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JF's Shupe is golden

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Takes first in State in the 1,000

By Mike Forster

 

They run long.  And they run fast.

The Jefferson Forest girls team leaned heavily on its middle and long distance runners to deliver at the State Indoor Track championships last weekend.

And did they ever deliver.

Led by State champion Alyssa Shupe, the Lady Cavs claimed fourth place at the State 4A meet, held at Liberty University's Tolsma Arena.

Shupe, who took her title in the 1000 meter run, was joined in her efforts by some familiar faces from the JF State champion cross country team, as well as that gal who leaps tall obstacles by using a long stick.

Jefferson Forest took fourth place as it built up a stock of 41 points.

Shupe had a hand in over half of those points.  She teamed up with Carter Edwards, Claire Lee and Taylor White to turn in a time of 4:12.30 in the 4 X 400, good enough for fifth place.

She also joined with cross country pals Madelynn Knight, Erin Saunders and Abby May to nab second in the 4 X 800.  Their time of 9:53 was 10 clicks later than that of their archfoe.  "(E.C.) Glass has a really good 4 X 8," noted Shupe.

Well, JF has a really good 1,000 runner.  Shupe burned the field with a mark of 2:56.92, a national qualifying time.

"I was nervous," she said.  "I wanted to lead the whole time and kick the last lap."

Shupe did just that.  She kicked it into high gear in the race's fifth lap, leaving the rest of the field with a sad view of the bottoms of her feet as she sped off to victory.

In the end, Shupe won by nearly four seconds over her next nearest competitor.

"It was really exciting," she said, of scoring State gold.  "(The team title in) cross country was exciting too, but I was the number three or number four runner on the team."

The bejeweled junior already has that team State ring.  She'll soon have an individual one.

Teammate Saunders nearly earned some matching bling.  Having qualified for States in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs, the junior distance ace decided to focus her efforts on the longer event.

Alas, she was edged by E.C. Glass phenom Libby Davidson.  Saunders' time of 11:04 was an improvement of 17 seconds over her time at last weekend's 4A-North championships, which were held in the same venue.

That's a huge improvement for a tremendous runner.  The only problem was that Davidson upped her game by a whopping 19 seconds.

Another second-place finisher for JF was Casey Davis.  Her dedication to her craft paid off as she matched her season's best mark of 10'6", a full foot better than the third place finisher.

Davis, however, had to contend with high flyin' Hannah Meador, of Fluvanna County.  They don't call that team the Flying Flucos for no reason:  Meador went an astounding 12' 6" to take the win.  That mark would have earned her fifth place in the boys' event.

The only other individual medalists wearing the red and black were Abby May and Ben Ottman.

May took sixth place in the 1600 meters, finishing in 5:29.

Ottman was the only male athlete in Bedford County to score points at the State level.  The senior clocked in at 2:43.03 to earn the two team points that came with his seventh place finish.

By the way, Seminole rival E.C. Glass took both the boys' and girls' team championships.  While the Lady Hilltoppers edged Nansemond River by 2.5 points, the men romped to a 37-point margin of victory.