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Apple Blossom Invitational

Funny, Woodbridge Shine

Fauquier's Bowman Runs Meet-Record 4:48.1 for 1,600

By Sean P. Flynn
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, April 17, 2005; Page E13

WINCHESTER, Va., April 16 -- Much of the stiffest competition Woodbridge senior Tiffany Funny faces comes during Vikings practices, from teammates such as Brittney Hazel and Letosia Rivers. It was no different Saturday as she lined up for the 300-meter hurdles at the Apple Blossom Invitational, aiming to break Rivers's meet record in the event, set last year.

Funny blazed to a two-second victory and exactly matched Rivers's record -- 46.3 seconds -- to win on a cool, cloudless afternoon at James Wood High. The win was Funny's third of the day, following victories in the 100 hurdles and triple jump.

Loudoun County's Cam Harris, right, edges out Edison's Kevin Roberts in the 100-meter dash. The invitational was held for the 37th straight year. (Joel Richardson -- The Washington Post)

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"We're always pushing each other, it helps us get better," Funny said. "If one of us is faster in one event, we'll say, 'Okay, I'm going to try to catch up to you.' "

Funny led a dominating performance by Woodbridge in the sprints at the meet, held for the 37th straight year at James Wood. Hazel won the 100- and 200-meter dashes, while Rivers captured the 400-meter title.

Fauquier senior Sarah Bowman, a seven-time All-Met and the reigning Athlete of the Year for both indoor and outdoor track, shattered her own meet record in the 1,600 meters in 4 minutes 48.1 seconds. Despite a modest breeze and no competition within 200 meters, Bowman ran her final 400-meter lap in 69 seconds to break the record she set last year by six seconds.

Last weekend, Bowman, the defending Penn Relays mile champ and a Tennessee signee, ran the nation's best time in the 800 meters (2:05.41) at the Taco Bell Classic in Columbia, S.C.

Park View freshman Natalie Baird set a meet record in the discus with a throw of 138 feet 2 inches. Baird has been participating in the discus and shot put since sixth grade as a part of the Loudoun Track and Field Club, and she receives much of her instruction from her father. Saturday, Baird outdid her previous best by nine feet to break the 17-year-old meet record.

"I was hoping to do well" in high school, Baird said. "We have a real nice team at Park View; it's a lot of fun. My dad and [the Park View coaches] help me a lot."

Warren County senior Kevin Boggs dominated the boys' throws, winning the shot put with a throw of 51-8 1/2, which he followed up with a winning discus toss of 167-6. Frederick senior Quenton Beard easily won both boys' hurdles events, taking the 100 in 14.4 seconds and the 300 in 39.2.

Fauquier senior Brandon Edwards, one of the main holdovers from last year's Virginia AA championship team, won the 400 meters (49.7) and the triple jump (43-1 1/2). Stone Bridge senior Joe Gates shook off a strained hip muscle to win both the high jump (6-2) and the long jump (20-9½).

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