Pair of Red Devils Help Captain All-Valley Track and Field Team
WHEELING – As far as distances, times, events and even athletes go, high school track and field can be an ever-revolving sport.
For the 2013 season, there is no question that it was the girls’ turn to shine, but while the boys may have taken a little bit of a backseat, there are more than enough accolades to go around in the annual Wheeling News-Register All-Valley Track and Field squads.
A trio of girls who spent the season collecting championships, setting records and keeping fans on the edge of their respective seats headline the distaff squad with River High senior Cassidy McCullough, St. Clairsville senior Alyssa Robinson and University High junior Amelia Paladino leading the way as honorary Captains.
McCullough and Robinson were both also Captains of the unit a season ago while Paladino will be back to make a second run at the top of the heap in 2014.
The boys were not without standouts also with Red Devils’ junior Jaylon Brown, Cambridge junior Eric Fox and Tyler Consolidated senior speedster Alex Doak earning Captain honors.
McCullough simply did a little bit of everything for the Pilots this season and there was no telling what events you might find her participating in at any given meet.
Her specialty, however, was the 300-meter low hurdles, an event that she became a two-time Ohio Division III state champion in last Saturday in Columbus.
While she led the Valley with a sizzling 43.27 in her specialty, she also made the unit in the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. She is one of only two four-time repeat performers on the All-Valley team, but ironically, it is not in the hurdles, but the 200.
She is a three-time honoree in the 300 lows and a two-time member of the 100-meter dash.
For Robinson it was more of the same as she also captured her second consecutive state championship in the Ohio Division II shot put. The senior ace was untouchable all season long with an amazing Valley-best 46 -foot, 7.5-inch effort, over nine feet further than the next member of the unit.
For good measure, Robinson also had the Ohio Valley’s top effort in the discus with a 116-4 twirl of the platter. It is Robinson’s third time appearing as a member of the shot put club.
Paladino brings a very impressive resume to the team, capturing West Virginia Class AAA titles in both the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs while appearing at the top of both of those events and also the 800 in the Ohio Valley.
The iron-lunged junior owns a 2:20.16 in the 800; 4:59.43 in the 1,600 and 10:40.27 in the 3,200. She will attempt to become four-time members of the two longer runs as a senior and is also a repeat-performer in the 800.
Not only is she repeating in all three distance events, it is the second consecutive season in which she had the best Valley time in each and the third time in the 3,200.
Brown wasn’t able to bring home a state championship as a junior, however, he set the stage for what should be a very impressive senior campaign while placing third in the Ohio Division II 100-meter dash and fourth in the 200-meter dash.
The Red Devils burner had the third best 100 locally with a scorching 10.88 and led the way in the 200 at 21.82.
Fox was hands down the best pole vaulter in the Ohio Valley and has made a name for himself as one of the finest to ever sail through the air locally.
The repeat performer cleared the bar at 15-3 and was second in Ohio Division II.
As for Doak, his impressive four-year sprinting stint for the Silver Knights came to an end by winning four medals at the W.Va. Class A meet in Charleston.
A pair of those medals were gold while he also claimed an individual silver and a relay bronze.
Doak won the 100-meter dash in 11.27 before adding the 200-meter dash title in 22.81.
He was a close second in the 400 to Clay-Battelle’s Nathan Tolley, who’s 49.57 was good enough to lead the entire Valley.
The Tyler Consolidated three-sport performer also helped the Knights’ 4×100-meter sprint relay team to a third place finish.
Overall, there are 22 schools represented on the girls’ side while 28 on the boys.
However, the girls have 43 repeat performers while the boys are lagging behind with 29. Both of the four-time performers, McCullough and Oak Glen’s Alexis Burch in the 400, are girls while the distaff side boasts eight three-time repeaters to just three for the boys.
Appearing for the third season in a row, along with Robinson in the shot, McCullough in the 300 lows and Paladino in the 1,600 and 3,200 are Burch in the 100, John Marshall’s Ashley Haught in the 400; Brynn Harshberger of Morgantown in the 1,600 and Jessica Hamrick of Parkersburg South in the pole vault.
The three boys on this short list include Stephen Rogalski of Magnolia in the 200; Buckeye Trail’s Austin Carleton in the high jump and Sean McGee of Martins Ferry in the shot put.
Rogalski, who has been recognized throughout the state in three different sports, entered the campaign as one of the top 400-meter hopefuls in West Virginia Class A, however, after battling through injuries he rarely competed in his specialty.
He did log the fastest local time in the 100-meter dash with a 10.86 clocking while third best in the 200 in 22.74.
Morgantown leads the girls with 14 representatives, including relay teams, while Wheeling Park has nine and St. Clairsville seven.
The boys’ side is a lot more spread out with the Red Devils’ seven leading the way, University and Steubenville have six apiece while Wheeling Park, Cambridge, East Liverpool and Martins Ferry each placed five.
The Patriots led the way in relays with both the boys and girls making the grade in four of the five baton-passing events.
The ladies appear in all but the 4×800 while the guys failed to qualify in the 4×100.