An unexpected lightning delay, 30-mph winds in the face and a puddle-ridden track stood in the way of the Westfield boys' 4x800-meter relay team last night on the rain-shortened first day of the Virginia AAA track and field championships at Todd Stadium in Newport News.
Still, the Bulldogs' foursome of seniors Chris Courson, Chris Black, James Scheiner and David Groff managed to pull out the win last night in 7 minutes 58.39 seconds, four seconds faster than J.R. Tucker High of Richmond.
"It was ridiculous," said Groff, who ran a split of 1:55. "It wasn't a great time, but considering the conditions it wasn't that bad. We got the job done."
The girls' race, which preceded the boys', was held under torrential rains and heavy winds. Kellam won in 9:30.92, followed by Lake Braddock (9:34.53).
All other events as well as preliminaries for most races were postponed until this morning because of the nonstop rain and wind.
George Mason Rallies
Freshman defender Katie Turner scored off an indirect kick with less than a minute to play, giving the George Mason girls' soccer team a 4-3 victory over host Clarke County in the Virginia A Region B championship game.
George Mason (13-6-1) had been awarded the kick just inside the penalty area after an illegal pass-back to the Clarke County goalkeeper. Senior Alison Penland, who had two goals, tapped the ball to Turner, who scored the game-winner.
The Mustangs trailed 3-1 with 12 minutes left in the first half, but goals by senior forward Becky Roa and Penland tied the game with 35 minutes left. George Mason will play Region C runner-up Glenvar in the Group A state semifinals at noon on June 11 in Radford, Va. . . .
Loudoun Valley gave up four seventh-inning runs and fell to visiting Turner Ashby, 5-2, in the Virginia AA Region II championship game in Purcellville. The second-ranked Vikings (22-3) totaled seven hits but stranded 10 runners.
Loudoun Valley will travel to play the Region I champion -- either Grafton or Smithfield -- on Tuesday in a state quarterfinal. The Region I final was postponed yesterday and scheduled for today.
Several Virginia regional championship games were postponed yesterday because of the rain that moved through the area.
Among the games moved to today were the Virginia AAA Northern Region baseball and softball championships. Lee will play Westfield in the Northern Region baseball final today at Robinson High and Oakton will play Madison in the Northern Region softball final today at Falls Church High. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m.
-- Sean P. Flynn
and Angela Watts