B-U’s Leigh set to defend discus title

TENNERTON – Buckhannon-Upshur’s Mackenzie Leigh will look to defend her state championship in the discus and pick up a title in the shot put when the 100th running of the state track meet begins today at Laidley Field in Charleston.

“She’s a really hard working athlete who spends a lot of extra time working on her strength and conditioning,” B-U girls track coach Jackie Zuliani said. “She’s an all-around great kid. She’s been setting goals since her freshman year. She wants to be the best. She’s got some competition, so we’ll see how it goes. She’s very determined, though.”

Leigh won the Big 10 Championship in the shot put and discus the past two years. Her best discus throw is 139-8 feet and her best effort in the shot put is 41-11 1/2.

“I’m very excited to try for another state championship,” Leigh said. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m nervous for the shot put, but it’s mine to win and theirs to lose. I’m just going to do my best and the rest will take care of itself.”

Leigh, who helped the Bucs capture the Class AAA state team title last spring, has signed a letter of intent to continue her track career next season as Ashland University in Ohio. She also participates in volley ball, earning all-state second-team honors and first team Big 10 laurels.

Leigh will be joined in Charleston by teammates Courtney Reed (100 hurdles), Katy Riley (100 hurdles, pole vault), Leah Stankus (300 hurdles), the 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams, Megan Wilfong (shot put, discus) and Kayla Woody (discus).

B-U boys competing are Marcus Lofton (100, 200), Brandon Mallett (400), Seth Cutright (400), Blake Wolverton (110 hurdles) and the 4×100, 4×200, 4×400 and shuttle hurdles relay teams.

Lewis County’s Dustin Martin, meanwhile, is the favorite in the 110 hurdles, and also will compete in the 300 hurdles and high jump.

Brandon Robinson (discus, shot put), Skyler Carlton (long jump) and Brandon Moneypenny (long jump) will join Martin at states for the Minutemen.