Area athletes headed to states

TENNERTON – Jefferson captured both team titles at the Class AAA, Region II track and field meet Friday at Buckhannon-Upshur High School.

The Jefferson boys finished with 125 points to outdistance Hedgesville (74). Washington was third with 69 points, followed by Martinsburg (55), Lewis County (51), Hampshire (48), Buckhannon-Upshur (43), Musselman (42), Elkins (35) and Spring Mills (15).

The Tigers’ 4×800 relay team, comprised of Matt Wallace, Remington Knight, Austin Hamrick and Chris Bodkins, turned in a strong performance, placing second with a time of 8:23.10. EHS led the entire race until Jefferson standout Andrew Milliron made a late surge down the stretch to give his squad the hard-fought victory at the finish line.

“The fight in our four guys was unbelievable,” EHS boys Matt Lewis said. “They fought right down to the line with the state’s best team and almost pulled off the upset.”

Wallace also qualified for states in the 1,600 and 800 by placing second and third, respectively.

Michael Beckwith also advanced to Charleston in the shot put for the Tigers with a launch of 44-2 to finish second.

“Michael came up huge today,” Lewis said. “He knew he was capable of that type of throw, and when the chips were down, he pulled out.”

B-U was led by Marcus Lofton, who placed second in both the 100 and 200. The Bucs’ 4×200 relay team (Lofton, Seth Cutright, Brandon Mallett and Blake Wolverton) also finished second and the shuttle hurdle relay team (Jared Hollen, Wolverton, Cody Luterek and Cutright) was third to qualify for states.

Lewis County’s Dustin Martin captured both the 110 and 300 hurdles, while finishing second in the high jump.

“We performed better than anticipated,” Lewis said. “My congratulations goes out to the boys and girls who made it the state meet and to those who didn’t.

“They all worked extremely hard and showed up to perform. You can’t ask any more as a coach.”

Jefferson finished with 125 points in the girls meet, followed by Washington (107), B-U (78), Hampshire (67), Hedgesville (53), Martinsburg (52), Elkins (30), Spring Mills (30) and Musselman (16).

Elkins’ Kathlyne Simmons and Jontasia Sitton will both return to the state meet after finishing third in the long jump and shot put, respectively.

“Come championship meet time, it’s nice to see people coming through in the clutch,” EHS girls coach Scott Biola said. “I was pleased to see those two make it and we’ll be up late tonight looking at the other regions to see if we’ve got any other qualifiers.”

As of presstime today, additional area athletes could qualify for the state meet, including EHS’ Remington Knight in the 800, as other times are calculated from the state’s three other regional meets.

Biola added his 4×200 relay team (Paige Harrison, Simmons, Lindsay Roy and Olivia Underwood) also has a chance to qualify.

“They rose to the level of the competition and have a very realistic shot with that kind of a time (1:51.00).”

Skylee Watson just missed qualifying in the 800 with a fourth-place showing for EHS.

The Bucs’ had first-place finishes from Mackenzie Leigh in the shot put and discus and freshman Leah Stankus in the 300 hurdles.

Leigh, who has signed to attend Ashland University, is the defending state champion in the discus for the Bucs, who captured the team title last spring in Charleston.

Courtney Reed was second in the 100 hurdles, Katy Riley was third in the pole vault and 100 hurdles, while Megan Wilfong placed second in the shot put and third in the discus.

The state meet will be held May 23-24 at Charleston’s Laidley Field.