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The Press Box for May 15

By Staff | May 15, 2019

The Local area will be sending a total of 65 boys and girls to the State Track Meet in Charleston this Friday and Saturday, with a legitimate chance at bringing home a couple team Championships and several first place individual gold medals.

Some of the local favorites to win their events include Silver Knight high jumper Spencer Corley, going in as the number one seed. Twice this season he has jumped six foot or better and has suffered only one defeat the whole season. Zack Placer may be the favorite to win the 110 meter high hurdles but faces stiff competition from teammate Nathan Barker. Both Hurdlers have been under 16.00 this season with Placer getting a 15.79 at the regional meet. They could get gold and silver with either one winning.

In the 100 meter dash the Knights Mark Rucker is right at the top and if he gets a good start he will be hard to beat. He won the region meet last week and is the number three seed going into the state meet. He is 99 percent healthy so look for him to grab the gold. The Knights 100 meter relay team could also bring home gold now that Rucker is back in the lineup. Also watch out for the shuttle team who will be hard to beat.

Paden City has a good shot at winning gold or silver in the 100 and 200 meter dash with Abbe Stackpole turning on the jets. She placed second in the regionals in both events, but if she gets out of the blocks fast, she could take it all. The Wildcats girls 4×100 meter and 200 meter teams are also very quick and will be competitive.

Paden City has a threat in the shot put where EJ Weber is coming on strong and finished second in the region. He would be hard pressed to knock off the defending state champ but he just might pull it off. In the past two weeks he has improved his throwing by over six feet.

The state track meet is one of the best events the WSSAC puts on all year. In my opinion it’s number one. No bickering, bad sportsmanship or problems with officials. It is also very well attended with both sides of Laidley field filled to capacity. You better get there early if you want a parking spot. Nothing is better than to see athletes making friends and congratulating one another on their victories. It’s neat to see the fans of so many different teams all setting together without any arguing or fighting. It’s just hard to explain how one boy can defeat another and the coaches, athletes and fans are all cheering.

One thing you can count on at the state track meet is it will be hot. I’ve been to the last eight meets and every year I’ve brought home a sun burn. It’s almost non-stop from Friday afternoon to late Saturday evening, so if your looking to go eat or go shopping, plan on missing some of the events.

Magnolia and Tyler will both be sending over 20 kids while Paden City, Valley and Hundred will also be in the hunt. Congratulations to all the athletes who earned their spot at the State Track meet.

It’s a class act, enjoy it. My old buddy Bruce Crawford will be providing coverage for the local newspapers this year for the last time, he’s retiring at the end of the month but will still be helping on a part-time basis. Bruce has 16 years as the sportswriter for the Wetzel Chronicle and has done a nice job. He has always put the kids first and often went out of his way to take pictures and cover games, dedicated people like him are hard to find.

I want to give a big shout out to Paden City and Tyler Consolidated baseball and softball teams on some great moments this season. The season for both schools have ended but won’t soon be forgotten.

The top five sports performances for local athletes this week goes to: 1. Silver Knight Zack Placer with his 15.79 first place finish in the 110 high hurdles at the Regional Track Meet. 2. Paden City’s Trey Slider who got the Region 1, Section 2, baseball win over the Knights throwing 11 K’s to give him over 100 for the season and over 200 for his career. 3. Mark Rucker for his first place 100 meter dash at the Regional and his first leg on the 100 meter relay team that came in first. 4. Paden City’s all underclassman 100 and 200 meter relay teams who came in second to a blazing Wheeling central team. 5. Spencer Corley winning the high jump at the regional and going to state as the number one seed in the event. Have a great week, eparsons@tylerstarnews.com