B-U track athlete Dowell signs intent with Marshall

On the eve of the state track meet, Buckhannon-Upshur’s Mercedes Dowell made her college decision Thursday by signing a letter-of-intent with Marshall.

Dowell will compete in the discus and shot put events for the Herd, and possibly the hammer throw.

“(Marshall) was the best choice for me,” Dowell said. “I really liked the program and coaches there, plus they are working on building an indoor facility.”

Dowell said the location of Huntington also played a part in her decision.

“I wanted to be close to home so my parents could come and see me compete,” she said. “That was really important to me.”

Dowell plans to spend the summer training for the next level.

“I plan to continue working with my high school coach (Jackie Zuliani) to get stronger,” Dowell said. “I’m going to lift weights and get into a routine.”

Before she takes her talents to Huntington, however, Dowell has some unfinished business to tend to in the state meet, which begins today in Charleston.

This will be her fourth straight meet appearance.

“When you’re a freshman and sophomore, there’s not that much pressure and you can have some fun,” Dowell said. “But once you are a junior and senior, you’re expected to do well.”

Dowell has finished in the top 10 in both the discus and shot put the past three years n Charleston. The Bucs have won two of the last three Class AAA state titles.

“My goal (at states) is to do as much as a I can for the team,” Dowell said. “Our seniors want to go out with a state title.

“We fell short last year (finishing runner-up to Morgantown), so we’re excited and looking forward to the competition.”