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High school track preview: Despite graduations, James Monroe hopes to be in running for titles
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High school track preview: Despite graduations, James Monroe hopes to be in running for titles

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The James Monroe High School track and field program was loaded with talented girls last winter and spring.

The Yellow Jackets finished second at the Class 3 state meet in the spring season as a team.

But many of the standouts who helped JM soar earlier this year have moved on.

Kennedy Flynn, who won two hurdles state titles and helped the Yellow Jackets capture the 1,600 relay title as a freshman last spring, has transferred to The Bullis School in Maryland.

Winter track All-Area athlete of the year and two-time Free Lance-Star female athlete of the year Ginny Beringer is now a freshman at the University of Richmond.

Maddie Tierney suffered a torn ACL during field hockey season and won’t be on the track for the Yellow Jackets after helping them to two relay state titles as a junior.

Tatiana Battiste, a Region 3B champion in the 55 and 300 meters, has graduated, as well.

“I think they’re going to take on a lot, especially with such a young team,” Greven said of Wynn and Deane. “We have so many inexperienced people to try to show them the ropes.”

Greven said Deane is “an absolute talent.” He said Deane is hesitant to take on a leadership role, but her teammates admire her nonetheless.

“People really, really look up to her,” Greven said.

Deane and Wynn are the only returners from the 1,600 relay teams that captured state titles last winter and spring.

Deane is the only returner from the 400 meter unit that won the state in the spring. She was joined on that team by Battiste, Flynn and Tierney.

Deane was also third in the 200 in the spring and looks to build on that performance for the winter sprints.

“I think she can absolutely go out and win a state title if she really wants to,” Greven said. “I think most importantly for both of them and for everybody is that they need the organization of sport right now to kind of just get back into the feeling of everything. I don’t put a lot of pressure on the kids.”

Wynn sets high expectations for herself.

She narrowly missed out on the state championship in the 500 last winter. She placed second to Beringer in the region and state in the event.

The state competition was by a razor-thin margin. Beringer completed the race in 1:17.44 compared to 1:17.52 for Wynn.

“I definitely have my eyes on the prize for the big state meet,” Wynn said. “I’m really excited about the 500 to get another crack at the state ring … I love the event. It’s a nice mix of long distance and sprints and that’s what I love.”

Wynn is receiving interest from several Division I programs including American, Delaware State, George Mason and Virginia Commonwealth University.

She plans to make a decision by next month.

She said she misses having Beringer as a trainer partner. She may get another opportunity to compete against her at the college level.

“That [state meet] was the first time I was up with her,” Wynn said. “That was really awesome. I loved the experience. That was a big race for me mentally and I’m super excited to get another crack at it.”

Taft Coghill Jr: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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