Elkins Tigers track team set to roar into Charleston today

The Inter-Mountain photos by Brooke Binns A strong team of young men and women from Elkins High School are headed to the 2017 state track meet in Charleston this weekend. Events are scheduled to begin today. The girls team, above left, includes, front row, Hannah Phillips, Nonee High and Ellie Sizick; and back row, Sofia Triplett, Tiera Rowe, Kaci Zopp, Carmen Woodward and head coach Letitia Propst; Olivia Underwood was not pictured.

ELKINS — The Elkins High track team will send 15 individuals to the 2017 West Virginia State Track Meet this weekend in Charleston.

The Tigers 4x800m relay team of Devan Ricottilli, Mason Clark, Brendan Wallace and Adam Yokum will look to rattle off a top six finish in the event to earn All-State distinction. The Tigers relay team currently is ranked seventh going into today’s competition.

“We’ve really worked some line-up changes in this relay all season, and it’s certainly worked to our advantage, as they qualified for the state meet,” said coach Matt Lewis. “They’ve got a really good chance here and I hope that we can pull it off, especially for our seniors.”

Logan Bickel will get things rolling for the Tigers after that, as he competes in the open 100m.

“Logan is an incredible young man, and I couldn’t ask for any more effort out of him,” said Lewis.

The boys team, above right, includes, front row, Brendan Wallace, Devin Riccottilli and Logan Bickel; and back row, assistant coach Jonathan Gainer, Mason Clark, Adam Yokum, Mason Kimbleton, Andrew Kesling and head coach Matt Lewis.

Bickel, a senior, is seeing his first season on the EHS track team and his first WV State Meet.

“Logan has proven consistent over the course of the season, and has PR’d every time he’s hit the track,” Lewis added.

The Tigers 4x200m relay team will also make its debut on the track Saturday. The team is comprised of Mason Kimbleton, Andrew Kesling, Adam Yokum and Bickel.

“I wasn’t sure this relay was going to get in, but they pulled it off with a great run in Regionals,” Lewis said.

Kimbleton, Yokum and Bickel are all first-time track athletes this season.

“This crew has some talent for sure, I really hope we can lock down our best performance of the year on Saturday,” Lewis added.

Senior captain Wallace will also compete on Saturday in the pole vault, having finished fourth in last weeks Regional competition.

“This is the first pole vaulter I have ever qualified to the state meet, which is a great feeling,” Lewis said.

Wallace is ranked in the top 10 in the event heading into Saturday’s competition.

“Brendan is a remarkable young man. He is so deserving of competing in this event, and he’s always that athlete that’s gonna put a grin on your face,” Lewis added.

“It’s awesome that we are competing in so many events at the state meet this season,” said coach Jonny Gainer. The Tigers qualified a total of seven boys to the state meet, with only Clark, Ricottilli and Wallace having been there before.

“Those guys are competitors, and that is what we want to see them do, compete,” Gainer added.

The Lady Tigers will get their day started on Friday as junior Kaci Zopp will look to qualify to the finals in the 100m high hurdles, Nonee High in the 100m dash and Sofia Triplett in the 200m dash.

“It’s great that these girls got out of the Regionals to the state meet,” said coach Letitia Propst. This is High and Zopp’s second state meet, while Triplett, a freshman, is making her debut.

“Our sprinting has truly been the core of our team this season, and I hope we can advance all three girls to Saturday’s finals,” Propst added.

Saturday will be quite the busy day for the Tigers, especially if the ladies make finals tonight. The Tigers will also compete in the 4x100m relay with a team of High, Carman Woodward, Tiara Rowe and Triplett, the 4x200m relay of High, Ellie Sizick, Rowe and Triplett, and the 4x400m relay of High, Rowe, Olivia Underwood and Tiplett.

“Our relays have been our backbone all season and came up huge in Regional qualifying,” Propst said. all three relays are predicted to place with the 4x100m ranked fifth, 4x200m ranked fourth and 4x400m ranked fifth.

“I honestly feel if we can lock down our exchanges, and run to our capabilities, we can be much better than predicted,” added Propst.

“Our girls have all the right pieces to make some noise at the state meet,” said Gainer. The girls relays have consistently been ranked in the top five in the state all season long.

“We’ve found the right line up, and they could potentially break some school records, which would be huge,” added Gainer.

The 2017 West Virginia State Meet gets underway at 2 p.m. today, at Laidley Field, located in Charleston. On Saturday events will resume at 9 a.m