Running down the state

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 26, 2005

On May 18, a local group of track stars sharpened their skills against one another at a Hershey Track and Field meet at Lakeland High School.

On June 10, some of the same young athletes battled other area runners and throwers at Hampton’s Darling Stadium.

On June 25, the squad of small Suffolkians, sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department, will head to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville to take on the state’s finest – and maybe earn a trip to national competition.

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Edging up to the softball throw field at Darling, King’s Fork Middle student Scott Asbell prepared to launch the yellow sphere far down the field in boys 13-14 competition. On his first two tries, he did – but the ball went out of bounds.

Down to his last shot, the 13-year-old reared back and gunned the ball downfield. As it spiraled toward the left side, Asbell hoped it wouldn’t go too far over.

For the first time, he was lucky that the ball didn’t fly too far – if it had, it might have gone out of bounds, disqualifying him. Fortunately, it landed a few feet on the right side – 177 feet away, the event’s farthest throw, just four feet ahead of teammate Marcus Long. Because the top two finishers in each event go to the next level, both Fork students will go to UVA. To make it to national competition, they’ll have to nab one of the top spots there.

After their teammate Cierra Huntsman won the girls 13-14 event with a toss of 98 feet, the running events began. Fellow Forker Devan Fyback got another warmup in the mile run – just as his event at Lakeland had been, he was the only boy in the 13-14 event.

&uot;I’ll have more power toward me (at state),&uot; he said. &uot;I won’t know how fast everyone else will run, but I’ll jump pump my courage up.&uot;

Aaron Herren won the 200-dash in Boys 13-14, Asbell the 800-dash, and Bianca Hearns second in the 100- dash in Girls 13-14. Then Kilby Shores Elementary student Corey Devore lined up to foot-fight his way through the Boys 11-12 400-dash.

The race began, and he took off.

&uot;I was kind of nervous,&uot; he said. &uot;I heard some people yelling behind me, and the parents yelling at the kids to make them run faster. Once I got used to it, I started sprinting off.&uot;

He did so all the way to first place. The 13-14-year-olds closed out the meet with a pair of 4X100 second-place relay finishes, with Fryback, Asbell, Long and Allen Darden running for the boys and Huntsman, Hearns, Karly Summers and Sara Spiker competing for the girls.