Track teams do well at cold Richwood meet
The Pocahontas County Track teams opened their 2011 seasons on a cold and nasty April Fools Day at Richwood. Last year's opener at Richwood was on a warm Good Friday.
The Warriors improved upon their second place finish to Richwood last year with a first place finish in the five team meet this year (PCHS - 190, Richwood - 134, Webster - 94, Mount Hope - 38 and Meadow Bridge - 18).
The Lady Warriors matched their third place finish in 2010 this year (Richwood - 227, Webster - 121, PCHS - 80, Meadow Bridge -43 and Mount Hope - 0).
Grabbing individual first place honors were: seniors Evan Rose (shot put and discus), Noah Pugh (110m hurdles), and Tanner Graham (200m and 400m), and juniors Jesse Taylor (300m low hurdles) and Samantha Walton (100m).
Second place individual finishers were: Graham (100m), junior Andy Myers (800m), sophomore Clayton Irvine (1600m and 3200m), and freshman Fredricah Gardner (discus).
Third place medal winners were: senior Alex Rodriguez (400m), Taylor (110m hurdles), and sophomores Phillip Whiteis (800m), Parker White (200m) and Olivia Workman (400m).
The PCHS girls had 11 finishers place in fourth through sixth place, and the boys had 10.
All four boys relay teams placed first: 4x100m and 4x200m (Seth Doss, Jessie Hoke, Kyler Doss and Seth Painter), 4x400m (Rodriguez, Taylor, Curtis Pyles and Bill Kelley), and 4x800m (Rodriguez, Skylar Knisely, Curtis Pyles and Whiteis). The girls 4x400m relay team placed first (Chantella Lewis, Clair Mosesso, Kindsey Myers and Jennifer Fertig).
Three girls relay teams placed second: 4x100m (Lindsey Kinder, Kristen Beverage, Walton, and Emily Gibson), 4x200m (Beverage, Fertig, Gibson and Ashley Peacock), and 4x800m (Workman, Lewis, Rachel McComb and Jessalyn Hamilton).
Coach Mike Knisely is fielding an experienced team with eight seniors, 10 juniors, 11 sophomores and six freshmen, while Coach Kay Wiley is fielding a young team with great potential that includes only one senior, two juniors, 11 sophomores and 10 freshmen. Wiley's right-hand lady, ready to help her coach whenever needed, is Mali Minter. Both are veteran coaches with years of experience and success.
The PCHS Boys finished their 2010 season by breaking the PCHS points record at the state track meet with a 51 point effort (22 teams scoring). The 2010 boys' fifth place finish matched the 2004 boys team. State champion Abe Rittenhouse scored 22 of those 51 points last year, and he and several top athletes from his class have graduated and created opportunities for younger athletes to try to match their efforts.
Pocahontas County's cold, snowy spring weather always delays the early progress of the PCHS track season, but the 2011 weather has been particularly bad. Saturday's Greenbrier East Invitational was cancelled due to snow. PCHS will return to Richwood for another meet on April 13.