Magnolia Boys Look to Defend State Track Title in Charleston this Weekend
Park one of the favorites on both sides in Class AAA
CHARLESTON — The final days of track season in West Virginia are right around the corner as the West Virginia High School state track meet kicks off at 2 p.m. on Friday at Laidley Field.
Many area athletes will strap on the spikes one final time this season to see if they can get on the podium during the two-day event.
The Magnolia boys team, though will go in with extra motivation as it is the reigning Class A champion.
“Last year we came in as the underdogs. We knew what we were capable of, we just had to execute the plan,” Magnolia coach Travis Emch said. “This year, coach (Trey) Meeks and myself have just stressed the fundamentals, just making sure we’re doing the little things right. We just want to go down there, do what we’re capable of and not do anything that ends up beating ourselves.”
The Blue Eagles will have plenty of experience returning to Charleston including Jakob Barrows, who won the shot put last year. Barrows qualified in the shot put again this year and is currently the second seed. He also qualified in the discus. Barrows’ twin Jared also will compete in the shot put.
The Magnolia 4×400 team, is the top projected time in Class A. The Blue Eagles won it last year, too.
Pat Mirandy has the fastest heat time in the 400 and also qualified in the 300 hurdles while Jason Beisel will compete in the 400. In the 800, Spencer Shepard is looking to get on the podium while Matt Gaiser will compete in the high jump. Jacob Miller is one of the final 16 in the long jump while Damon Shimp will run in the 200.
The Blue Eagles will also have a relay team in the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×800.
The Blue Eagles won’t be the only team looking to make some noise down in Charleston.
For Wheeling Park, both the boys and girls team have been on people’s radar all season and with the final meet coming up, the Patriots are one of the favorites to win it on both sides.
“That’s one of the things we try to instill upon them,” Wheeling Park coach Bryan Arbes said about added pressure.
“We go up to Butler (Pa.), a 64 team meet. And in practice situations, we try to put pressure on them. When they’re doing they’re handoffs, we’re right there in the exchange zones yelling, clapping, trying to get them to drop the baton just because it’s going to be chaotic down there. We try to do the best we can to prepare them and basically do things over and over until it’s muscle memory. It’s up to them to go out and do it after that.”
Ronnie Saunders qualified in the 800, 1600 and 3200 while Justin LeVelle will compete in the 100 and 200. Torrence Walker, who has the fastest heat time, will race in the 200 while Sincere Sinclair has qualified in the 100 and 200.
Also competing in individual events are Dakota Scott and Eric Estep (400); Vincent DiProsperis (800); Andrew Glass (110, 300 Hurdles); David Fox (110 hurdles); Christian Sorge (pole vault); Jermain Snodgrass (shot put, discus) and Tristen Bittner (shot put).
The Patriots side will have a strong field in the relay events as they have the top seed in the 4×100 and 4×200. They will also compete in the 4×400, 4×800 and 4×110 hurdles.
The girls’ side will be well-represented for Wheeling Park too. Aubrey Wiethe is the top seed in the 300 hurdles and will also compete in the 100 hurdles. Cheyenne Nash is the top projected seed out of the shot put. Amari Poole and Abby Snedeker will race in the 100 and 200. Other Patriots competing include Marlee Porter (300 hurdles); Isabella DiSaia and Emma Delk (3200); Jailah Walker (high jump); Brady Browning and Jenna Smith (pole vault); Aaliyah Speights (long jump) and Kyra Kreger (shot put).
Wheeling Park will also have a relay team in all five events with a top projected time in the shuttle hurdle. Its 4×100 are reigning state champs.
Looking virtually unstoppable all year, Weir’s Sebastian Spencer is the top seed in the 100 and 200 in boys Class AA. The junior broke the state meet record last year in the 200 as a sophomore.
The Red Rider 4×100 and 4×200 teams are also looking to repeat as state champions as both are the top projected seeds.
Also looking to repeat as champion is Oak Glen’s Kellen Tropeck. He won the discus last year and is the top seed in the event as well as shot put.
Quincy Dameron (100, 200); James Littleton (300 hurdles) and Jake McCoy (high jump) are the other Red Riders competing.
For Oak Glen, it will be Nathan Atkinson (1600); Konnor Allison (3200); Jacob Clark (110 hurdles, high jump); Gage Patterson (long jump) and Jeremy Taylor (shot put). The Golden Bears will also have a relay team in all five events.
In Class A, Tyler Consolidated has a plethora of qualifying athletes. Zack Placer is the top projected time in the 110 hurdles and will also compete in the 300 hurdles. Spencer Corley has the highest heat mark in the high jump and will also race in the 1600.
Mark Rucker (100); Destry Nelson (400); James Streets (1600); Nathan Barker (110 hurdles); Steven Judge and Daniel Lanham (pole vault) and Jacob Sharp (shot put) are the other individual qualifiers for the Silver Knights.
The Silver Knights also have a relay team in all five events.
For Wheeling Central, Jeremiah Blackmore (high jump, long jump) Bray Price (100); Anthony Robbins (110 hurdles) will compete along with the 4×200 relay team.
Cameron has Dillon Meintel (110 hurdles) and the shuttle hurdle relay while Paden City’s will have Eric Weber and Jason Anderson (shot put) and shuttle hurdles.
Madonna will suit up Angelo Quattrocchi (800, 1600); Jakob McCombs (800); Brennan Scrist (110 hurdles) and its 4×800 and 4×400 relay teams.
Cody Soles of Hundred will race in the 200.
The remaining Class AAA include John Marshall’s Anthony Siler (1600, 3200) and Brennen Wright (high jump). Brooke will have its 4×100 and 4×200 teams.
The remaining girls in Class AAA include John Marshall’s Zara Zervos (400, 800) and Camryn Mowder (high jump). The Monarchs will also have its 4×100, 4×200 4×400 and shuttle hurdle relay teams.
Brooke’s Yazmin Island, the defending state champion in long jump will compete in her respective event.
Rachel Clayton (high jump) along with Melyn Bachinski (300 hurdles) and the shuttle hurdle teams will also compete for the Bruins.
In Class A, the Wheeling Central 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams will look to defend their state titles.
Kenadee Wayt is the top seed in the 100 and will also race the 200. Nicole Billie (400, 800) and Kaitlyn Ferns (long jump) will be the individual athletes for the Maroon Knights while the 4×400 and 4×800 teams will also compete.
Magnolia will have a large group of athletes. Mady Winters is the top seed in the shot put while Kyndra Pilant has thrown the furthest so far in the discus. Both will compete in each throwing event. Jaci Rhode (100, long jump); Audrey Cross (100, 200); Bre Herrick (400); Karibna Patel (3200) and Liza Clegg (100 hurdles) will also compete for the Blue Eagles along with the all five relay teams.
Paden City will send down Abbe Stackpole (100, 200); Hallie McDonald (100 hurdles); Hope Weber (discus) and its 4×100; 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams.
For Madonna Carly Dowiak (100, 200); Angelina Spickard (200); Sofia DiBacco (400); Kristina Lesho (1600); Kelsey Crawford (300 hurdles) and Kennedy Martin (shot put, discus) will compete.
The Blue Dons also have the top seed in the 4×800 and will also have relay teams in the 4×100, 4×400 and shuttle hurdle.
For Tyler Consolidated Caleigh Phillips (100); Jocelyn Foltz (200); Emiy Lancaster (100 hurdles, pole vault) and Eden Turner will compete in the individual events. The Silver Knights also have relay teams in the 4×200 and shuttle hurdle.
Rounding out Class A are Hundred’s Henderson (high jump), Valley’s Brittany Kennedy (shot put) and Cameron’s 4×800 team.
In Class AA, Oak Glen’s Maggie Kovalcik will look to defend her state championship in the long jump. She has the top seed in the event. Also competing for the Golden Bears were Izabelle Barganski (100, 300 hurdles); Sophia Arner (800); Abigail Myers (400); Gracie Wright (300 hurdles); Skye Stokes (high jump, long jump); Emily Ashcraft (shot put); Kaylee Travis (discus) and Connor Gibson (discus).
The Golden Bears also have all five relay teams competing.
For the Red Riders, Blaire McUmar (100, 200) will compete along with Mackenzie Hallaway (long jump) four relay teams.