Brentsville senior Jason Cook did not get much sleep the night before Thursday's Virginia AA Region II outdoor track and field championships at Millbrook High in Winchester. But it wasn't nerves that kept Cook twisting and turning in bed. He had poison ivy.
"I got it cutting grass a couple days ago, and it's all over my arms and legs," Cook said, laughing at his luck. "I was up half the night. And I guess because of that I just seemed to get really tired really fast."
Not tired enough, of course, to keep him from winning. Cook threw a personal-best 55 feet 10 inches to win the shot put, and then went on to capture the discus title at 161-1.
"I was throwing 185 [feet] yesterday in practice, so it wasn't a great day for me," said Cook, who will compete next season at East Carolina University. "But considering how little I slept last night, I guess I didn't do too bad."
His 20 points went a long way in helping the Brentsville boys to a second-place finish, behind Charlottesville, 94-59.
Cook, who won the Virginia A discus title last season, said his focus at Saturday's Virginia AA meet at James Madison University will be not only winning both events, but also throwing far enough in the shot put to qualify for the national meet June 19 at North Carolina State. Cook already has qualified for nationals in the discus by surpassing the 170-feet mark earlier this season.
The Brentsville girls' track team likewise placed second behind Fauquier, 63-54, helped in large part by the performance of senior hurdler Jacqueline Bailey. Bailey, who will run at the University of Virginia next year, set a new Region II mark in the 300 hurdles in 44.93 seconds, finishing more than 2 seconds ahead of her closest competitor.
She also won the 100 hurdles in 14.83 and was a member of the Tigers' 4x400-meter relay team that finished second in 4:09.54.
"It can be hard when there is no one close, but the thing is for me to push myself," said Bailey, who set the Virginia A record in both the 100 and 300 hurdles last season. "I just want to get the best times possible, and do better than I did last year."
Of course, the prospect of also setting the records in AA is motivating as well.
"That would definitely be nice," she said, grinning.
Notes: Other top finishers for Brentsville were Ciera Delgado (2nd, 800, 2:24.03), Becky Stewart (2nd, 3,200, 11:34.30), Dustin Whitlow (2nd, 3,200, 9:44.52), Pat Eggleston (3rd, 1,600, 4:27.05; 3rd, 3,200, 9:45.17), Eric Lane (3rd, 400, 51.29) and Bo Doran (6th, 400, 51.98). The top six finishers in each event qualify for the state meet.
In the relays, Brentsville swept the 4x800-meter events, with the boys winning in 8:11.77 and the girls in 9:47.22.