Eleanor Roosevelt senior Greg Early left his last challenger a quarter mile from the finish, winning the boys seeded section of the Georgetown Prep Classic yesterday in 15:45 for 5,000 meters.
In the girls seeded race, Kennedy junior Kim Many fell to second with slightly more than a mile remaining, then passed Lake Braddock's Tara Bowman on the final hill to win, 19:03 to 19:13.
Vince Hancock of Lake Braddock was the last man with Early. From a mile into the race, when Early and Hancock had shaken the rest of the field, it was a two-man battle. It was also nearly an identical rematch of their duel at Pallotti's invitational three weeks ago, which Early also won.
Hancock led up the first steep hill on the course at one mile and began to open a slight lead for the next half mile. But Early glided easily up to his shoulder and matched strides before the pair ascended the steep hill a second time. This time, it was Early who took command and had a decided advantage by the time he crested the top. Early padded his lead with each step, winning by nearly 100 yards.
"I knew coming it was going to be hard so I prepared myself for it," said Early. "I was going to try new tactics, but my coach reminded me that what I was doing wasn't wrong, just to follow the pace and kick when I felt it necessary."
The team competitions in the seeded sections were a preview of the upcoming Virginia state championships. All the state contenders were in attendance. Lake Braddock's boys and girls have been dominant thus far, but Woodbridge, the only team given any chance to unseat the Bruins, was poised to change that.
In the boys, as Hancock's situation worsened, so did his team's. At about 1 1/2 miles, the top five Lake Braddock runners were running comfortably in the top 15. By the finish, however, Woodbridge had three runners before Lake Braddock's second man.
Those first three Woodbridge places, Curtis Grundler (third), Chip Place (fourth) and Mark Godfrey (fifth), made the difference as they helped their team beat Lake Braddock, 38-40.
In the girls seeded team race, Lake Braddock appears in prime condition to defend its state title, running away from Woodbridge yesterday, 30-65.
Landon's Peter Arrowsmith won the boys varsity I race in 16:41; Jennifer Haas won the girls varsity I race in 20:18.