Wheeling Park’s Torrence Walker Takes 400 State Title
Oak Glen Boys Finish Third Overall in Class AA
CHARLESTON — Wheeling Park’s Torrence Walker started the West Virginia Class AAA state track championship the only way he’s been doing in all other races this year: by claiming a victory.
The senior left no doubt as he blazed through the 400 clocking in at 48.45 to take the gold Friday night at University of Charleston Stadium at Laidley Field.
“I can’t even describe this. It’s a big relief,” Walker said. “It’s what I’ve been working for all year. We still have a lot to do (Saturday), but right now, I’m very pleased.”
While Walker hasn’t seen the 400 all too much this year, the 100 and 200 star was a well-kept secret for Wheeling Park.
“Really it was all part of the plan. My coach didn’t want everybody to know my 400 time until around regionals,” Walker said. “So he would just sneak me in 4x4s to get my split times. But, he knew I was going to run times like this.”
On the girls side, Abby Barki placed third for the Patriots.
After another day that had a few downpours the Class AA field wrapped up it’s season. With a handful of local athletes collecting medals, the Oak Glen boys track team finished third overall with 55 points while the girls team secured fifth.
Point Pleasant won the boys title while Winfield claimed the girls.
Izabelle Barganski won the 300 hurdles for the Oak Glen girls as she crossed the finish line in a time of 48.81.
“It’s my senior year and I’m so glad that I get to end it like this,” Barganski said. “I had knee surgery last year, and I’m so happy that my knee is finally back to how it was and I can run as well as I used to.”
Barganski also placed fourth in the 100 hurdles and concluded her season by taking home another gold medal as she was also on the winning 4×400 team.
Phoebe Molish, Gracie Wright and Kami Ward were also on the team that clocked in at 4:19.78.
“This is my first blue (color for first place) medal for track,” Wright said. “That’s really exciting. I’m just really proud of my teammates for helping me get through it all.”
Added Molish: “This was definitely one of my least favorite races at first. But, I grew love for it and with all the 500 repeats and I got better with it as I kept going.”
Barganski also secured a fourth-place finish in the 100 hurdles while Ward secured fourth in the 100.
Ward was also on the fourth-place 4×200 relay team that also consisted of Molish, Wright and Ashlyn Six.
Those four also claimed medals in the 4×100 as the Golden Bears got fourth.
Also for the Oak Glen girls, the 4×800 relay team of Ava Ross, Carson Barr, Hannah Kliner and Sophia Arner finished sixth.
On the boys side, the lone winner for Oak Glen was the shuttle hurdle team of Aiden Flowers, Gage Patterson, Dylan Conley and Cameron Tropeck. They clocked in at 1:02.23.
“I just got thrown in the shuttle hurdles the day before this,” Patterson said. “I was down to run with these guys. They taught me all the forms and everything.”
Tropeck, who was the anchor, saw that he was going to be virtually in a tie when it was time for his leg.
“I just didn’t want to let anyone down,” Tropeck said. “I just pushed myself as hard as I could. I didn’t want to lose.”
Added Flowers: “We came out here and got business done. Gage came in last day and filled in real nice. We got that first place spot and it feels good.”
Added Conley: “We started four weeks ago. One of our teammates, who was our second leg, hurt himself. We then threw Gage in here and we knew he could do it. He’s a heckuva athlete. We believed in him.”
The Oak Glen boys secured a pair of podium spots in the 100. Tristan Lawson garnered a second-place finish while Isaiah Franklin crossed the finish line in sixth.
The duo also placed in the 200. Lawson crossed the finish line in third and Franklin garnered fifth.
Konnor Allison also secured a silver medal as he claimed second in the 800.
Patterson claimed third in the long jump while teammate Jeremy Taylor finished fifth in the shot put.
Franklin, Lawson and Patterson were also on the third place 4×100 team with Aiden Flowers.
Unfortunately for the 4×200 relay team, Oak Glen was disqualified as an athlete was out of the zone. Before the disqualification, the Golden Bears crossed the finish line first.
For Weir, Jayson Nosko claimed second in the high jump. The Red Riders also claimed a second place finish in the shot put by Jonathan Howard. Rice Myles also placed in the shot put getting sixth.
Brayden Lawton got fifth in the 100 and fourth in the 200.
He was also on the Red Riders’ third place 4×200 relay team with Gage Reitter, Devan Colson and Max Maley.
Reitter, Colson and Lawton were also on the fifth place 4×100 team with Jamari Bass.
The Red Riders placed sixth as a team overall.
On the girls’ side, Blaire McUmar garnered a sixth-place medal in the 200.
McUmar also helped the Red Riders secure third place in the 4×100. That team also consisted of Emma Fierro, Elena Mastrantoni and Izzy Bernola.