and waited while the four faster teams in the fourth heat had their turn on the oval.

Oravec waited near track edge, watching Phoebes cross the line first, 0.80 seconds slower than his team.

He ran towards the infield area, jumping first onto Thompson, then hugging Benson and Chavez.

And the celebration began.

Not only did Fauquier win the event, they broke the year-old record the school set a year ago. And they knocked nearly 12 seconds off the mark.

Benson and Thompson were members of last year’s relay team along with twins Frank and Ed Delavergne.

“This one is special,” Benson said. “Last year we won because of a mishap on the track. Today, we won straight out. It’s even more so because we won it out of a slower heat.

“Bluntly honest, we won it nevertheless.”

The mishap Benson talked about occurred when runners from Phoebus and I.C. Norcum, who finished third in Tuesday’s race collided and both teams were disqualified.

Fauquier didn’t even realize they won until the 2014 team had come home to Warrenton.

“So special.” Fauquier Coach Quentin Jones said. “The boys prepared for this race and except for Oravec, who had competition out of the gate, he and the other three were racing by themselves.”

Oravec had built a four-second margin by the time he handed the baton off to Benson.

Thompson had more than a five second advantage over his Lakeland High School competitor when Chavez started his anchor run.

Chavez turned on the after-burner, picking up even more time and beat Lakeland by 9.177 seconds.
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