WISE, Va. – Patrick Henry High School senior Catherine Grossman remains the queen of distance running in Region 1D, but her heir apparent is proving she’s ready and raring to go.
Grossman and PH freshman Zoe Davenport swept the top two spots in the girls race at the regional championships on Wednesday afternoon at Veldon Dotson Recreation Park.
Grossman crossed the finish line in 21:53.45 to claim her third consecutive Region 1D championship, while Davenport was runner-up in her first regional meet with a time of 22:18.65.
Grossman’s triumph wasn’t as dominant as her 2018 regional title win when she beat Rye Cove’s Katy Roller by nearly four minutes.
The nifty ninth-grader made sure of it.
“[Davenport] was really close,” Grossman said. “I was kind of afraid one time when I heard her behind me and it made me go a little faster.”
Grossman enjoys the competition created by her younger teammate.
“Where she’s a freshman,” Grossman said. “She’s definitely going to get a lot better.”
As expected, Davenport feels blessed to run on a regular basis with Grossman.
“It’s good to practice with her,” Davenport said. “Knowing that I can stay with her helps me. I’m really excited about going to state.”
Grossman will be going for the state title that has eluded her on Nov. 16 at Salem’s Green Hill Park. She finished as state runner-up in 2016 and 2017, while placing third at the state meet a year ago.
“It’s kind of crazy it’s almost over,” Grossman said.
Holston senior Jordan Keith has one more high school race remaining too and his aim is to repeat as VHSL Class 1 boys state champion.
“I have that pressure on me,” Keith said. “It’s nerve-racking really. It’s a whole different feeling.”
Keith defended his regional title on Wednesday, clocking in at 17:08.05.
“It was a little warmer than usual and the sun kind of drained me a little,” Keith said. “Overall, it was all right.”
Castlewood’s Hunter Hicks finished second in 17:35.10 and helped the Blue Devils take the team title. Adam Gibson (fourth, 18:04.21), Zachary Owens (fifth, 18:21.44) and Dylan Ingle (seventh, 18:57.84) also fared well for Castlewood.
“We’ve been working hard,” Hicks said. “At the last speed practice, we tried to pack together to help each other’s times and it worked out today.”
Grundy took the girls team title, edging Rural Retreat by one point. Jessi Looney led the Golden Wave with a fourth-place finish in 23:09.53.