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Middlesex girls capture Region A track title

Catch the excitement as Middlesex track stars make a strong showing at the Region A meet. Just press play!  (Video by Mike Kucera)

by Larry S. Chowning

For only the third time since girls track was started at Middlesex High School in 1976, the Lady Chargers won the Region A title last Thursday at West Point. 

The Lady Chargers competed against 19 schools in the regional meet and scored 68 points to win the title. Lancaster was second with 58 points and Northampton on the Eastern Shore was third with 56 points.

“This was a tremendous win for the girls program,” said MHS coach Heath Cockerham.  “They made history! This was the first girls championship since 1994 and they won it in a tremendous manner.

“Tremendous credit belongs to both Johann Odom, who coaches the distance runners, and Joel Anderson, who coaches the thrower,s” he said.  “This is exactly the way we like to do things here at Middlesex High School—together as one big family.”

The two other Lady Charger regional championships came in 1990 and 1994. The 1990 team scored 84 points while the 1994 team scored 76. The 1994 season was history-making in that it was the only time in school history that both the MHS girls and boys teams won the regional title in the same year.

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Washington & Lee’s Leah Coates (left) moves past Middlesex’s Missy Hall in the Region A 1600 meters as Lady Chargers Rebecca Walker and Olivia Cloud try to keep pace. Coates won both the 1600 and 3200 meters. The three MHS distance runners placed second, third and fourth, respectively, in the 1600 meters, and Hall won the 800 meters. (Photo by Larry Chowning)

This year’s regional championship team was paced by a group of young middle distance and distance runners, and an outstanding senior shot put specialist. 

Freshman Missy Hall has proved herself to be one of the top distance runners in MHS history. She won the 800 meters (2:37.31) and finished second in the 1600 meters (5:59.62). She did this while nursing a heel injury that had sidelined her for several weeks.

Rebecca Walker finished second in the 800 meters (2:38.19) and third in the 1600 meters (6:03.26), and Olivia Cloud was second in the 3200 meters (13:27.49) and fourth in the 1600 meters (6:04.82).

This group of runners accounted for 44 of the team’s 68 total points.

MHS senior Ashae Burnett finished first in the shot put (35’2”) and fourth (4’6”) in the high jump.

Junior Micah Reed scored by placing third in the shot put (33’5”). 

The five MHS girls who scored in the Region A meet will compete in the State Group A meet this Saturday at Radford University.

Other team scores were West Point, 4th, 49 points; Arcadia, 5th, 39; King William and Washington & Lee, tied for 6th, 31 points; Charles City, 8th, 26; Sussex Central, 9th, 20; Northumberland, 10th, 18; Surry, 11th, 15; King & Queen, 12th, 14; Essex, 13th, 13 points; Mathews, 14th, 12; Windsor and Nandua tied for 15th, 6; and Rappahannock, 17th, 3 points.

posted 05.27.2009

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