Forest Park Wins AAA State Championship
By ANDREW TRAMEL
Forest Park Cross Country and Track
We started our weekend with a quote (which I altered a bit) from Mark Twain as inspiration to help carry ourselves with confidence. The confidence, determination, and the hard work over the last few months really showed up in the end.
The biggest highlight of the day was the 4*2. Our Boys lowered their number one national time on the flat track, broke the state record by nearly two seconds, and will be going for the national record in two weeks at the national championships.
Ricky Morgan had one of the toughest triples of the day running the 4*2, 500, and 300. He did not disappoint, despite getting sick before the start of his 1st race, Ricky helped get us get a big lead in the 4*2, he followed that up with a 3rd place finish in the 500, and another all state finish in the 300.
Josh Washington led off the 4*2 and handed off the baton in a neck and neck tie for 1st place. He then came back in the 300 to finish 4th and his score really helped put some distance between us and the other teams in the point standings.
Mustaqeem Williams placed in five events and nearly brought home four titles himself. In the triple jump he went for it on his last jump and he lept 49-1 putting him in 1st in the meet and 6th nationally. One more jumper went and lept 49-7 forcing us to settle for second.
The Long Jump was a little more controversial in that Mustaqeem had the best jump going into the final and reserved the right as the best jumper to jump last after the 4*2. However upon returning to the pit the head official closed it not allowing Mustaqeem or 4 others to get in their last jumps. Despite our protest we were told the results were final and Mustaqeem ended up 2nd by a 1/2 inch.
We decided to move on because the team title was our focus! In the 55 he had a horrid start, which in that event can be disastrous, but his speed is simply unmatched in the short sprints in Virginia as he turned on another gear midway through the race to taking the lead at the line and bringing home the 55 meter title for the second year in a row. Mustaqeem wrapped up his day by gutting out a 3rd place finish in the 300. All in all Mustaqeem finished with two golds (55, 4*2), two silvers (TJ,LJ), and one Bronze (300).
Calvin Michie ran a strong relay leg to help keep the lead and break the national record.
Ebenezer Agyemong lept to a personnel Indoor best of 6-1 in the High Jump.
Finally Andrew Gaiser put the icing on the cake by scoring in the two mile. Despite being sick he dropped five seconds off his time and earned his second all state honor and first on the track.
The girls had a pretty solid day as Yaa Agyepong Wiafe lowered her own school record and finished all state in the hurdles. Allyson Bodmer just missed an all state finish in the mile dropping 4 seconds of her indoor personnel best.
Lastly, Hannah Zachman dropped another amazing 20 seconds off of her two mile. In the last two weeks she has dropped 40 seconds off of her two mile time.
It was wonderful to see so many Bruin parents and supporters there among the thousands watching the meet. In the end seeing our Bruin Team hoist that state champion trophy was pretty special.
By the numbers
1 state record
2 state individual titles
2 state runner up finishes
11 All state Finishes
And the biggest prize of all
Virginia AAA State Team Champions