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Group AAA Track: Jones’ first track season a winner

COLONIAL FORGE FRESHMAN WINS STATE

TITLE IN HIGH JUMP AT GROUP AAA MEET

BY TAFT COGHILL JR.

RICHMOND—Colonial Forge assistant track and field coach Sean Hill was impressed.

And there’s no doubt the other competitors were, too.

But after Eagles’ freshman Crystal Jones cleared 5 feet, 8 inches in the high jump at the Group AAA state track and field meet on Saturday at Sports Backers Stadium, she showed no sense of jubilation at the accomplishment.

The mark stood up for the remainder of the competition, and Jones walked away with the state championship in her first-ever season of high school track and field.

“Just seeing her expression, she looked like it was just another day,” Hill said. “That really impressed me. I knew once she cleared 5–8, that was going to put pressure on everybody else. I told her going into it, ‘Nobody likes freshmen out-jumping them.’”

The rest of the field could only accept Jones’ unexpected victory.

It was the first time she’s ever cleared 5–8, even though Hill said she’s shown the ability to do so.

Jones was a cheerleader during the indoor track season, and Hill has used terminology from that sport to help her grasp the high jump.

“It’s a breakthrough jump, but we’ve seen it coming,” Hill said. “She’s had attempts before, and if you try something so many times, on one of those attempts, you’re going to get it. She got it on the right day, at the right time.”

Jones said the high jump was “easy” to transition to this season because she performed it in middle school. She said she’s “happy” about the state championship.

After her victory, she grabbed a bite to eat and chatted with her teammates.

Hill said once Jones got over her nervousness, she was able to treat the state meet just like any other competition.

“It’s definitely a great way to get established as a freshman,” Hill said. “We can’t hide her anymore.”

Jones was the only Fredericksburg-area winner on Saturday, but there were several all-state performances.

Mountain View senior Kimberley Ficenec placed second in the 800 meters to Cosby’s Megan Moye.

Ficenec is still recovering from a bout with the stomach flu that caused her to drop six pounds in one week. She said she hopes to be at full strength when she looks to defend her national championship in the 800 in two weeks.

“I’ll have a bit more time to recover and get in optimum shape,” Ficenec said. “I’m trying to come back as strong as I can.”

Ficenec also ran the anchor leg on Mountain View’s 1,600 relay team that set a school record and placed third in the event, just 1.5 seconds behind champion Battlefield.

Ficenec was joined on that team by Meshala Morton, Jenny Westerholm and Jeanne Rouse.

Stafford sophomore Ashley Hinton placed second in the pole vault (11 feet), while Colonial Forge senior Brian O’Loughlin finished second in the 3,200 (9:10.13).

O’Loughlin said it was a fitting way to end his high school career as he prepares for a college career at Virginia Tech.

“My freshman and sophomore years, I was sick both times before the state meet, and it was disappointing,” O’Loughlin said. “Coming into this meet, I didn’t want to leave feeling like I could’ve done more. I don’t feel like I could’ve done much more.”

Colonial Forge senior David Pennesi earned all-state honors with a seventh-place finish in the 3,200. The Eagles’ 3,200 relay team also placed seventh. North Stafford’s girls 1,600 relay team finished eighth, as did Stafford senior Justin Crabbe in the 400.

That left the neophyte Jones to shine brightest among the area standouts.

“I don’t really think it’s hit me yet,” Hill said.

GROUP AAA RESULTS

GIRLS MEET

Team scores: 1. Western Branch 64; 2. Cosby 57; 3. South County 44; 4. Lake Braddock 43; 5. Grassfield 33; 14. Mountain View 14; 22. Colonial Forge 10; 25. Stafford 8; 54. North Stafford 1.

Long jump: 1. Jenira Shufford (Heritage) 18–10.

High jump: 1. Crystal Jones (CF) 5–8.

Triple jump: 1. Janae Jones (Clover Hill) 39–3.

Shot put: 1. Kiara Howell (Gr) 49–7.

Discus: 1. Howell (Gr) 149–1.

Pole vault: 1. Felecia Majors (South County) 11–6; 2. Ashley Hinton (St) 11–0.

100: 1. Carolyn Brown (Phoebus) 11.94.

200: 1. Majors (SC) 24.14.

400: 1. Majors (SC) 55.21.

800: 1. Megan Moye (Co) 2:09.65; 2. Kimberley Ficenec (MV) 2:10.73.

1,600: 1. Moye (Co) 4:47.37.

3,200: 1. Sophie Chase (Lake Braddock) 10:27.13.

100 hurdles: 1. Chantel Ray (Hampton) 13.82.

300 hurdles: 1. Heather Smith (Great Bridge) 43.54.

400 relay: 1. Western Branch 47.19.

1,600 relay: 1. Battlefield 3:51.77; 3. Mountain View (Meshala Morton, Jeanne Rouse, Jenny Westerholm, Ficenec) 3:53.11; 8. North Stafford (Whitney Hicks, Sydnei Foster, Zaire Canty, Erica Battle) 4:00.43.

3,200 relay: 1. Lake Braddock 9:20.90.

BOYS MEET

Team scores: 1 (tie). Annandale and Grassfield 44; 3. Westfield 37; 4. First Colonial 34; 5. Western Branch 32; 17. Colonial Forge 12; 56. Stafford 1.

Long jump: 1. Rafael Moore (Tallwood) 24–8.

High jump: 1. Avion Jones (FCl) 6–10.

Triple jump: 1. Kwaneal Hairston (George Washington–Danville) 48–11.

Shot put: 1. Taylor Frenia (Kempsville) 60–3.

Discus: 1. Frenia (K) 163–7.

Pole vault: 1. Derek O’Connell (Ocean Lakes) 15–0.

100: 1. Mustaqeem Williams (Forest Park) 10.48.

200: 1. Michael Cherry (Oscar Smith) 21.55.

400: 1. Cherry (OS) 46.97; 8. Justin Crabbe (St) 49.53

800: 1. Ahmed Bile (Annandale) 1:51.52.

1,600: 1. Bile (An) 4:13.12.

3,200: 1. Sean McGorty (Chantilly) 9:05.51; 2. Brian O’Loughlin (CF) 9:10.13; 7. David Pennesi (CF) 9:23.99.

110 hurdles: 1. Trey Holloway (Gr) 13.85.

300 hurdles: 1. Jonathan Russell (Broad Run) 37.95.

400 relay: . Annandale 41.59.

1,600 relay: 1. Westfield 3:17.51.

3,200 relay: 1. Westfield 7:49.41; 7. Colonial Forge (Corey Dabney, O’Loughlin, Pennesi, Ricky Cappetta) 8:00.91.

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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