High school track teams have been forced to run and throw and jump in cold, blustery weather throughout much of the 2012 season, which was quite a difference from the 80-plus temperatures at the West Virginia State Track and Field Championships in Charleston on May 18-19. The WVSSAC hosted the 98th boys and 38th girls State Meet at Laidley Field with more than 145 boys and girls teams competing in all three classes.
The only gold medal brought home by local athletes was that of junior pole vaulter for Tyler Consolidated, Hunter LeMasters who took first place in the class AA event with a vault of 13-06. After bringing home the runner-up medal for the last two years, LeMasters was determined to give this competition his best shot.
"It was the best feeling in the world," he said. "When I was going over the bar at 13-06, I knew I had it. I'm overwhelmed."
"It was a pleasure to watch Hunter LeMasters win his first state title in the pole vault," said head coach of the Knights, Eric McKeever. "He worked extremely hard this season and it paid off, and just think, he has one more year."
The boys track team from Tyler Consolidated qualified several individuals for the state meet with LeMasters scoring the best win. Individually, junior Alex Doak took third in the 400 meter with a 50.88 performance, fifth in the 200 meter with a time of 22.97, and 7th in the 100 meter in 11.64. Senior Slade Dillon placed 6th overall in the shot put event with a put of 44-01.25, and 11th in the discus with a throw of 124-08; Johan Aasland placed 7th overall in the 300 meter hurdles in 42.30; Dylan Romine jumped 5-08 at the high jump bar to take 10th place.
The boys shuttle team of LeMasters, Christian Ice, Aasland, and Jeremy Smith took fifth place at state in 1:02.20; and the 4 x 800 relay team of Ryan Dalrymple, Dylan Reynolds, Romine and Smith placed 11th overall with a time of 9:01.04.
The Ritchie County Rebel boys team took the class AA team championship with an overall score of 71. Point Pleasant Big Black placed second overall with 66 points, followed by Magnolia with 58; Liberty Harrison, 42; Braxton County, 30.50; Berkeley Springs, 29; Scott, 28; Greenbrier West, 26; Grafton, 25 Shady Spring, 24; Tyler Consolidated, 21; Frankfort, 15; Poca, 14; Independence, 14; Webster, 13; Oak Glen 13; Oak Hill, 12; Lincoln, eight; Sherman, eight; Keyser, eight; Herbert Hoover, seven; Roane County, 6.50; Westside, six; Philip Barbour, six; Weir, four; and Bluefield, three.
The Lady Knight shuttle hurdle relay team of Makayla Clegg, Sami Jones, Allison Wable and Haylea LeMasters brought home the highest medal placement of the Consolidated girls' team in one of the most exciting races at the State Meet with a second place finish in that event with a time of 1:08.46 just behind the Keyser team who finished in 1:07.15.
The 4 x 400 meter relay team of Marisa Gogan, Keri Suter, Wable, and Carly Fletcher finished in 8th place in 4:28.55; the 4 x 200 meter relay team of Fletcher, Wable, Torrye Cline, and Kerstyn Cline placed 12th overall in 1:55.54; and the 4 x 800 relay Lady Knight team of Caroline Bantug, Gogan, Courtney Daughety, and Haleigh Smith finished the race in 11:11.53 for 14th place.
Individually for the Silver Ladies, Haylea LeMasters placed fourth overall in the class AA girls pole vault competition with a vault of 8-00, took 8th place in the 100 meter hurdles with a finishing time of 17.46, and 11th in the 300 meter hurdles in 50.95. Kerstyn Cline placed 14th in the long jump with a jump of 13-08.25 while team mate Caroline Bantug placed 16th overall with a jump of 13-02.
The girls team from Berkeley Springs took the class AA overall title with 76 points. Frankfort placed second with 74; followed by Keyser with 69; Oak glen, 54; Shady Spring, 48; Summers County, 38; Point Pleasant, 31; Liberty Harrison, 30; Lincoln, 24; Ritchie County, 20; Weir, 17; Wayne, 16; Webster County, 13; Philip Barbour, 13; Roane County, 12; Tyler Consolidated, 12; Independence, five; Oak Hill, three; and Poca, Grafton and Magnolia scoring one point each.
Going into the state meet, Paden City senior Taylor Parsons and freshman Kennedy Cain had qualified to participate in more events than other members of the team, and though neither brought home gold, both competed very well in each of their events.
Parsons brought home the third place medal in the 300 meter hurdle event with a time of 47.60 and the 6th place prize in the 100 meter hurdles, finishing in 16.96. The Lady Wildcat shuttle hurdle relay team of Lynnsie Parsons, Josie Fox, Logan Cosper and Taylor Parsons took 7th place in that event with an overall time of 1:12.19; and the 4 x 200 meter relay team of Cosper, Haley Hizer, Fox and Taylor Parsons placed 12th in 2:00.85.
Williamstown took the girls team championship in the class A division with 152 points. Doddridge County placed second with 99 points, followed by St. Marys with 91; Tucker County, 50; Clay Battelle, 40; Charleston Catholic, 26; Trinity Christian, 21; Madonna, 16; Wheeling Central Catholic, 15; Union, 14; Buffalo, nine; Bishop Donahue, eight; Paden City, seven; Gilmer, four; Valley, two; Cameron, two; East Hardy, one and Richwood, one.
For the Wildcat boys' Cain placed 11th overall in the 400 meter event in 54.75, and ran the second leg of the 4 x 200 meter team along with Kane Pyles, Brandon Cross and James Baker to finish in 13th place in 1:40.36.
Senior Keith Hardbarger placed 10th overall in the shot put competition with a put of 37-10.
In the boys Class A overall team competition, the Doddridge County Bulldogs scored 109 points to take home the team trophy. Williamstown placed second with 70 points, followed by St. Marys with 60; Charleston Catholic, 51; Buffalo, 4; Valley, 34; Bishop Donahue, 24; Fayetteville, 22; Valley Fayette, 22; Wahama, 19; Richwood, 19; South Harrison, 17; East Hardy, 17; Clay Battelle, 15; Gilmer, 15; Pocahontas, 10; Tucker County, four; Madonna, four; Midland, Trail, one; Hannan, one; and Wirt, one.
Athletes from Paden City and Tyler Consolidated have an entire year to prepare for next years' State Track meet, work on their times, jumps and throws and be prepared to go head-to-head, for next year both will be competing in the class A division, against one another.