Competition Stiff at State Track Meet

WHEELING – Alex Doak is sitting pretty.

Actually, make that seeded pretty.

Out of the three events in which the Tyler Consolidated senior will compete at the West Virginia State Track Meet, Doak is the top seed in two.

He is at the top of the standings in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash. In his third event, the 400-meter dash, the senior is only 1.28 seconds behind the top seed.

”Alex is a very hard worker,” Silver Knights boys track coach Jill LeMasters said. ”He’s really trying to better himself and better his time. He is trying to set the school records in both (the 100 and 200). He’s so close. He’s got some determination. He qualified in both the 100 and 200 all four years (of high school).”

Even with the high seeding, Doak is bound to see stiff competition in the state capital, and even some familiar faces.

Magnolia’s Stephen Rogalski, who also qualified for the 100-, 200- and 400-meter, has Doak right in his sight.

Rogalski is seeded third in both the 100 and 200, while the senior edged Doak to get the second seed in the 400.

”There is some good competition between him and Stephen,” LeMasters pointed out. ”Those two have always pushed each other.”

Both will try to captivate the audience at Laidley Field on Friday and Saturday as over 100 local athletes will travel to the state capital with the dream of bringing a state title back with them to the northern panhandle.

The Silver Knight’s Hunter LeMasters is another with his eyes set on the gold.

The West Virginia Wesleyan recruit earned the top seed in the pole vault.

”He was a state champion last year and is hoping to repeat this year,” his coach said. ”He started in sixth grade. He’s gone through AAU and Nationals and actually won Nationals before. He always sets his goals high.”

Haylea LeMasters, Hunter’s sister, also cracked a top three seed. The Tyler Consolidated senior is seeded second in the pole vault.

Valley’s Spencer Mason is the No. 1 seed in the shot put, and also managed a No. 2 seed in the discus throw.

Class AA

Alexis Burch is looking to bring an end to her senior season with some hardware at the state meet.

The Oak Glen senior is seeded third or higher in three of her events as she is the second seed in the 400-meter and notched the third seed in both the 100- and the 200-meter.

Fellow Golden Bear Kelsey Chambers earned the No. 3 seed in the 800-meter, while Weir High senior Alexis Virtue holds the top seed in the same event.

Oak Glen also claimed two of the top three seeds in the boys long jump.

Senior Josh Weltner earned the No. 1 seed, while sophomore Micah Swiger sits at No. 3.

Red Rider sophomore Jonathan Rice enters the state meet with the No. 3 seed in the 100-meter.

Class AAA

John Marshall seniors and twins Erica and Ashley Haught each earned high seeds.

Ashley holds the No. 3 seed in the 400-meter, while sister Erica is the second seed in the 800-meter.

Tori Derrow also claimed a top three seed for the Monarchs.

The freshman is the No. 2 seed in the 100-meter hurdles, just 0.3 seconds behind top seeded Emily Godwin of Buckhannon-Upshur.

Wheeling Park’s Bryce Ingram is the only local AAA athlete to claim a top three seed on the boys side.

The junior holds the No. 3 seed in the 100-meter.

The two-day event will start at 2 p.m. on Friday with the Girls Class AA discus throw finals.

Three sessions will be held on Day 1, while the final sessions will be held on Saturday and will start at 9 a.m. with Boys Class A discus throw finals.