Henrico County sports

RIR to host playoff race in 2018

Track also returning spring race to evening time slot
For the first time in its history, Richmond International Raceway next year will host playoff races in both of NASCAR's top two series, track officials announced May 23.

The track will host a NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff race Sept. 21, 2018 and a Monster Energy Cup Series playoff race the following day. (The Monster Energy Cup Series is the highest level of NASCAR competition.)

RIR also will move its spring Monster Energy Cup Series race – which has been held on Sunday afternoon the past two years – back to Saturday night, on April 21. RIR previously had hosted night races since 1991 but moved the spring race to the afternoon in an attempt to attract more families. But attendance at least month's race was one of the lowest in recent memory.
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RIR to host Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship


The season finale of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour will take place at Richmond International Raceway during the track’s fall NASCAR race week festivities. QubicaAMF, whose U.S. headquarters are in Richmond, will install four state-of-the-art lanes inside the Old Dominion Building for the event as part of its new sponsorship of the PWBA.

The Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship is set for Sept. 3-6 in the Old Dominion Building at the Richmond Raceway Complex. The 16-player field will be composed of PWBA members who win a 2017 event and completed by point earners for the season.
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RIR bringing back red stripes to track walls


Richmond International Raceway is bringing back classic red stripes on the track's walls this year.

It will be the first time since February 1988 that the stripes appear on the walls. At that time, RIR was only a half-mile track with metal guardrails striped in red.
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Athlete of the Week – June 12: Claire Frank

Godwin H.S., varsity girls soccer
Soccer is the main topic of conversation at the Frank family dinner table each night. Claire Frank, a junior midfielder at Godwin, shares the field with her younger sister Paige, and her older brother played at Hampton-Sydney.

“All we really do is play soccer,” Claire Frank said.

Frank said that she has looked forward to playing with her sister for years because the two know how to push each other in practice and connect with each other on the field. In the regional game, Claire provided the assist to Paige’s goal. Despite the fact that Claire is the older and more heralded player, Paige is not afraid to call Claire out on the soccer field.
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Athlete of the Week – June 5: LaChyna Roe

Henrico High School track standout LaChyna Roe watches the same movie before every race: Secretariat.

“I’ve probably watched it over 40 times,” she said. “I don’t think anyone on my team has seen it; I just watch it by myself.”

The movie, which tells the story of the Triple Crown-winning horse whose records still stand today, serves as inspiration for Roe.
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Athlete of the Week – May 29: Patrick Hulihan

Deep Run H.S., varsity baseball

Patrick Hulihan, an undefeated pitcher for Deep Run High School’s top-seeded baseball team, credited two unlikely factors as being key to the team’s success this year: A group chat and “The Whip.”

The group chat, which began after a win against Freeman early in the season, is a players-only text during which they can reflect on what went well and what went poorly after games. Although players do joke and brag occasionally, Hulihan said the tone of the group chat is serious. It is a place to talk baseball. Before games however, the mood lightens. Players gather in the outfield and dance. Hulihan said “The Whip,” a move popularized by Odell Beckham’s touchdown celebrations and countless youtubers, has become the dance of choice for Deep Run’s squad.

The unity demonstrated by high school boys dancing in an outfield has been the difference between this year’s team and last year’s.
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Steward School senior named Gatorade Virginia Baseball Player of the Year


Steward School senior pitcher Nic Enright was named the Gatorade Virginia Baseball Player of the Year Thursday by Gatorade, in conjunction with USA Today High School Sports. He is the first Steward player to win the award, which recognizes not only athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and character demonstrated on and off the field. Enright becomes a finalist for the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award.

Enright, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior right-hander, compiled a 6-1 record with a 0.79 ERA and 50 strikeouts with just nine walks in 44.1 innings-pitched this past season, leading the Spartans (15-8) to the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division 2 state semifinals. A four-time VISAA Division 2 First Team All-State selection, Enright batted .246 with five extra-base hits, 14 runs scored and 19 RBI.
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Athlete of the Week – May 22: John Woolley

Douglas Freeman H.S., varsity boys’ lacrosse

John Woolley, attacker for Freeman High School’s lacrosse team, knows that he only has a few games left in his high school career. The 18-year old senior hopes that one of those games is the state championship.

Woolley said all season long his coaches have preached “peaking late,” viewing every game, win or loss, as a stepping stone toward the state tournament.

On May 12, the Rebels faced Atlee in a matchup of the two best public school lacrosse teams in the area and what was a likely preview to a playoff matchup coming next week. Freeman staged a comeback after being down four goals in the third quarter and won the game 14-11.
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Henrico-based Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care will host a lecture by Marjorie Thompson at 5:30 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 6000 Grove Ave. Noted author of “Soul Feast,” Thompson will speak on “Grounded in Compassion: Fostering Spiritual Practice in an Age of Terror and Twitter.” A Q&A with Thompson and a reception will follow. This 50th Anniversary event is free and open to the public. For details, call 282-8332 or visit http://www.vipcare.org or Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care on Facebook. Full text

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