Virginia Tech Invitational Preview

The Virginia Tech High School Invitational is one of the biggest events of the indoor season, and annually produces a number of huge performances.  Although the opening of the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem this weekend has kept many of North Carolina's teams at home, a small contingent will still make the trip to Blacksburg to compete on one of the fastest tracks in the country.  Wakefield and Parkland appear to be the two teams with the largest groups, along with a sprinkling of individuals in other events.  Here's a quick look at what to watch, whether you're there in person or checking out the results on the web:


Meet Page


Girls' 300

Ariah Graham (Wakefield) is the national leader in the 500, and is ranked 6th in the 300, both based on flat-track times.  The thought of her blazing around the banked curves Saturday is exciting, and she's not even the top seed (Shakeela Saunders, briefly at E. E. Smith, is #1 going into the race).  Last year, Ariah set the all-time North Carolina record in this event at this meet, and it will be fun to see what she can do this time around.  Also watch for loaded Wakefield teams in the 4x200 and 4x400, as well as Tiana Patillo versus Bethel (VA) star Maya Moore in the 500; sprinters Olicia Sharp and J'Den Williams will try to advance from Friday night's trials in the 55 Dash.


Girls' Pole Vault

Speaking of Wakefield, Kristen Lee is the top seed in this event, with North Buncombe's Sage Proffitt close behind her (if Proffitt competes, as she was signed up for both meets this weekend).  This meet is normally a target of many of the top vaulter's in the eastern US, but a weaker-than-normal national field means an open door for the possibility of a 1-2 finish for North Carolina.  Plus, Virginia Tech's elevated wooden runways have a well-earned reputation for producing great marks across all the jumps, and so these two girls might come home with new indoor PR's.



Other NC Athletes Seeded Top 10:

Paul Lilley (Rocky Mount) 1600m and 1000m

Josiah Elliott (Parkland) 500m

Jordan Green (Parkland) 55 Dash

Jamal Rooks (Western Guilford) Triple Jump

Parkland girls 4x200, 4x400

Erin Morrison (Parkland) 500m

Cidni Ford (Wakefield) Triple Jump