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Elkins track and field teams have strong 2021 debuts

Photo courtesy of Debbie Berdine Elkins High School’s Nate Hulver, left, hands the baton to teammate Isaiah Sigley during the 4x800 relay Tuesday at Buckhannon-Upshur High School. Hulver and Sigley teamed with Luke Anger and Charlie Smoak to win the event.

TENNERTON — After a year of absence due to COVID-19, Elkins High School took to the track Tuesday in the first meet of the season hosted by Buckhannon-Upshur High School.

The Tigers found success often on the day.

Opening up with the first event on the track was the Lady Tigers’ 4×800 relay made up of Samantha Sproul, Anna Belan, Kiley Edwards and Addie Berdine. The group took second with a time of 11:22.

EHS coach Matt Lewis said the first running event was the start of great relay success for the Lady Tigers as the 4×200 relay and 4×100 relays swept both events in 1:56.2 and 55.83, respectfully.

Belan, Gracelin Corley, Kaleigh Edwards and Laney Fletcher competed for EHS in both sprint relays.

“I think the girls relays were quite strong today and looked much smoother than they had been in practice,” Lewis said. “Minus a little bobble that cost us the 4×800 relay win and consequently the ability to compete in the 4x400m relay, I feel strongly we would have swept them all.”

Individually, the Lady Tigers kept the momentum going. Berdine captured wins in the 3,200 (13:45) and 1,600 (6:18.33) to add to the team’s score. Sproul claimed second in the 3,200 (14:15) and third in the 1,600 (6:39.5).

Also contributing to the team’s success was Sophia Shoemaker, who took second in discus (76-7) and fifth in shot put (24-6); Fletcher fourth in the 400 (1:04.43); Corley fifth in the 400 (1:07.14); and Alyson Evick fourth in the 200 (30:54) and fifth in the 100 (14.47).

“Overall the girls had a great day,” Lewis said. It was great to get back on the track and build some confidence as we begin our 2021 campaign.”

B-U took the team title with 185 points, followed by Elkins 84, Lewis County 77, Lincoln 41, Pocahontas County 26 and Notre Dame 0.

The EHS boys team started their 2021 season much like the Lady Tigers.

Opening for the Tigers was the 4×800 relay of Luke Anger, Nate Hulver, Isaiah Sigley and Charlie Smoak.

The unit won the event with a time of 9:00.42. It was the first of many dominating performances from Smoak throughout the day as he went on to take wins in the 1,600 (4:42.47) and 3,200 (10:11.81).

Anger continued the distance dominance for Elkins as he earned the 800 win in (2:11.19) and took third in the 3,200 (11:08). Tyler Burda also contributed to the team’s effort by placing sixth in the 1,600 (5:35.91).

“The distance crew really showed their muscle today,” Lewis said. I was happy to see them lock down some decent times, and I’m looking forward to them seeing some stronger competition in the future to drive their times down.”

Also finding individual success for the Tigers was Sigley in the 400 as he took third in 57.23; Dante Ramirez sixth in the 100 (12.57); Jaemasun Reams second in discus (110-3); and Tayton Lee fifth in shot put (33-4). The 4×100 and 4×200 relays — including Sigley, Andrew McGilberry, Hulver and Ramirez — took third in 49.73 and 1:46.92, respectively.

“I am quite proud of this particularly young group of gentlemen,” Lewis said. “They kept fighting all meet long and were quite shocked and pleased with their performance as was I.”

The host Buccaneers took the team title with 123 points, followed by Lewis County 99, Elkins 76, Pocahontas County 71, Lincoln 63 and Notre Dame 16.

Both Elkins squads will return to action in the UMWA Husky Invitational at North Marion High School on April 23.

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