Brookville girls, Heritage boys win Region III indoor track titles
Lynchburg News & Advance
Saturday, February 23, 2008

Heritage's boys and Brookville's girls repeated their Seminole District success at Saturday's Region III indoor track and field championships, hosted by Heritage.
The Pioneers won three individual events and the 800-meter relay to pull away with 104 points while the Bees took three titles including the 800 relay to prevail with 64 points.

Heritage's girls and Brookville's boys each loaded their meet-ending mile relay teams to try to qualify for next Saturday's Group AA state championships at Liberty University. Both wound up winning the event to help secure their teams' runner-up finishes in the point standings - the Pioneers' girls scored 52 points and the Bees' boys had 82.

Laura Rapp, who won the 1,000 and individual 1,600, ran the first leg of Heritage's girls event. Ethan Nixon, who won the 55-meter hurdles and triple jump as well as placing second in the high jump and third in the long jump, anchored Brookville's boys event.

But the Bees' victory, in particular, didn't come without controversy, with Brookville and top-seeded Heritage running in the same heat.

On the second of three laps of the third leg, the Pioneers' Tymir Williams-Parks nearly fell after making contact with the Bees' Chad Mason.

"We were side by side and he stepped in front of me," said Williams-Parks, who maintained his footing and made another charge on Mason on the third and final lap.

But after taking the baton with a five-meter lead, Nixon held off Heritage's Corey Calloway on the anchor leg before collapsing across the finish line.

Heritage assistant coach Mike Bennett protested with the official who was watching that turn and his complaint was initially upheld, with Brookville being disqualified. But Bees coach Ramsey Moore appealed the ruling and it was eventually overturned.

Mason denied fault in the incident.

"He was behind me when he tripped on my back foot," he said. "I had just passed him. He was trailing me too close."

Moore said the proper procedure for disqualification wasn't followed so it wasn't upheld.

The race didn't affect the team standings, as both the Bees (3:39.15) and Pioneers (3:39.36) set meet records. But it could have repercussions at the state meet, with the team champion often decided by the 1,600 relay.

"Now we will have a team in place," Moore said.

"Heritage won the meet and they deserved to win it," he added. "They're a great team and they've proven that the past two weeks."

Heritage got individual titles from Mike Petty in the high jump, tying Nixon at 6-4, Dakota Pellman in the 500 and Joshua Knight in the 3,200 to pull away with the team title.

Staunton River's James Bell edged Brookville's Andrew Epperson in the pole vault by clearing 14 feet.

Amherst's girls finished third with 47 points, led by Lacear Hubbard's titles in the long and triple jumps. Jefferson Forest (30) came in fifth fueled by its first-place finish in the 3,200 relay, with freshman Emilee McDaniel subbing in at the anchor leg and overtaking Broadway. Liberty took seventh as a team with 26 points, paced by Kenara Hurt's titles in the 55 and 300.

Brookville's Janel Reeves won the 3,200 in 11:53.61 for her first regional title. Brookville's Shelley Parker won the pole vault by clearing 10 feet.

Amherst's Jeremy Lewis set a meet record in winning the 55 6.45 seconds and also won the long jump with a leap of 22-8 to pace the Lancers (23 points) to a sixth-place team showing.