At the end of an emotional day and what seemed to her to be an endless season, Hayfield junior Melissa Dewey ran one of her best races of the season and claimed the state championship in the 3,200 meters Saturday at the Virginia AAA track and field championships at Todd Stadium.
Dewey won in 10 minutes 47.70 seconds, one of her best times of the year, by pulling ahead of Midlothian's Amanda Patterson in the final 800 meters.
A few hours earlier in the meet, Dewey had finished sixth in the 1,600, 10 seconds behind winner Natalie Sherbak of Kellam in a race Dewey had hoped to win. It took a lot of prodding from her coaches over the next two hours before Dewey was finally convinced to give the 3,200 meters a try.
"I psyched myself out of the 1,600," Dewey said. "I wasn't even going to run the [3,200]. Finally, I decided to try and come out and have fun."
The win was a nice end to a long season for Dewey, who was an All-Met in cross-county and indoor track. This spring she was both a top distance runner and an outfielder for the Hawks' Northern Region semifinalist softball team.
"It's been a long year," Dewey said. "I need a break."
Dewey was the only Washington area girl to win an event at the AAA state meet, which Bethel won for the fifth time in seven years. Lake Braddock tied for third with Tallwood, using a pair of second-place finishes by All-Met junior Ashley Haislip in the high jump and pole vault and a second-place performance by Kelsey Snowden in the 800.
Westfield's boys captured the state championship, using an amazing singular performance from Louis Corum and a one-two finish by senior twins Philippe and Alvin Tondereau in the 300-meter hurdles to propel the team to its first state championship.
Corum won the discus, took second in the shot put was third in the high jump to account for 24 of the Bulldogs' 72 points. Eighteen more came soon after that, when the Tondereaus finished right next to each other in the 300-meter hurdles.
Jefferson senior Christo Landry finally won his first state track titles, winning both the 1,600 and 3,200. He was the third runner to pull off the difficult double and the first since West Springfield's Sharif Karie did it in 1995.
Hayfield junior Brian Fussell earned the biggest victory of his career by winning the 800, one of the day's most exciting races. Westfield All-Met senior David Groff led for much of the race, but Groff, who was suffering from back spasms, could not maintain the lead.