B-U girls, Jefferson boys to lead field

The Buckhannon-Upshur girls and Jefferson boys are the favorites in today’s Class AAA, Region II track meet at Lewis County High School.

The nine-school event is scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m.

The Bucs enter the competition led by the state’s premier track athlete Emily Godwin, who looks to return to the state meet to defend four titles she captured last May.

The North Carolina signee is the frontrunner in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles, and the long and high jumps. Godwin is the state record holder in the 300 hurdles, a mark she set at the 2011 state meet.

Godwin’s stiffest competition in the 300 will be from teammate Lauren Cvechko and Hampshire’s Taylor Harwood.

Cvechko also will challenge Godwin in the jumping events, along with Hedgesville’s Cassidy Scott.

B-U’s tandem of Mackenzie Leigh and Mercedes Dowell are the frontrunners in the discus and shot put events.

Washington and Jefferson are expected to challenge B-U for the team title. Washington is led by sprinters Devyn Hosby and Rhonda Rogombe, while sprinter Alanna Baylor and distance runner Abby Colbert anchor Jefferson.

Elkins’ Ashley Simmons and younger sister Kathlyne Simmons look to qualify in the shot put and long jump, respectively. Kathlyne Simmons participated in the state meet last year as a freshman.

The Tigers’ 4×100 relay team (Elise Reed, Lindsay Roy, Paige Harrison, Ashley Simmons) also looks for a state berth.

In the boys race, three-time state champion Jefferson will be led into competition by sprinter and Virginia Tech signee Dante Price, who is the two-time defending state champ in both the 100 and 200. His time (10.66) in last year’s state meet was the fourth best all-time.

The Cougars also look to sprinter Warren Gray, high jumper Jordan Hardiman, long jumpers Grant Martinez and Dante McCarroll, and distance runners Ryan Graf and Andrew Milliron.

B-U is led by shot putter Isaac Johnson, hurdler Seth Cutright and high jumper Marcus Lofton, while Lewis County features high jumper Caleb Butcher and hurdler Dustin Martin.

Elkins hopes to qualify distance runners Austin Hamrick and Matt Wallace, along with Michael Beckwith in the discus and the 4×800 and 4×400 relays.

“I think if Matt and Austin run consistent laps, they should be fine,” Elkins boys coach Matt Lewis said. “I also feel good about our relay teams.”

The state meet will be held May 17-18 at Charleston’s Laidley Field.