-- Brooke Point senior Kharya Brown had been waiting for the Virginia AAA outdoor track and field championships all season, hoping to make her mark statewide after a strong regular season. But when Brown came down with a bout of bronchitis two weeks ago, she had to readjust her goals for Saturday's races.
Despite the illness, the two-time All-Met held her own in her final state meet at Todd Stadium, finishing second in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes and helping to lead her team to fifth overall.
"A few weeks ago I was planning on coming in here and winning, but I knew after I got sick that that would be hard," said Brown, who was still hoarse Saturday. "Really, I want to go out and do my best every time, that's the most important thing. If I can do that, then I'll feel good. I'm going to college to run, so there will be plenty more races ahead."
Brown would have needed to be at full strength to win Saturday anyway, as Bethel junior Francena McCorory won the 100 and 200 and led her team to its third straight championship. McCorory, who is ranked third in the country in the 200, won that race in 23.84 seconds and won the 100 in 11.78.
Bethel had 41 points, edging Heritage of Newport News, which scored 36 despite bringing only two girls to the meet. Senior Octavia James won the 300 hurdles, finished second in the 100 hurdles and was seventh in the 100. Junior Carolyn Lewis finished second in both the long and triple jumps.
Westfield finished a close third with 35 points. The Bulldogs were in contention all weekend, led by a first-place finish from sophomore Betsy Alter in the pole vault (11 feet) on Friday night and a second-place finish by junior Aimee Kodat in the discus (117 feet 8 inches). Kodat was seeded 12th in the discus, based on a mark of 114-6 she had set at the beginning of the season.
"The discus was a huge surprise," Westfield Coach Todd Utter said. "She got her 114 at the very beginning of the season, and then she hadn't come really close to it since then. She was really just working on a few things, trying to get her technique down, and today she had a good day."
Other top finishers included Lake Braddock senior All-Met Ashley Haislip, who was third in the high jump (5-6) and Oakton senior All-Met Danielle Light, who was fourth in both the 800 and 1,600, a day after winning the 4x800 relay along with teammates Kayley Byrne, Allegra Smith and Hallie Eilerts.
In one of the most exciting duels of the day, Fairfax sophomore Jessica Trapeni edged W.T. Woodson sophomore Sarrah Hadiji for second in the 3,200. Trapeni (11:04.04) and Hadiji (11:04.32) finished behind freshman Aurora Scott of Western Branch (10:50.83).
"What I really wanted to do is medal," Trapeni said. "But basically I was just counting down how much farther I had to go, and I kept pushing. Then I knew I had a chance for second."