WHEELING - Evolution is the name of the game in high school sports, no matter what the situation, when a standout athlete graduates there is normally someone around that will pick up the pieces and see that things keep moving on.
And while there are plenty of new faces dotting the annual Wheeling News-Register 2012 All-Valley Track and Field squad, there are also plenty of repeat performers, some of which will now be moving on.
Headlining the team are a pair of junior girls who each captured their first Ohio individual state championships this past season and a trio of senior boys, one of which has become very familiar with having top billing.
Leading the girls' All-Valley team are River High's Cassidy McCullough, the only member of either the boys' or girls' sides to be included in four events this year, and Alyssa Robinson of St. Clairsville.
Meanwhile, for the second straight season, Wheeling Park's Errin Baynes is at the top of the boys' list, but this year he is joined by speedsters Jordan Piergallini of Buckeye Local and Chris Stephens of Linsly.
While Baynes, who will continue his track and field career next season at the University of Southern California, didn't have the opportunity to show his ability very often this season due to a knee injury, he made the absolute most of the time he had.
Captains: Errin Baynes, Sr., Wheeling Park; Jordan Piergallini, Sr., Buckeye Local; Chris Stephens, Sr., Linsly.
(Qualifying Time: 11.08)
Jordan Piergallini, Buckeye Local, 10.84; +Ricky Jordan, Linsly, 10.94; Dashaun Lewis, Cambridge; Ronald Swaniger, Clay-Battelle, 11.02; +*Casey Pingley, Valley, 11.06; +Jalon Brown, St. Clairsville, 11.08.
(Qualifying Time: 22.64)
Chris Stephens, Linsly, 21.90; Jordan Piergallini, Buckeye Local, 22.05; +Jalon Brown, St. Clairsville, 22.24; +Dashaun Lewis, Cambridge, 22.56; +Stephen Rogalski, Magnolia, 22.57; *Casey Pingley, Valley, 22.94.
(Qualifying Time: 50.88)
+Stephen Rogalski, Magnolia, 49.67; +Chris Stephens, Linsly, 49.76; Tyler Abrams, Caldwell, 50.07; Kyle Minger, Edison, 50.23; Zane Antolak, St. Clairsville, 50.69; Alex Doak, Tyler Consolidated, 50.88.
(Qualifying Time: 2:01.64)
Drake Walker, St. Clairsville, 1:57.51; Trever Pontius (Buckeye Trail), 1:59.17; +Brandon Stephens, Barnesville, 1:59.53; Zach Witsberger, Wheeling Park, 2:00.90; Frank Kamarec, Indian Creek, 2:01.14; Ramon Nieves, Bellaire St. John, 2:01.64.
(Qualifying Time: 4:33.95)
+Jordan Brown-Stobbe, University, 4:22.89; +Andy Thornburg, St. Clairsville, 4:28.50; Drake Walker, St. Clairsville, 4:33.95.
(Qualifying Time: 9:52.91)
+Jordan Brown-Stobbe, University, 9:29.37; Corey Leasure, Bellaire St. John, 9:41.40; Nate Boyer, East Liverpool, 9:51.74; Andrew Paladino, University, 9:52.70; Andy Thornburg, St. Clairsville, 9:52.91.
100 Meter High Hurdles
(Qualifying Time: 14.93)
Richie Padyjasek, Martins Ferry, 14.6; Cody Frey, Bridgeport, 14.7; Doug Maslowski, Steubenville Central, 14.82; Errik Snell, Cambridge, 14.93.
300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles
(Qualifying Time: 40.77)
+Cody Frey, Bridgeport, 39.20; +Jake Dull, Shadyside, 39.88; Jacob Anderson, Barnesville, 40.26; Richie Padyjasek, Martins Ferry, 40.4; Tyler Zahnow, Bishop Donahue, 40.77.
4X100 Meter Relay
(Qualifying Time: 44.07)
+St. Clairsville, 42.96; +Steubenville, 43.41; Buckeye Local, 43.58; Cambridge, 43.92; +Wheeling Park, 44.07.
4X200 Meter Relay
(Qualifying Time: 1:31.90)
+Steubenville, 1:30.20; Cambridge, 1:30.80; Wheeling Park, 1:31.76; +St. Clairsville, 1:31.90.
4X400 Meter Relay
(Qualifying Time: 3:33.35)
+Harrison Central, 3:27.98; Steubenville, 3:28.15; St. Clairsville, 3:32.06; +Wheeling Park, 3:33.35.
4X800 Meter Relay
(Qualifying Time: 8:27.18)
+Wheeling Park, 8:19.36; University, 8:24.63; Morgantown, 8:27.18.
Shuttle Hurdle Relay
(Qualifying Time: 1:00.90)
+Parkersburg South, 58.70; +Wheeling Park, 59.09; Martins Ferry, 1:00.56; John Marshall, 1:00.90.
(Qualifying Height: 13 ft. 6 in.)
Eric Fox, Cambridge, 14-7.5; +Daniel Scott, Wheeling Central, 14-7; +Derek Spindler, Fort Frye, 14-0; +Logan Cox, Parkersburg South, 13-6; Michael Eaton, St. Clairsville, 13-6; *Hunter Lemasters, Tyler Consolidated, 13-6.
(Qualifying Height: 6 ft. 4 in.)
+*Errin Baynes, Wheeling Park, 6-10; +Garrett Lynch, Parkersburg South, 6-6; Kody Geisel, Wheeling Park, 6-6; +Austin Carleton, Buckeye Trail, 6-4; Kurtis Ogilbee, Union Local, 6-4.
(Qualifying Distance: 21-2.75)
Austin Carleton, Buckeye Trail, 22-7.75; +*Errin Baynes, Wheeling Park, 22-3.5; Richie Padyjasek, Martins Ferry, 21-6.5; Cody Hively, Parkersburg South, 21-4.5; Kage Rhode, Magnolia, 21-3.25; D.C. Banks, Wheeling Park, 21-2.75.
(Qualifying Distance: 50 ft. 3 in.)
+Sean McGee, Martins Ferry, 55-11; Spencer Mason, Valley, 50-0.5; Dewanya Neal, Wheeling Park, 50-10; Mark Dodd, Linsly, 50-3.
(Qualifying Distance: 146 ft. 8 in.)
+*Ethan Deleka, Oak Glen, 166-1; Sean McGee, Martins Ferry, 160-6; Dewanya Neal, Wheeling Park, 152-7; Colby Lindsay, St. Clairsville, 149-5; Dylan Rippeto, Parkersburg South, 149-4; Spencer Mason, Valley, 146-8.
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Captains: Cassidy McCullough, Jr., River; Alyssa Robinson, Jr., St. Clairsville.
(Qualifying Time: 12.65)
Natasha Trott, Morgantown, 12.19; Talyr Jenkins, Martins Ferry, 12.50; Shartece Taylor, Wellsville, 12.53; Cassidy McCullough, River, 12.59; +Alexis Burch, Oak Glen, 12.60.
(Qualifying Time: 26.40)
Natasha Trott, Morgantown, 25.17; Knisha Baldwin, Morgantown, 25.69; +Cassidy McCullough, River, 25.90; Alexis Burch, Oak Glen, 26.20; +Talyr Jenkins, Martins Ferry, 26.40; Shartece Taylor, Wellsville, 26.40.
(Qualifying Time: 59.71)
+Alexis Burch, Oak Glen, 58.12; Queen Elder, Steubenville, 58.76; Ashley Grove, Wheeling Park, 59.05; Sarah Applegarth, Martins Ferry, 59.07; +Ashley Haught, John Marshall, 59.60; Paige Phillips, Steubenville, 59.71.
(Qualifying Time: 2:23.98)
Amelia Paladino, University, 2:18.08; Sunshine Wrenn, Martins Ferry, 2:21.88; Taylor Shaw, Harrison Central, 2:23.04; Abbey Harrison, University, 2:23.70; Fallon Doyle, Bellaire St. John, 2:23.80; Amy Castle, St. Clairsville, 2:23.98.
(Qualifying Time: 5:13.56)
+Amelia Paladino, University, 5:01.29; Fallon Doyle, Bellaire St. John, 5:07.43; +Brynn Harshberger, Morgantown, 5:12.19; Tara Tollett, Shadyside, 5:13.05; Amy Castle, St. Clairsville, 5:13.56.
(Qualifying Time: 11:02.3)
+Amelia Paladino, University, 10:47.92; Tara Tollett, Shadyside, 11:00.8; Brynn Harshberger, Morgantown, 11:01.19; Fallon Doyle, Bellaire St. John, 11:02.3.
100 Meter High Hurdles
(Qualifying Time: 15.80)
+Ali Crawford, Brooke, 14.97; Toshchel Demus, Steubenville, 15.20; Monica Rigaud, Steubenville Central, 15.57; Cassidy McCullough, River, 15.80.
300 Meter Low Hurdles
(Qualifying Time: 47.60)
+*Cassidy McCullough, River, 44.93; Nicole Fluharty, Parkersburg South, 46.10; Ali Crawford, Brooke, 46.37; Taylor Parsons, Paden City, 47.60.
4X100 Meter Relay
(Qualifying Time: 50.70)
+Morgantown, 48.42; Brooke, 49.89; +Steubenville, 50.37; Edison, 50.56.
4X200 Meter Relay
(Qualifying Time: 1:47.28)
*Morgantown, 1:43.78; +Steubenville, 1:45.36; Wheeling Park, 1:45.36; +Steubenville Central, 1:47.15; +University, 1:47.28.
4X400 Meter Relay
(Qualifying Time: 4:10.99)
Steubenville Central, 4:06.17; Wheeling Park, 4:07.65; Fort Frye, 4:08.61; +Steubenville, 4:10.99.
4X800 Meter Relay
(Qualifying Time: 9:54.78)
+University, 9:34.28; +Morgantown, 9:41:25; +Wheeling Park, 9:54.78.
Shuttle Hurdle Relay
(Qualifying Time: 1:07.68)
Parkersburg South, 1:06.24; Wheeling Central, 1:06.95; Martins Ferry, 1:07.4; +Wheeling Park, 1:07.68.
(Qualifying Height: 10 ft.)
+Rachel Hewitt, Morgantown, 11-2; +Emma Dolan, Wheeling Park, 11-0; +Jessica Hamrick, Parkersburg South, 10-6; Arika Kemp, Union Local, 10-0.
(Qualifying Height: 5 ft. 2 in.)
Katelyn Pollock, Edison, 5-4; Haley Holloway, Morgantown, 5-4; Katrina Vosteen, Steubenville Central, 5-4; Paige Durkin, Wheeling Park, 5-2; +Kayleigh Rexrod, Parkersburg South, 5-2.
(Minimum Distance: 16 ft. 4 in.)
Rebekah Lafath, Morgantown, 16-6; Rachel Richard, Brooke, 16-4; DanI Hayes, Valley, 16-4.
(Minimum Distance: 36 ft.)
+*Alyssa Robinson, St. Clairsville, 44-10; Alexis Montes, John Marshall, 37-9.5; Rosa Morris, Morgantown, 36-1.5; Myleah Green, Bellaire, 36-0.
(Minimum Distance: 108 ft. 3 in.)
+Alexis Montes, John Marshall, 128-4; Alyssa Robinson, St. Clairsville, 117-4; *Taylor Pavan, Weirton Madonna, 108-9; Emrie Anderson, Cambridge, 108-3.
* Qualified as a State Champion
+ Repeat All-Valley Performer
4-Time All-Valley Members: Garrett Lynch, Parkersburg South (HJ); Emma Dolan, Wheeling Park (PV). 3-Time All-Valley Members: Cassidy McCullough, River (200); Alexis Burch, Oak Glen (400); Alexis Montes, John Marshall (Discus); Ricky Jordan, Linsly (100); Errin Baynes, Wheeling Park (HJ); Derek Spindler, Fort Frye (PV).
After sitting out the majority of the campaign, he jumped for the first time at the West Virginia Class AAA, Region One meet where he finished second in both the high jump and long jump.
Baynes traveled to Charleston the following week for the state meet expecting to participate in the high jump, but not sure about the long jump. In the end he did both, capturing his second state title in the long jump and third in the high jump.
So, while Baynes didn't have the opportunity to participate a lot, the short time he was available led directly to the fourth and fifth individual state championships of his high school career.
For Piergallini, it was a season in which he picked up championships at the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference meet, the district meet and on the regional level only to finish second in the 100 and fifth in the 200 at the Ohio State Track and Field Championships.
The Panthers' speedster was one of only two athletes on the squad to break the 11 second barrier in the 100-meter dash this past year, recording a sizzling valley-best 10.84. His time in the 200 was also impressive, clocking 22.05, second only to Stephens.
Stephens' situation was a somewhat different in that he had a state championship-type season in both the 200 and 400, however, with Linsly not a member of the WVSSAC, the he was not able to show his talents in Charleston.
Finishing with the best time in the 200 at 21.90, he was also second to Magnolia's Stephen Rogalski in the 400. Stephens' best time of 49.76 was just a shade behind Rogalski at 49.67. And for the second consecutive season it was the Blue Eagles' ace nipping the Cadets' speedster at the wire at the OVAC championship meet.
And while Stephens could not compete in Charleston, his times in both the 200 and 400 were better than the times put up in the West Virginia Class A state meet.
While the big-three owned the boys' side this year, a pair of athletes deserve to be mentioned as also being in the running for the mythical captaincy. They are Martins Ferry senior Richie Padyjasek, who is the only boy listed in three events, and Buckeye Trail sophomore Austin Carleton who had the valley's best leap in the long jump and also made the cut in the high jump.
Carleton finished second in Columbus in both events in Division III.
McCullough, meanwhile, went from being the chaser to being chased in 2012. After spending two season in the shadow of one of the finest hurdlers to ever grace an Ohio Valley track in Steubenville Central, and current Duke standout, Teddi Jo Maslowski, McCullough's star shone bright this season.
In fact her talents took her all the way to Columbus where she became River's first female state champion since Jennifer Hyland in 1984. After finishing sixth in the 300 lows as a sophomore, McCullough finished undefeated in the event this season, including capturing the state title.
The Pilots' leader was also fifth in the 100 highs in Columbus.
Robinson has quickly turned into the female version of Baynes, picking up her craft on a whim and turning herself into one of the best around. The St. Clairsville shot putter was third heading into the finals in Columbus only to get off an amazing 44-foot, 10-inch effort in the first round of the finals to take command.
Like McCullough, she was undefeated in her event all season long. Robinson has only been a member of the Red Devils' track team for two years, both ending in All-Ohio performances in Columbus.
In all it was another banner campaign across the Ohio Valley with 34 repeat performers on the boys' side and 27 on the girls' unit. Also, there are two athletes who capped brilliant careers by becoming four-time members of the team and six more who have been mentioned for the third time.
Parkersburg South high jumper Garrett Lynch, while having to jump behind Baynes for three years, is on the squad for the fourth time while Wheeling Park pole vaulted Emma Dolan has achieved the same respect.
There are three boys and just as many girls who are three-time members, including, Baynes, Ricky Jordan of Linsly (100) and Derek Spindler of Fort Frye (PV) along with McCullough (200), Alexis Burch of Oak Glen (400) and Alexis Montes of John Marshall (discus).
There are also a number of relay units who have been mentioned for four and three years, respectively. Steubenville's boys' 4X100 and 4X200 and Wheeling Park's 4X100 and shuttle hurdle squad are four-year members along with Big Reds' 4X100 and Steubenville Central's 4X200.
The Patriots' 4X400 squad and Parkersburg South's shuttle team are three-year boys' mentions with Steubenville's 4X200 and Park's 4X800 making the grade.
Martins Ferry's Padyjasek appears on the team in three events, 100 high hurdles, 300 intermediate hurdles and long jump, while 15 other athletes are listed in a pair.
Wheeling Park made the cut in all five relay events this season with St. Clairsville and Steubenville each appearing in three of the baton-passing events.
While McCullough is the only athlete to appear in four events, University High sophomore Amelia Paladino is the only person to have the best time in three.
Paladino paced the 800 (2:18.08), 1,600 (5:01.29) and 3,200 (10:47.92). She also recorded the best time in the longer run as a freshman while winning a W.Va. Class AAA title in the 1,600 this year.
Wheeling Park and St. Clairsville each occupy 12 spots on the boys' side with Cambridge and Martins Ferry at six, University and Parkersburg South at five and Linsly with four.
Morgantown totals 12 for the girls, the Patriots have seven, Steubenville and University six each, the Purple Riders five and River, St. Clairsville, Steubenville Central and South four apiece.