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March 9, 2015

Relays highlight state indoor track meet’s first day

Photos/Leanne Fernandez
Fauquier's Madison Carter hands off to Jordyn O'Saben in the girls 4 x 800 relay Monday at the 3A-4A Virginia indoor track meet at Liberty University, in Lynchburg. The Falcons finished seventh in the race.
Kaleb Bland placed fifth in the 3A boys’ shot put for Kettle Run.
Brock Curry hands off to twin brother Madison Curry for Fauquier's 4 x 800 boys relay team. The Falcons finished third in the event.
Fauquier's Corey Huffman finished eighth, scoring a point for the Falcon boys in the 4A shot put.
By Chuck Jackson
Sports Editor

Weather continued to play havoc on Fauquier County track and fielders Monday even though outdoor temperatures soared to the mid 60’s in Lynchburg.

Postponed three times by recent snow events across the state, 3A and 4A athletes finally saw their respective Virginia indoor track meets begin.

Hosted by Liberty University in its Tolmas Center, the two-day event began with boys and girls 4 x 800 relays along with 55-meter hurdles and 55-dash preliminaries.

First-day field events included boys’ triple jump, pole vault and shot put.

But lack of quality training – or training, period – caused times, distances and heights to be lower than expected.

“Our track was covered in snow almost continually since the region meet,” Fauquier head coach Quentin Jones said. “We cleared an area last week in the parking lot to get some running in.”

Fauquier boys, winners of both Conference 22 and 4A North regional, finished the day tied for eighth overall with Fluvanna County.

The Falcons and Flucos each had seven points.

I.C. Norcom led with 24 points.

Kettle Run boys also found itself in a tie for eighth place with Rustburg in 3A. Both teams scored eight points, while Lafayette led with 22 points.

Fauquier girls, meanwhile, scored two points, good for 11th place in 4A.

Kettle Run girls, which had just one participant in Monday’s events, didn’t score. Abby Lutkehus settled for 14th in the long jump with a leap of 14-feet-11.

That was well off her entry distance of 16-8.

Neither Liberty team posted a score.

Robert McGuinn placed ninth in the shot put, Michael Fairfax finished 15th in the 55-hurdles and T.J. Spagnoletti, ninth in the triple jump.

Spagnoletti, a senior and a past all-state performer in indoor track, also failed to qualify for Tuesday’s 55-dash. He finished 13th In Monday’s prelims.

“Sometimes you get a mental block and T.J. had one today,” Liberty head Coach Devon White said.

Fauquier’s Corey Huffman scored one team point for his eighth-place finish (43-1) in the shot put.

Kaleb Bland, a Kettle Run junior, scored four points for the Cougars with a throw of 46-8.5, good for fifth place overall.

Kettle Run assistant Coach Will Yancey watched Bland and Cougar David Corum, who finished 13th in 3A shot put, from behind the back wall.

“It’s hard to coach from back here,” Coach Yancey said. “About all you can do is tell them where they are in the standings and maybe give some hand signals on their technique.”

The most excitement of the day came with the relay races.

Fauquier boys, led by Sam Oravec, Brock and Madison Curry and Raul Chavez took third in 4A with a time of 8:09.423.

The Falcon girls, meanwhile, placed seventh with a time of 10:24.57.

Led by Shayne Halligan and Madison Carter, the team moved up behind the running of Joydyn O’Saben and anchor Claire Burke.

The girls missed sixth place by 0.06 seconds.

“I’m very pleased with their times and performances,” Fauquier assistant track Coach Mark Scott said. “The boys knocked 10 seconds off their region pace and the girls took a few seconds off their regional time.

“Not bad considering they haven’t practiced it in three weeks.”

Kettle Run boys finished fifth in 3A with a time of 8:18.86.

Connory Ryon, Dylan Cooke, Daniel LaFever and Reece Cooke scored four team points for the Cougars.
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