Prep track: Irish, Bison face tough regional opposition
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."
Jordan Tucker (100), Isaiah Robinson (400), Hayden Harrison (1600, 3200), Gabe Harrison (hurdles) and Cody Sheppard (hurdles) list among top athletes in their respective events, too.
Like Rich, Catholic's Marcus Black could potentially qualify in three events as he ranks with the state's elite in the 800, 1600 and 3200. Caden McClanahan (800), Phillip Mallory (300 hurdles, pole vault) and Keaton Snodgrass (pole vault) will also fight to advance. Sam Revercomb ranks first in the 200, though may not compete due to a hamstring injury, Welch said.
Meanwhile, the Region 3 championship will be held at the University of Charleston's Laidley Field. Fayetteville's Jonathan Gore and Ethan Barker, of Midland Trail, expect to be among top sprinters. Gore lists third best in the long jump too. Greenbrier West's Colby Ennis (110 hurdles) and Cory Cox (high jump) will be among top athletes as well.
For the girls, Abigale Buchan, of Valley Fayette, is expected among top sprinters and high jumpers, and Sherman's Ameelia Sebok in distance events
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THE POCA BOYS, particularly the Dots' throwers expect to dominate the Class AA Region 4 meet to be held at Laidley Field Friday.
Sophomore Christian Buckley ranks No. 1 in both the discus and shot put, far beyond his nearest competitors. Poca's Christan Buckley, Quentin Buckley and Jacob Hickman placed one, two, three at the Cardinal Conference Championships and will look to do the same at regionals.
"They work hard and take a lot of pride in what they do," Poca throwers coach Dana Buckley said. "I think all six throwers have a shot of making it to states again this year. They all seem to be coming together with their form and peaking at the right time."
Poca's Josh Crites will look to experience equal dominance in the hurdles events as he ranks top 10 in both the 110 and 300 hurdles. Crites will battle Herbert Hoover's Josh Gurski as well as Scott's Zack Marcum.
Scott's Will Shaffer represents the top local distance runner and is expected to easily qualify for state in his respective events.
For the girls, Hoover's Emilee Henry is the top sprinter. Other top girls include Poca's Kristen Broughman (shot put), Scott's Haylie Damron (hurdles, long jump) and Hoover's Taylor Marsh (pole vault), among many others.