The first thing Brentsville senior Jacqueline Bailey did Saturday morning after she woke was open the curtains to her room at the Courtyard Marriott here in search of sunny skies. What she encountered were clouds and rain and wind that rattled the trees continuously, hardly ideal weather for the Virginia AA outdoor track and field championships at James Madison University.
"I was pretty disappointed," said Bailey, who had her sights set on not only winning the 100- and 300-meter hurdles but also on breaking the AA meet records. "Let's just say it was not the best conditions to run in. But I knew I'd just have to do my best."
Bailey, who holds Virginia A records in both events, captured the 100 hurdles title in 14.68 seconds and battled through a driving wind on the back stretch to win the 300 hurdles in 44.75 seconds. Though both times were just off the meet record marks of 14.44 and 44.64, respectively, they were still remarkable considering the conditions.
Bailey won the 300 hurdles by a full second and a half over her closest competitor.
"It was crazy on the back stretch," Bailey said of the wind. "I've never seen anything like that. So I'm not disappointed not to get the records, I'm just happy that I did my best and won. This year it means a lot because I'm facing a higher level of competition. It shows I am capable of competing with them, and that's a good feeling."
Bailey's two victories -- coupled with a win by the Tigers' 3,200 meter relay team of Rachel Hamilton, Maria Cheshire, Mindy Peele and Ciara Delgado -- helped Brentsville score 39 points, good for a third-place tie in the team standings with Western Albemarle. Courtland won the meet with 521/2 points, and Fauquier totaled 501/2.
Brentsville's boys' team fared just as well in the school's first season at AA, placing third with 38 points behind winner Fauquier (54) and runner-up Charlottesville (411/2). Senior Jason Cook led the way, winning the discus with a throw of 168 feet 3 inches and finishing second in the shot put to Spotswood senior Nathan Turner (55-111/2) with a throw of 54-1/4.
"In indoor we were the top two throwers in the state, so we were always going back-and-forth with each other," Cook said. "We both wanted each other to go over 55, so I'm really happy for him. I'll take the discus title."