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Girls Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Alaysia Oakes, Heritage High
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Girls Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Alaysia Oakes, Heritage High

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All-Area Sports

Heritage's Alaysia Oakes is The News & Advance 2021 All-Area girls indoor track and field athlete of the year. 

Alaysia Oakes

YEAR: Junior

EVENTS: 55 Dash, 300 Dash, Long Jump, Triple Jump

ALL-STAR STUFF: Alaysia Oakes continued to take over the track & field scene in 2021, winning a total of seven state championships between the indoor and outdoor seasons (three outdoor, three indoor, one team title). At the Class 3 indoor championships on March 2, she competed in five events in a space of four hours and was fighting back a nagging ankle injury. Still, for the second straight year, she won three events: the triple jump (38-07.75), long jump (18-07) and 55 dash (7.27). She also served as state runner-up in the 300 dash and 4x200 relay. This was the year she entered the national conversation. In February, Oakes recorded a 40-foot, 5-inch mark in the triple jump, which was the third-best leap in the nation at the time and the 18th-best jump in the history of Virginia high school track and field. After winning the Class 3 titles in March, the now-two-time All-American competed at the AAU Indoor National Championships with teammate Tya Blake. Oakes has shown dedication to her craft this year, coming back from a canceled 2020 outdoor season that threw off her medal count and becoming one of the most dominant athletes in the state. 


All-Area Girls Indoor Track & Field Team

Jessica Taylor

SCHOOL: Amherst

YEAR: Junior

EVENT: 500 Dash

ALL-STAR STUFF: Ran a 1:30.46 at the Region 4D championships to finish fourth and serve as the Lynchburg area's overall top regional finisher in the 500. 

Sarah Handel

SCHOOL: E.C. Glass

YEAR: Senior

EVENT: 1,000 Run

ALL-STAR STUFF: Cruised to a third-place finish at the Class 4 state meet with a season-best time of 3:15.02 and was also the Region 4D runner-up with a 3:24.54. 

Heidi Andrews

SCHOOL: Liberty Christian

YEAR: Senior

EVENT: 1,600 Run

ALL-STAR STUFF: Placed fifth at the Region 3C championships by clocking a 5:53.42. ... Ran a season-best 5:48.73 at the Seminole District 3C Regional Qualifier. 

Makenna Baker

SCHOOL: Liberty Christian

YEAR: Junior

EVENT: 3,200 Run

ALL-STAR STUFF: Posted a season best of 12:29.61 at the Region 3C championships, where she finished fifth. ... Took first at the regional qualifier with a 13:03.94. 

Emily Coates, Parker Goldstein, NaKayla Foster, Iyana Sherard

SCHOOL: Rustburg

YEARS: Junior, senior, sophomore, junior

EVENT: 4x200 Relay

ALL-STAR STUFF: Celebrated the Class 3 state title with a speedy 1:46.72 finish, just four-tenths of a second off the meet record and a season-best time. ... Also took home the Region 3C title with a 1:46.84. 

Danielle Zamperini, Makenna Baker, Lysie Findley, Gracie Jones

SCHOOL: Liberty Christian

YEARS: Freshman, junior, senior, senior

EVENT: 4x400 Relay

ALL-STAR STUFF: This group recorded a season-best 4:25.03 at the Class 3 state championship to finish fourth in the event. ... Also took third at the Region 3C meet with a different lineup that included Maddy Wade, Danielle Zamperini, Gracie Jones and Joelle Zamperini. 

Lexi Tyree, Maddy Wade, Joelle Zamperini, Heidi Andrews

SCHOOL: Liberty Christian

YEARS: Senior, junior, junior, senior

EVENT: 4x800 Relay

ALL-STAR STUFF: Placed fifth at the Class 3 state championships with a season-best 10:30.20 after wrapping up third place at the Region 3C meet with a 10:39.98.

Parker Goldstein

SCHOOL: Rustburg

YEAR: Senior

EVENT: 55 Hurdles, High Jump

ALL-STAR STUFF: At the Class 3 state championships, Goldstein took home the high jump title with a 5-04, placed third in the 55 hurdles with a 9.07 and ran the second leg of Rustburg's state championship 4x200 relay to help the Red Devils finish seventh overall. 

Emory Pafford

SCHOOL: Liberty Christian

YEAR: Senior

EVENT: Pole Vault

ALL-STAR STUFF: The Liberty University signee won her second straight state indoor title with a 12-foot, 8-inch vault, which set a new state meet record for Class 3. ... Also claimed the Region 3C title with a 11-06. 

Graysen Arnold

SCHOOL: Heritage

YEAR: Senior

EVENT: Shot Put

ALL-STAR STUFF: Became a state champion at the Class 3 meet with a throw of 35 feet, 8 inches after serving as runner-up at the previous year's event. ... Was also the Region 3C champion with a throw of 35-00. 

Casey Allen

SCHOOL: Altavista

YEAR: Senior

EVENT: All-Around

ALL-STAR STUFF: Won the combined Class 1/2 high jump title with a 5-02 and placed fourth at states in the 300 dash with a season-best time of 46.04. ... Also was third in the 500 dash at the regional championships, where she also won the high jump with a season-best mark of 5-04 and was runner-up in the 300 dash. 

Tya Blake

SCHOOL: Heritage

YEAR: Senior

EVENT: All-Around

ALL-STAR STUFF: An integral part of Heritage's success in the indoor and outdoor seasons. ... Finished second in the Class 3 indoor triple jump (36-10.25), third in the long jump (15-10-50) and ran the second leg of HHS' runner-up finish in the 4x200. ... At the Region 3C meet, she was second in the triple jump, third in the long jump, participated in the runner-up 4x200 relay and was sixth in the 100 dash. 

COACH OF THE YEAR

Shawn Webb

SCHOOL: Heritage

ALL-STAR STUFF: The Heritage girls posted a runner-up finish at the Class 3 indoor state championships, and Webb was a big reason the Pioneers nearly went back to back. The assistant who focuses on jumps and sprints works closely with head coach Don Alexander and is constantly around the track or on the infield to give athletes advice in the moment. In March 2020 he was named indoor coach of the year by Milestat.com

 

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