CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Buffalo and Charleston Catholic list among many talented track and field squads to compete in today's Class A Region 4 championship in what will certainly have a State Meet feel.
The Bison and Irish boys team represent two of the state's top four Class A boys teams competing in the Region 4 championship at Parkersburg. The meet also features defending champ, current No. 1 Doddridge County and defending runner-up Williamstown, in addition to currently rated No. 7 Gilmer County.
"The boys are packed and girls are packed too," Catholic Coach Scott Welch said.
On the girls side, four teams rank in the state's top 10, according to www.runwv.com, including defending champ and runner-up Williamstown and Doddridge, currently ranked one-two. In addition, the Irish rank fifth, with Wahama ninth.
All that competition means many of the State Meet athletes will come from Region 4.
"You send the top three automatically and then the next four fastest times in the state, of all the other three regions, go to state," Welch said. "More than likely, our (region's) top seven will be going to state."
For the Catholic girls, the team's middle-distance runners - Quincy McKown, Peyton Keener and Payton Mullen - represent the best shot to qualify for state. In addition, Gina Marks (shot put) and Catherine Casingal (pole vault) are expected among top regional performers.
At Buffalo, Brianne Cantley will look to advance as she ranks in the state's top 10 for the 100-meter run and 200. In addition, Bison Coach Richie Wyant said Rachel Martin and the team's 4x100 will be among contenders to qualify for state.
For the Buffalo boys, the team leads with its distance runners, paced by Dylan Rich, last year's state champ in the 800 and 1600.
"Dylan Rich is doing outstanding again this year," Wyant said. "He has the best times in the 3200, the 1600 and the 800 right now. His 800 time is the best in the state (for any class) so far."