YORK — The final Bay Rivers District track meet may be best remembered as the one that didn't quite stick to the script.
The heavily favored Lafayette boys did win, but had to withhold a stiff charge by an upstart
Not to be outdone, Lafayette's girls, led by four individual victories from Deborah Allison, pulled off an upset, topping indoor state champion Tabb 94.5-75.
Allison scored wins in the 100 and 300 hurdles, as well as both the long and triple jumps. While impressive, the outstanding performance of the day came from Grafton's Rachel Rabbitt.
Rabbitt won the 1,600 (5:05.32) and 3,200 (10:57.88) meters, setting meet records in both and upending Daily Press cross country runner of the year Carley Shannon of Bruton in each race.
"(Shannon) scares me as an athlete," Rabbitt said shortly after her second win. While pulling away from teammates Nicole Goff and Rachel Bloxom, who helped pace her through the 1,600, the 3,200 was a one runner affair, with Rabbitt blitzing the entire field by 49 seconds.
It was the first time in three years that she ran both races on the same day.
"I haven't done that since freshman year," Rabbitt said. "Usually, they have me run the 1,600 and 800."
Rabbitt attributes her newfound speed to an unusual training technique.
"In practice, we ran 200s where we would jog the first half and speed up for the second. My coach noticed that when I sped up, my arms would go horizontal and everywhere."
In the technological age of advanced biomechanics, Rabbitt's solution was as simple as it comes.
"I started running with sticks in my hands. If my arms started going horizontal, I'd start hitting myself. Actually, it helped me to visualize where they are supposed to be."
Warhill's Atashia Wells also pulled off a mild upset win in the 400, edging Tabb's Brittni King to the line (58.78-58.93). While "expecting to win all the time," the Lion junior said she was happy defeating multiple state champion King for the first time.
On the boys side, Smithfield's Marquis Childress won a trio of events to help the Packers almost pull off the upset. Childress won the high (6-2), long (21-9.5) and triple (46-2) jumps. Teammate Bruce Cypress captured the 100 (11.08) and 200 (22.90) titles.
With two events remaining, the Rams were clinging to a 6.5 point lead over Smithfield, but got a huge win from Kurtis Steck in the 3,200, who was followed to the finish by third-place finisher, teammate James Hart, earning Lafayette 16 points and sealing the win.
Other meet records were set by Bruton's Kayla Jones in the discus, Kathryn Tomczak (pole vault) and Derek Holdsworth (800), both of Lafayette.
Coach and athlete of the year awards were also announced at the end of the meet. Childress and Steck shared the athlete award for the boys, while Rabbitt won for the girls. Warhill's Dan Stebbins (boys) and Grafton's Christine Pregler (girls) won the award for the coaches.
The top six individuals and three relays qualified for the Region I meet.
Team scores: 1. Lafayette (L) 94.5, 2. Tabb (T) 75, 3. Warhill (W) 74, 4. Bruton (B) 59, 5. New Kent (NK) 57.5, 6. Grafton (G) 56, 7.
Individuals: (top 6 individuals and 3 relays automatically qualify for Region I meet) 100 – 1. Hanks (T) 12.33, 2. Goodlet (NK) 12.70, 3. Hill (B) 12.74, 4. Lennon (S) 12.79, 5. Wells (W) 12.83, 6. Jones (L) 12.91. 200 – 1. Hanks (T) 25.90, 2. Wells (W) 26.25, 3. Goodlet (NK) 26.54, 4. Hill (B) 26.57, 5. King (T) 27.22, 6. Holiday (L) 27.86. 400 – 1. Wells (W) 58.78, 2. King (T) 58.93, 3. Gravelle (J) 1:01.37, 4. Wells, Alexis (W) 1:01.63, 5. Hill (B) 1:02.41, 6. Pinkett (L) 1:03.37. 800 – 1. Goff (G) 2:19.42, 2. Omweg (T) 2:19.43, 3. Buscher (W) 2:20.67, 4. Bryce (J) 2:20.94, 5. Santos (J) 2:21.47, 6. Philpott (Y) 2:22.42. 1600 – 1. Rabbitt (G) 5:05.32 (meet record), 2. Shannon (B) 5:08.80, 3. Buscher (W) 5:10.05, 4. Goff (G) 5:15.49, 5. Bloxom (G) 5:21.78, 6. Hooks (L) 5:26.54. 3200 – 1. Rabbitt (G) 10:57.88 (meet record), 2. Shannon (B) 11:46.12, 3. Clements (Y) 12:04.65, 4.
Team scores: 1. Lafayette 146.5, 2. Smithfield 122, 3. Warhill 61, 4. Jamestown 58, 5. New Kent 52.5, 6. York 32, 7. Tabb 28, 8. Grafton 19, 9. Bruton 4, 10. Poquoson 3.