Featured Photo: Cross Country and Track Coach Stan Morgan (left) along with Midlothian High's history of dominating distance runners are just part of the reason SI.com recently recognized Midlo's athletic program as the best in Virginia.

By Sara Gray, YourMidloExchange.com



Featured In Midlo 5

August 7, 2007

For years, Midlothian High School has fielded some of the best track and field and cross country teams in the state as well as championship contenders in golf, tennis and softball. The Trojans have been recognized several times on the local and state level and finally the school is garnering some national attention as well.

SI.com (the Web site for Sports Illustrated) recently recognized the top athletic programs in each state and Midlothian earned the best ranking for Virginia. For Director of Student Activities Dick Overton, the honor has been long in the making.

“Midlothian has won the All-Sports award for the Dominion District for seven of the last 14 years,” Overton said. “Our student/athletes perform in the classroom as well as on the field. Our valedictorian [this year] Caroline Darby, played field hockey for four years with a GPA of 5.13. Our salutatorian, MC Miller ran track and cross country for four years with a GPA of 4.95. When we won our state championship in girls’ basketball, all the girls on the team averaged better than 3.50 GPAs.”

Overton is quick to recognize the distance running program as a big part of the ranking as well. Coached by Stan Morgan, the program has blossomed into one of the best in the area and has competed both locally and nationally.
“Midlothian’s track program has long been one of the best in the area, but we have been blessed to have some very talented runners over the past few years,” Overton said. “Stan has taken our athletes to one or two big nationally recognized meets each year.”

The Trojans added several feats to their resume for the 2006-2007 school year including: the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams and the girls’ indoor track teams all winning state championships; the golf team earning the district title as well as second place in the region and fourth place in the state; the girls’ tennis and softball teams winning district championships; individual state track titles going to Jason Witt in the 3,200-meter indoor run, Paige Johnston in the 1,000- and 800-meter outdoor runs, Kathleen Lautzenheiser in the 1,600-meter outdoor run and the 3,200-meter relay team for the third year in a row; and Miller and Tommy Reese being selected as female and male athletes of the year for the Virginia High School League.

According to a press release by SI.com, the 51 (all states plus the District of Columbia) schools were chosen based on all-around success rates during the 2006-2007 school year as well as the importance programs placed on producing star athletes and teams that excelled on the national level.

Though school was out and the building empty when the news came in Overton said he was overjoyed and is trying to spread the news to all his coaches and athletes.
“I am very proud of all our teams and coaches and the hard work that they have done over the years,” Overton said. “I have known for a long time that we have one of the best programs in the state. I’m really glad someone else sees it as well.”

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