Alan Webb's plan, just like his season up to this point, worked perfectly.
The South Lakes junior All-Met, who gained national attention in June when he broke Jim Ryun's sophomore mile record, shattered the meet record at the 21st Foot Locker cross-country south region championships at McAlpine Park today, clocking a time of 14 minutes 52 seconds on the 5K course.
The old mark of 14:57:6 was held by three runners: West Springfield's Sharif Karie in 1996, Florida's Teddy Mitchell in 1989 and Florida's Brian Jaeger in 1982.
In the girls event, Lake Braddock All-Met Erin Swain made it a sweep for Virginia, winning in 17:46 and becoming the second girl from Lake Braddock to capture the regional. Andre Volpe won back-to-back titles in 1981 and 1982. It also was the fifth time in seven years a Virginia girl had won the title and 13th time in the meet's 21-year history.
"I'm so excited," Swain said. "I always believed I could do it. I thought I had to have a big race. I just wanted to be top eight."
Webb's strategy to run with the pack in the first mile, hammer the second mile and hold on for the final mile went just as planned. He held more than a 10-second lead after the first mile, then cruised the rest of the way.
He did not want the race to come down to a kick like the last time he was here, when he edged Watauga (Boone, N.C.) High's Ricky Brookshire by a half second on Sept. 25 at the Great American cross-country festival.
"Finally, I'm going to Disney World," said Webb, referring to the Foot Locker cross-country national finals Dec. 11 in Orlando. The top eight finishers in each of the boys and girls seeded races today qualified to compete in the national finals. "[The win] was definitely what I was after.
"I came to win. That was it."
Handley's Bobby Lockhart, the two-time Virginia AA champion, also qualified, running 15:00 for fourth place.
Williamsburg's Bryce Ruiz (15:42) finished 22nd to earn all-region honors, and Mount Vernon's Christina Burleson was ninth in the girls race, just missing qualifying by a place with a time of 18:15.
* GIRLS BASKETBALL: After watching his defending state champion Mustangs lay to rest West Point's season for the second straight year in the Group A quarterfinals at Manassas Park, 47-41, George Mason Coach Jim Spiridopoulos did the same to speculation concerning his plans to retire at the end of the season.
"As of right now I just feel it's time to stop, it's time to move on," said Spiridopoulos, whose Mustangs (15-4) will play the winner of the Middlesex-Prince Edward County game Friday afternoon at 2 at the Salem Civic Center.
Spiridopoulos, 55, is in his 18th year at George Mason and 34th year of coaching overall, including previous stops at Sidwell Friends, DeMatha and O'Connell. . . .
Senior guard Marie Bolton scored 24 points and added six steals and six rebounds to lead visiting Loudoun County (25-2) to a 59-47 victory over Bruton (25-3) in a Virginia AA quarterfinal at Lafayette High in Williamsburg.
The Leesburg school will face the winner of the Turner Ashby-Jamestown quarterfinal on Friday at the Salem Civic Center.
Staff writer Camille Powell and special correspondent Jon Gallo contributed to this report.