Lady Bucs set state meet record

CHARLESTON – Buckhannon-Upshur’s Lauren Cvechko wanted to make a big splash in the final state meet of her career.

Cvechko and her shuttle hurdle teammates did just that, setting a state record on the opening day of competition at Laidley Field.

“This was special,” Cvechko said. “I’m a senior and I wanted my final state meet to be one I would remember.

“I think we did that today.”

This was the fourth straight state title for Cvechko as a member of the Bucs’ shuttle hurdle relay team. She was joined on this year’s squad by Hannah Stankus, Katy Riley and Courtney Reed. They finished with a time of 1:03.86.

“We really came together as a team this year,” Cvechko said. “Abby Lantz was not able to run after getting hurt during soccer, and the other girls really stepped up and we were able to get our times down as the year went on.”

Meanwhile, B-U’s Mercedes Dowell captured her first state title in the shot put, edging teammate Mackenzie Leigh. Dowell’s toss was 36-07, while Leigh, a junior, had an effort of 38-10.

“I’m very happy to win a state title,” Dowell said. “It really means a lot for me, especially being a senior.”

Dowell has competed in the state meet since her freshman year, finishing in the top 10 in both the discus and shot put every year. She has signed with Marshall.

Leigh rebounded later in the evening to win the title in the discus with a throw of 118-09. Dowell was third.

The Bucs’ Emily Godwin had the fastest qualifying time in the 100 hurdles (14.94) on Friday and will look to add to her nine total career state titles today. She also will compete in the 300 hurdles and long and high jump.

B-U finished with 45 points to lead the team standings after one day. Defending state champion Morgantown and Hurricane are tied for second with 18 points.

On the boys’ side, B-U’s Isaac Johnson turned in a toss of 48-11 to place second in the shot put.

In Class A, Tucker County’s girls shuttle hurdle relay team finished second in a time of 1:07.03. Team members included Amber Evans, Caroline Miller, Kylie Moore and Olivia Miller, who also turned in a third-place showing in the high jump, while the 4×800 relay team (Cassidy, Madison Reall, Taylor Ambrose and Madison Mullenax) finished third.

Tucker County’s Ashley Cassidy also placed second in the 3,200. She also will compete in today’s 1,600.

The Mountain Lions turned in a solid day in the team standings, finishing with 30 points to trail leader Williamstown by six points.

In Class AA, Philip Barbour’s Derek Branka placed second in the long jump with a leap of 19-03.75.

The state meet will conclude day with events starting at 9 a.m.