By Steve Keenan
For The Register-Herald
With a scant week and some change left until the state meet, coaches and athletes are using this time to tweak things so they’ll be at their maximum when it’s all on the line.
But, they have to qualify for states first, and Class AAA teams from around West Virginia participated in track and field region qualifying meets Wednesday.
In the Region 3 event at UC Stadium’s Laidley Field, it was a banner day for Greenbrier East, as the Spartans captured both team titles. East amassed 155 points to outdistance runner-up Shady Spring (115) and the rest of the 10-team girls field, and, on the boys side, the Spartans registered 145 points to cruise past Ripley (94) and the other eight squads.
Greenbrier East’s big day got an early start when the Spartans’ Ashley Morgan engaged in a spirited battle with her teammate, Brielle Coles, and Shady Spring’s Kaylee Dickenson in the girls high jump. Coles eventually wound up third, leaving the spoils for Morgan and Dickenson—- both seniors. Each cleared 5-foot-2, but Morgan won due to fewer misses and, in the process, set a personal best..
“That’s my best,” she said. “I really wanted to tie the school record (5-2).
Dickenson didn’t feel too let down in gaining runner-up status.
“I’m not real disappointed,” she said. “She (Morgan) is a great competitor.
“(For next week) I just have to work on my momentum.”
Woodrow Wilson’s Ramon Edwards certainly had momentum Wednesday. One of the state’s best sprinters, Edwards showed why. He rolled out to a good start in the 100-meter dash and muscled his way to an easy win, clocking 10.99 seconds, easily ahead of the runner-up, Shady Spring’s Ben Lilly (11.53).
“I felt kind of good,” Edwards said in discussing the 100, after anchoring the Flying Eagles to a third-place effort in the 4x200 relay. “I caught the wind.
“I wanted to get a good time so I get a good lane at states.”
“My start has always been good,” he added. “The whole season, I’ve been working on finishing.”
Edwards later won the 200, turning the half-lap event in 23.15 seconds.
Also on the day, Shady Spring’s Houstin Syvertson defeated Greenbrier East’s Tre’ Moore for the first time in the shot put. Syvertson heaved the ball 52 feet, 1 1/2 inches, and Moore was a distant second in 47-6 1/2.
Moore’s teammate, Devin Wooling, captured the discus with a toss of 127-2. The Spartans got another field events win from Trey Cochran, who claimed the high jump in 6-2 and later anchored East’s winning 4x800 relay, which also included James Messer, Owen Vandenburghe and Garrett Clemons.
The Greenbrier East boys also got a win in the 4x400 relay (3:32.26). Team members were Clemons, Tyler Hanna, Montana Poole and Cochran.
The Spartan girls received wins from Shaye Gadomski (400 in 59.93), the 4x100 relay quartet of Coles, Maggie Butts, Lindsey McClintic and Ashton Holliday (52.85), the 4x200 unit of Gadomski, Butts, Lindsey McClintic and Maddie McClintic (1:49.20), the 4x400 team of Morgan, Maddie McClintic, Lindsey McClintic and Gadomski (4:12.68), Maddie McClintic in the long jump (15-11 ?) and Megan Irvin in the shot put (31-4).
The top three individual finishers in each running event, the shot put, the long jump and the discus, and the top three relay teams in each event, automatically advance to the state meet. The final qualifiers will be determined by the remaining best times and/or distances from all four regions.
The state meet will be held at Laidley Field on Friday and Saturday, May 17 and 18.