By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
Shady Spring’s Houstin Syvertson’s future is already set. The all-state punter will be heading to Morgantown in the fall to suit up for the Mountaineers. But before the 6-foot-2, 220 -pound Tiger puts on the “Flying WV,” he has one thing left he wants to accomplish.
“The only thing I’m worried about is 55-feet, 2-inches,” Syvertson said.
That number is the Shady Spring record for shot put, a record Syvertson hopes to break today at the regional track meet in Charleston.
“He’s No. 1 in the state (in shot put) and he’s really happy about that,” Shady Spring coach Vince Culicerto said. “He’s real anxious to try to get those 11 inches for the school record.”
Culicerto said Syvertson started slow, but he has worked his way into the mid 50’s.
“He started out rough; he may have been punting too many footballs,” Culicerto, who also coaches Shady football, said with a chuckle. “We kind of teased him about that, but he’s really jumped on it and started working.”
“It’s tough. I really have to find time to throw,” Syvertson said. “I don’t throw as much. Football is my No. 1 priority, but my throws have been real good the last few weeks.”
In order for Syvertson to hit his mark, he’ll have to overcome another obstacle — Greenbrier East’s Tre’ Moore, who is currently rated as the No. 2 shot putter in the state.
“Tre’ has beat me at every single meet,” Syvertson admitted. “I have yet to beat him.”
Moore was not at the meet where Syvertson made his best throw — 54-feet, 3-inches — two feet further than Moore’s best of 52-feet, 3-inches.
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Syvertson isn’t the only Tiger looking to make an impact today.
“Kaylee (Dickenson) is ranked high in the high jump and mentioned in the discus,” Culicerto said. “She and Alicia (Marshall) are two of the top three in the region and both top 10 in the state.”
Culicerto feels that his relay teams, which feature Heather Chernutan, Alexandria Wills, Alexandria Kominsky and Lyndsey Thompson, can perform well.
“We’ve had a pretty good season,” Culicerto said. “We picked up a couple wins, and our girls are doing pretty darn good.”
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Shady’s not the only school expected to make some noise at today’s event.
Woodrow Wilson is flying high into Charleston, riding on the success of two of its senior standouts, Ramon Edwards and Jacob Meadows, looking to repeat on their state championship performance from 2012.
“Ramon has performed as expected,” Woodrow coach John H. Lilly said. “He’s been doing it a long time. He’s doing it on the big stage.”
Edwards currently holds the second-highest time in the 100-meter dash with 10.95 seconds. His 200-meter time is sixth at 23.19.
Edwards and Meadows will anchor the 4x100 relay today.
“Jacob has been consistent for us,” Lilly said. “He’s won two state championships, several regional and MSAC championships. He’s been really consistent. We’re going to lean on those guys.”
Much like Syvertson with Shady, Woodrow hurdler Chase Hancock has had to work himself into the season after playing another sport.
“Chase is our hurdler, and he’ll carry us in the hurdles,” Lilly said. “He’s just now catching up from playing basketball. Some of the other kids are peaking right now, and Chase is just now hitting his stride. Hopefully he’ll peak soon.”
The Flying Eagles will also look to Khalil Anderson in the shot put, Troy Lilly in the discus and Emily Fedders in the girls 3,200-meter to have good showings. They’re all ranked in the top 10 in their events.
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Many schools from the area will be represented in today’s regionals in hopes of qualifying for the state tournament next weekend.
n Jovarre Brown (Oak Hill) — Brown is currently ranked eighth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.51,
n Levi Snedegar (Greenbrier East) — The distance runner for the Spartans is ranked in the top 10 in both the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs.
n Trey Cochran (Greenbrier East) —- The senior has the second-highest jump in the state at 6-foot 4 inches. Teammate Tyler Hanna is only two inches away.
n Marc Logan (Oak Hill) — Logan will look to compete with Cochran and Hanna in the high jump. He is currently tied for third in the state in the event with Hanna.
n Shaye Gadomski (Greenbrier East) — The junior sprinter is ranked No. 10 in the state in the 400-meter dash with a time of 101.16 seconds.
n Ashley Morgan (Greenbrier East) — Morgan will provide Shady’s Dickinson her toughest competition in the high jump. She’s tied for ninth with a jump of 5-feet.
n Maddie McClintic (Greenbrier East) — Currently ranked the No. 6 long jumper in the state, she’ll look to qualify for the states as a freshman.
n Kassey Wagner (Greenbrier East) — Wagner is tied for 6th in the state pole vault rankings.
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The Region 3 track meet will begin today at 4 p.m. with the field events. Running will begin at 4:15 p.m. on Laidley Field at University of Charleston Stadium.