Racing to postseason honors

KeiAjha Shelton prepares for a throw in the shotput at the Region 4B indoor track meet on Feb. 15. 

Photo by Chris Campbell



The Louisa Lions’ track teams have made a lot of noise in the post season, claiming the Jefferson District titles and finishing second in the Region 4B championship to advance to the state meet.

The Lions raced in the district championship meet at Fork Union Military Academy on Feb. 11. The girls’ team won with a score of 157.5 points, well ahead of Albemarle’s 105-point second-place score. The boys’ victory came with a much closer margin, as the Lions totaled 122 points to beat the Fluvanna Flucos by one point.

The boys tallied a number of individual first-place finishes along the way. Bowen Varney led the field in the 1,000-meter run with a time of two minutes, 39.13 seconds, while Branden Wood finished the 3,200-meter run in 10:00.34 to claim the top spot. 

Isaac Haywood took the top spot in the long jump with a distance of 21 feet, 11 inches. He also garnered third-place finishes in the triple jump and 300-meter dash events. Robert Brown garnered a second-place finish in the 500-meter run, finishing in 1:12.12. Tyrek Shelton and Matt Klapak earned third-place finishes in the 55-meter dash and the 3,200-meter run, respectively.

The Lions also had success in the relay races. Both the 4x800 and 4x400 teams finished first, with respective times of 8:29.17 and 3:41.52. Varney ran on both teams, as did Joel Chavez. Brown and Damond Walker rounded out the 4x400 team, while Klapak and Nicholas Emmert completed the 4x800 squad. Haywood, Shelton and Brown joined Alex Washington to form the Lions’ 4x200 relay team. The four runners combined for a time of 1:36.75, finishing just .02 seconds behind Monticello’s team.

Dahja Price scored a number of first-place finishes for the girls’ team, winning the 55-meter dash and 55-meter hurdles events on the track with respective times of 7.32 seconds and 8.67 seconds. She also won the high jump and long jump events with results of five feet and 16 feet, three inches.

Dezmajia Carter won the triple jump for the Lions with a distance of 34 feet, one inch, finishing just ahead of teammate Diymond Brooks in second place with 34 feet. Brooks also finished second in the long jump with a distance of 15 feet, eight inches.

Cierra Caicedo won the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:53.87, and Alicia Woodfolk placed first in the shot put with a distance of 32 feet, two inches.

The Lions’ next event was the Region 4B championship meet at Woodberry Forest School on Feb. 15. The boys scored 90.33 points for their second-place finish, coming in behind Lee-Davis High School with 105.5. The girls scored 127.5 points, finishing 4.5 points behind Hanover.

Varney repeated as the winner of the 1,000-meter run, this time finishing in a meet-record time of 2:35.94. Haywood brought home first-place finishes in the high jump and the long jump with season-best results of six feet, four inches and 22 feet, one inch. He set meet records with those results and tield the high school record in the high jump. He also finished second in the triple jump with a distance of 42 feet, 11.75 inches.

For the girls’ team, Price finished first in the 55-meter dash and hurdles events with respective times of 7.28 seconds and 8.53 seconds, setting meet records in both events. Caicedo again won the 3,200-meter run, finishing in 11:43.62.

The Lions will compete in the Class 4 state championship meet at Liberty University on March 2-3. Events begin at 12:30 p.m. on March 2 and at 10:30 a.m. on March 3.

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