Olivia Beckner is fast, and she has her name all over the record books to prove it.
The South Lakes High School junior set her second school record of the month recently, eclipsing by nearly four seconds an SLHS top time for the mile that had stood for 29 years.
The record-setting performance came at the Virginia Showcase Invitational indoor track and field meet last weekend at Liberty University in Lynchburg. Her time of 4 minutes, 55.58 seconds beat out the previous mark of 4 minutes, 59.44 seconds set by Anne Evans during the 1987-88 season.
Earlier this month at a meet in New York, Beckner ran the 1,000 meters in 2 minutes, 54.06 seconds. That surpassed the record of 2 minutes, 58.47 seconds she had set last year as a sophomore.
Beckner leads the five-time defending Liberty Conference champion Seahawks into the conference championship, beginning today and concluding Jan. 28 in Landover, Maryland.
The SLHS boys are no slouches either. They enter the championship with eight consecutive titles under their belts.
Photos courtesy South Lakes High School/Mary Ann Magnant
SLHS Grad Featured in UPenn Video — Princess Aghayere, a 2015 graduate of South Lakes High School, is a basketball player at the University of Pennsylvania. In a new video from the university, she talks about moving to the United States as a child and about her future plans in the field of medicine. The Reston native is the daughter of Anthonia and Roland Aghayere. [University of Pennsylvania]
Dog License Renew Deadline Approaching — Fairfax County dog owners are reminded that their $10 renewal fee is coming up at the end of the month. [Fairfax County]
Local College Students Named to Top Academic Lists — The following students from Reston are among those named to Dean’s Lists at their respective schools in the Fall 2016 semester.
- BELMONT UNIVERSITY: Wesley Edens, Collin Hanley
- HARDING UNIVERSITY: Mitchell Thomas
- JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY: Emily Barbaro, Lauren Canal, Kylie Chichester, Olivia Gentilcore, Susan Patrick
- UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT: Haley Brazier
In addition, five students from Reston were named to the President’s List at JMU: Jacqueline Angel, Elizabeth Barnes, Valerie Beacham, Daniel Gurley and Claire Swinko.
Updated 10:35 p.m. Sunday to include suspect description from Fairfax County Police Department
Two men in their 20s were stabbed in an argument during a pickup soccer game Sunday afternoon near South Lakes High School.
Police say the two men, ages 22 and 23, who were stabbed were transported to Reston Hospital Center. The injuries to the 23-year-old were first deemed to be life-threatening, but the man’s status later improved to stable.
The suspect in the stabbing has not yet been apprehended, but Fairfax County Police spokesperson Tawny Wright said there is no threat to the community at large.
“The suspect and the two victims were somehow acquainted,” she said. “An argument erupted related to the game.”
(1/2) Officers on scene of stabbing report: 11400blk S Lakes Dr, Reston. Two victims, one life-threatening. pic.twitter.com/g1Ymb1taWl
— Fairfax Co. Police (@fairfaxpolice) January 15, 2017
(2/2) Initial investigation indicates 2 groups were playing soccer when an argument began & escalated. More details to follow as available.
— Fairfax Co. Police (@fairfaxpolice) January 15, 2017
No students from the high school were involved, Wright said.
“From what we got from the initial investigation, there were two groups of people using the field,” she said. “During one their games, an argument erupted between a small group of them. It escalated until someone pulled out a cutting instrument.”
UPDATE: No suspect arrested yet. Police believe this is an isolated incident. No threat to the public. pic.twitter.com/Q9BvaVYPSq
— Van Applegate (@VBagate) January 15, 2017
Wright said the 23-year-old was cut in the upper body and suffered a serious injury. The 22-year-old was cut in the leg.
The suspect is described as a heavy-set, short-haired Hispanic male in his early 20s.
Suspect description: Hispanic/early 20s/heavy set/short hair. May drive a blue Subaru STI. Have info? 703-691-2131. No Further Details (NFD)
— Fairfax Co. Police (@fairfaxpolice) January 16, 2017
Photos courtesy Van Applegate/FOX 5 DC
Application Deadline for Review Panel Approaches — Fairfax County residents interested in being part of the effort to review alleged misconduct by Fairfax County police officers have until Jan. 31 to apply for the county’s new Citizen Review Panel. The panel was created in response to the shooting of an unarmed man by Fairfax County Police in 2013. [WTOP]
FCPS to Name County’s Top Crossing Guard — Who helps your children cross the street to and from school each day? If you think your friendly neighborhood crossing guard is the best of the best, Fairfax County Public Schools wants to hear about it. Nominations for the Crossing Guard of the Year award are being accepted through Jan. 27. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
South Lakes High School Swimmers Honored — Seniors on the SLHS swim team, pictured here, were recognized prior to a winning performance recently against McLean. The team has two more meets left this season: Friday night against Langley and a week from tonight against Washington & Lee. In other Seahawks sports in the past few days, the varsity girls basketball team beat Yorktown, as did both the JV boys and girls. [South Lakes Athletics]
Online Survey for FCPS Superintendent Available — Former Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza left last month, and the district is hosting a series of community forums to find out what residents want to see in her successor. Now, it has launched an online survey to gather information from community members as well. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Major Intersection to Be Shut Down Thursday — Fairfax County Police are asking drivers to find alternate routes on Thursday, as the entire Seven Corners intersection will be closed all day for work on traffic signals. [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]
SLHS Runner Sets New School Record — Olivia Beckner, a South Lakes High School junior, ran 1,000 meters in 2 minutes, 54.06 seconds at an indoor track meet in New York this weekend. That breaks her own school record, set last year, by over four seconds. [South Lakes High School]
Photo via Douglas H. Errett (@MrErrett), Twitter
One South Lakes High School student will remember the Alamo — and the Alamodome — for a long time after this week.
David Clark, a saxophone player in the SLHS band, is representing the school, Fairfax County and the state this weekend as part of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. The band, made up of 125 top high school marching band performers from across the nation, will play at halftime of the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl football game Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Clark told Reston Now this week that he is ecstatic for the opportunity to play on the big stage.
“I can’t wait,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The member of the SLHS Class of 2017 has been in San Antonio all week preparing for the performance. He said Army Field Band members are acting as mentors for the high schoolers. His mentor is Staff Sgt. Daniel Goff, a saxophone player from Morgantown, West Virginia. (Clark said Reston native Staff Sgt. Pamela Daniels – a flute player in the Army Field Band – is also at the event working with another performer.)
Clark is the son of John and Mary Nell Clark of Reston. His participation in the event makes him the third South Lakes senior in the past three years to be so honored. In 2015, Samantha Gifford (trombone) was part of the show; in 2016, Brandon Coplen (percussion) made the trip.
Clark, who has been playing the sax since the fifth grade, is involved in a number of SLHS musical groups, including the wind ensemble, jazz band and pit orchestra, in addition to the marching band.
“I’ve (always) just really liked playing saxophone,” he said. “It’s a really awesome instrument; I think you can do a lot with it.”
According to information provided by the South Lakes Band Boosters, members of the band are “selected by the National Association for Music Education and the US Army from more than 2,000 applicants [and] the rigorous application process includes essays, recommendation letters, audition videos and academic records.” Clark said he was honored to be nominated by SLHS Band Director Grayson Fore.
“I wanted to take advantage of such an amazing opportunity where I could play with such elite, talented and motivated players,” Clark said. “I love taking advantage of all these opportunities.”
It hasn’t been all hard work in San Antonio this week for Clark and the rest of the band. He said they’ve had the chance to explore the city’s well-known attractions including the Riverwalk and the Alamo.
“My family is from Texas, so I’ve been (here) a few times,” Clark said. “We saw the Alamo (on Wednesday); I took a bunch of pictures there.”
The football game, showcasing top high school players from across the country, will air at 1 p.m. Saturday on NBC. The halftime show, featuring Clark and the other members of the All-American Marching Band, will be shown live and in its entirety at www.banddirector.com.
Photos courtesy David Clark and the South Lake Band Boosters
Fairfax County Expert Talks Coyotes — Coyotes can be found all over Fairfax County, certified wildlife specialist Katherine Edwards says in a video aiming to educate residents. Edwards says coyotes generally avoid humans, but they may prey on small domestic animals like cats and dogs. The biologist says it’s best to avoid keeping pets outdoors for long periods of time, and to keep their food indoors. [Fairfax County/YouTube]
South Lakes Sports Back in Full Swing — South Lakes High School’s winter break is over and Seahawks sports teams are back in action. This week, the basketball teams engaged in several contests with McLean High. The varsity boys team scored a 73-45 win, while the JV boys dropped a close one, 47-45. The boys freshman team also lost, 59-51. The JV girls team scored a victory, however, winning 47-36 in overtime. [South Lakes Athletics]
County Offers Tips For Winterizing Your Car — With winter weather in the forecast, Fairfax County offered tips this week for preparing your car for the cold and snow. Among them are maintaining an adequate level of antifreeze; making sure heaters, defrosters and hazard lights are in top working order; and choosing tires with good tread for navigating snowy or icy roads. [Fairfax County Emergency Information]
South Lakes in Basketball Tourneys — The South Lakes varsity basketball teams are playing in regional tournaments this week. The girls team defeated Annandale 67-36 in a tournament in Oakton yesterday, while the boys team fell to Trinity Episcopal 74-56 in a tournament in Henrico.
Reston’s Missed Connections — Craigslist’s Missed Connection section is an interesting (albeit sometimes creepy) study in human interactions. The past three Reston missed connections have all been in chain restaurants: Panera Bread, Five Guys and Boston Market.
Fairfax County to Settle Overtime Pay Lawsuit — The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that fire captains are due the overtime pay that they have been denied for years. The county had reportedly long been denying overtime to fire captains, arguing that they are “executives and administrators” that are not owed overtime pay according to law. A number of Fairfax County fire captains filed a lawsuit in 2014 saying they deserve overtime pay because they are first-responders that do not operate solely as supervisors. The court has awarded Fairfax County fire captains a total of $7.85 million in back overtime pay. [Washington Post]
South Lakes Football Season Comes to An End — It has been a long and exciting season for the South Lakes High varsity football team, but unfortunately, the Seahawks lost to defending state champs the Westfield Bulldogs in the Region 6A semi-finals at Westfield Saturday. The Seahawks, which lost 42 to 12, entered Saturday’s game with a winning record of 12-1. [Reston Patch]
Get Photos In For Your 2017 Tennis and Pool Passes Now – Reston Association members must provide a photo for each member of their household that wants to have a pass for pools and tennis courts. RA says, you can start emailing those photos now to [email protected] with the subject line “Pass Photos.” Be sure to label each photo with the person’s name, and include the name of the primary person and address on the household account. Passes go on sale Dec. 15 through the RA’s new WebTrac system. [Reston Association/WebTrac]
Photo by David Cordts: South Lakes Seahawks varsity football, October 2016
Metro Aware of Track Problems Before Silver Line Derailment, NTSB Says — Metro was aware of track issues that could cause cause a derailment before a Silver Line train went off the tracks outside of the East Falls Church Metro station in July, according to the he National Transportation Safety Board. [Washington Post]
Reston Chorale and Symphonic Brass to Hold Holiday Concert This Weekend — The Washington Symphonic Brass is set once again to join the Reston Chorale for their annual holiday concert. The performance is scheduled for Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. at CenterStage at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors 62 and older. Military personnel and children 17 years old and younger are free. [Reston Community Center]
South Lakes to Face Westfield in Finals Saturday — South Lakes High School’s varsity football team is set take on defending state champion Westfield High School tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the Region 6A Finals. The winner of this game will go on to the state finals in Hampton. South Lakes is currently ranked No. 5, and Westfield is ranked No. 10. [Washington Post]
Holiday Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides Begin This Weekend — Reston Town Center will start having horse-drawn carriage rides this Saturday. They generally will run from 4 to 9 p.m. Pickup is in front of Clyde’s on Market Street. A donation of $5 per person, to benefit local charities, is asked of any riders age 5 and older. [Reston Town Center]
South Lakes to Host Holiday Concert — The Seahawk Chorale, Seahawk Camerata, DeReMigas, SMAC, Noteworthy and the Concert and Symphonic orchestras will perform holiday music Monday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. in the South Lakes High School Little Theatre. [South Lakes Chorus]
WMATA Pushes for New Metro Hours — The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is looking to end Metro service at 11:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 p.m. on Sundays. [Washington Post]
Holiday Performances at Reston Town Center to Kick Off This Week — Reston Town Center will start holding regular holiday musical performances in front of the Pavilion, beginning with jazz this Friday at 6:30 p.m. See the full calendar for shows online. [Reston Town Center]
South Lakes High School football coach Trey Taylor was named the Washington Redskins Foundation’s High School Coach of the Week last week — and that was before SLHS earned another victory to improve to 8-0.
The award is given out each week by the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and Inova Sports Medicine.
The Seahawks earned their biggest victory of the season Oct. 14 with an upset over then-No. 8 Madison. South Lakes then climbed 10 spots in the Washington Post poll. The Seahawks are the No. 8 team now. The team beat Langely 42-14 on Friday.
“Coach Taylor does a great job of helping each of his players recognize their full potential,” Linda Jones, SLHS Director Student Activities, said in a release. “He encourages his players to focus on academics first and to always do the right thing.”
The Redskins and Inova highlight some of Taylor’s accomplishments on and off the field since arriving at SLHS in 2014.
Coach Taylor has used community outreach as an opportunity to advocate team building amongst his student-athletes. Coach Taylor and his players are active in the “Readers Are Leaders” program with Terreset Elementary School and assist with the Reston Youth Association’s football camps and clinics. Players also help South Lakes custodial staff move school furniture before the start of every school year.
All South Lakes football coaches are Heads Up Football certified and emphasize the importance of proper tackling techniques to players. Taylor encourages his players to seek out the assistance of the Athletic Training staff when necessary. Additionally, he holds clinics for youth football coaches on proper techniques.
The High School Coach of the Week program is an NFL-wide initiative designed to recognize area high school football coaches who continuously demonstrate hard work and dedication to their football programs, the health and safety of their players, and who make a difference in their communities.
The Redskins Charitable Foundation has convened a panel of local high school football media experts to provide nominations of deserving high school coaches for consideration and selection.
Each coach chosen throughout the high school football season will receive a $2,000 donation from the Redskins Charitable Foundation to their football program and a framed certificate signed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden, Redskins President Bruce Allen and General Manager Scot McCloughan, as well as other giveaway items from the Redskins Charitable Foundation and Inova Sports Medicine.
Coach Trey Taylor at SLHS football practice/file photo
The South Lakes Seahawks toppled No. 8 Madison 21-13 Friday, handing the Warhawks their first loss of the football season and taking the top spot in the Conference 6 standings.
With the victory, the Seahawks, ranked No. 18 by the Washington Post last week, will surely rise in the region-wide standings this week. They are now 7-0 (4-0 Conference 6).
A key play came in the third quarter. With Madison at fourth and goal on the Seahawks 1 yard line, South Lakes’ defense stopped Madison’s Nick Quinto from reaching the end zone.
SLHS coach Trey Taylor called the goal-line stand “one of the greatest I have ever seen.”
The game was WTOP’s “Game of the Week.” Madison had won 15 of its last 16 games, losing only to Chantilly in last year’s playoffs.
Quarterback Devin Miles passed for 232 yards. Spencer Alston ran in all thee of SLHS’ touchdowns.
South Lakes next plays at Langley Friday at 7 p.m.
Photos Courtesy David Cordts
It’s definitely as big as the one a year ago, when the team was 5-1 and played Madison, also 5-1, in a Conference 6 matchup.
The Warhawks won that meeting 38-6.
For this year’s meeting (7 p.m. at SLHS), No. 18 South Lakes and No. 8 Madison are both 6-0 and fighting to stay unbeaten, rule the conference and bolster postseason seeding.
Both teams have seen a huge improvement in recent years. The Seahawks were 2-7 two years ago (but a much-improved 9-3 in 2015). Madison had a one-win season three years ago.
But this is 2016, and both teams are among Northern Virginia’s best.
South Lakes, boosted by halfbacks Spencer Alston and Albert Mensah, is averaging 49 points per game. Alston and Mensah have combined for 17 touchdowns. Quarterback Devin Miles has passed for 17 more, with Alston being his target five times.
Madison quarterback Jacob Choutka has thrown for 11 touchdowns. Receiver Nick Conforti accounts for 459 reception yards and six TDS.
Fabiana Alicia Ciammaichella, 30, and Adelmo Ernesto Arias Guillen, an 18-year-old SLHS sophomore, are facing a number of drug, alcohol and larceny charges, police said.
Ciammaichella has been charged with two counts of possessing a Schedule 1 or 2 Narcotic, believed to be cocaine and/or LSD, said FCPD Officer Don Gotthardt. She was also charged with possession of marijuana, he said.
Guillen was charged with petty larceny, purchasing alcohol while under 21, possession of marijuana and a misdemeanor failure to appear from a previous charge.
Officers from the Reston District Station were called to the Exxon Station at 11808 Baron Cameron Avenue on Monday about 11 p.m.
Video footage shows a woman distracting a cashier while a male who came in the store with her steals a case of beer and then leaves. The female then left the store and picked the man up outside and drove away.
Soon after, following an investigation, officers went to Ciammaichella’s home and found her with Guillen, as well as the stolen beer and a variety of illegal narcotics.
Both suspects were transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
“This is now an ongoing police investigation, as well as a personnel issue, and I’m not at liberty to discuss this in any detail beyond what [the police statement says],” SLHS Principal Kim Retzer said in a statement to the school community.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Crime Solvers electronically by visitingwww.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text-a-tip by texting “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES(274637) or by calling 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.
Photos: Fabiana Alicia Ciammaichella, left, and Adelmo Ernesto Arias Guillen/FCPD