CHARLESTON, W.Va – It was an impressive day in Charleston for the Class A state track and field meet as plenty of local athletes took home individual championships in addition to a boys team in the region that was able to claim a team title as well.
The story of the day on the boys side was the battle between Doddridge County and Ritchie County for the team title. It all started with Gus Morrison for the Rebels. He took home three titles including the 330m hurdles.
“Last time I raced on this track was at, I don’t know what the meet was called but I was racing that kid from St. Marys, Hashman,” he said, “and I was ahead of him and he caught me so I was hoping that didn’t happen because I fell the last time he got up to me so I was hoping that didn’t happen again.”
For the bulldogs, Leo Stinespring helped keep the pace. He grabbed the 200m title and it was neck and neck going into the final events of the day.
Ritchie was able to pull back ahead with a two point lead with a victory in the shuttle hurdle relay and that set the stage for the final event of the day, the 4x400m relay.
Doddridge needed a big result to claim the title and there came stinespring down the stretch to edge the leader from St. Marys and Doddridge County is your 2022 Class A boys track and field champion.
“It was back and forth all meet,” he said, “The effort we gave across from the field events to every running event and every single point mattered.”
It wasn’t all lost for the Rebels, however. They took home a runner-up finish and Morrison claimed high point honors. The individual success continued on the girls side for Ritchie as Olivia Cress was out to defend four state titles and with wins in the high jump, long jump, 100m hurdles and 300m hurdles, she was able to do just that and she did with her teammates right by her side.
“It feels great. I was a defender from last year with all my events and I got them again which feels amazing,” she said, “I’m glad I can be here for my school and all my teammates and we could be here together and we did great together.”
While Cress ran away with high point honors, she wasn’t the only local athlete to come home with a state title today. First off, Shellie Baughman of South Harrison was able to claim a championship in the discus and says she did it with the power of a positive mindset.
“When its really quiet, you start getting in your head and it’s better if you and the other girls react to each other and each other’s throws and interact with each other and just be supportive because that’s really the best thing you can have, especially while throwing,” she said.
Other local winners on the girls side included the Tygarts Valley shuttle hurdle relay team of Joie Bell, Alyvia George, Rommie Shumate and Landrie Lanham as well as Abby McDonough whose pole vault win for the second consecutive year helped lead the Doddridge County girls team to a runner-up finish behind Williamstown.
Full results can be found here.