29 PCHS athletes qualify for state track meet
Two years ago the #7 ranked 2010 PCHS Boys Track Team came within five points (180 - 185) of upsetting the then #3-ranked Richwood (RHS) team at regionals after taking the crown in 2009 with a record 183 points. One year ago the #6-ranked 2011 Warriors took the crown back from the then #7-ranked Lumberjacks with record points (202 - 148). This past Friday at Laidley Field in Charleston, Richwood took the crown back in 2012 (159-119). The scores of the other four teams were: #3 Fayetteville - 96, #4 Midland Trail - 60, #5 Valley Fayette - 48 and #6 Meadown Bridge - 18. Williamson and Mount Hope previously competed in region 3, but the two Class A schools no longer exist due to consolidation into bigger schools.
The PCHS girls, a close third in 2009 ( record 88 points) to second place RHS, repeated their second place finish of 2010 (record 90 points) in 2011 to champion RHS (243-84). The Lady Warriors came home again this year with a second place to RHS (207-88). The scores of the other four teams this year were: #3 Valley Fayette - 47, #4 Fayetteville - 41, #5 Midland Trail - 36 and #6 Meadow Bridge - 35.
Region 4 again had the greatest depth and most high-ranked teams (nine ranked teams) this year with 37 girls and 43 boys at-large births (one tie), Region 1 with seven ranked teams - 29 and 15, Region 2 with two ranked teams - three and three, and Region 3 with two ranked teams - 0 and 5 (one tie). The tie involves Region 3's sixth place finisher in the 200m, PCHS junior Seth Painter, and Region 4's fifth place, Calhoun County senior Nathan Cosgrove. Both boys ran the 200 finals at 24.59. The SSAC will determine which boy gets to run the event at states.
Thirteen or 14 boys (depending upon tie-breaker in 200m) in 13 events will advance to states by finishing in at least third place or by securing an at-large birth. Automatic Qualifying Standards (AQS) were dropped for the Long Jump, Shot Put and Discus in 2011. The AQS for Pole Vault (11' boys and 8' girls - Class A) and High Jump (6' boys and 4'10" girls) are still in affect. Seventeen boys in 16 events advanced to states in 2011 versus 16 boys in 16 events in 2010. Fourteen girls qualified in six events this year versus 11 girls in nine events in 2011 and 14 girls in 10 events in 2010.
The only two PCHS athletes this year leading the teams to states in four events are seniors Jesse Taylor and Curtis Pyles. Qualifying in three events are: senior Bill Kelley; juniors Clayton Irvine, Seth Painter and Parker White; and sophomore Fredricah Gardner.
Taylor was PCHS high scorer with four gold medals for the second straight meet including three individual events (110 hurdles - 16.95, 300 hurdles - 44.72, high jump - 5.8 and shuttle hurdles - 1.05.08). Taylor matched #1 and #2 ranked Class A males in West Virginia, senior Matthew White, of Valley Fayette, and senior Andrew Shaffer, of Richwood, plus junior Breanna Mazzella, of Richwood, with each winning three individual gold medals. Freshman Abigale Buchan, of Valley Fayette, won four individual gold medals to lead all athletes. Other members of the PCHS shuttle hurdles relay team are Pyles, Kelley and Stephen Simmons.
Gardner was again the girls PCHS high scorer with two gold medals in individual events (shot put - 27.0 and discus - 79.11). Sophomore Judd Walther, in Devin Rose's absence, won gold in the discus - 118-07. Two other PCHS relay teams winning gold were: Olivia Workman, Sam Walton, Alli- son Jonese and Lindsey Kinder - 4x100 (55.44); and Kyler Doss, Pyles, Kelley, and Painter - 4x200 (1.37.64).
Bringing home three individual silver medals were: Ashley Peacock - shot put (25.09), and Irvine - 1600 (5.09.35) and 3200 (10.53.82). Five relay teams winning silver were: Gardner, Peacock, Lindsey Myers and Emily Gibson - 4x200 (2.08.96); Rachel McComb, Jessayln Hamilton, Heather Pritt and Rebeka Anderson - 4x400 (5:35.48); Workman, White, Gibson and Kinder - shuttle hurdles (1.16.43); Painter, Kelley, Pyles and Doss - 4x100 (46.33); and Andrew Morrison, White, Georg Faeber and Irvine - 4x800 (9.23.76).
PCHS won four individual bronze medals: Sara Jonese - shot put (25.07.75), Pyles - 300 (24.39), White - 800 (2:20.44), and Ryan Cain - shot put (38.04).
Pyles won an at-large slot in the 200 with a fifth place time of 24.05.
PCHS athletes still in the state top-10 in their events for meets held by May 5 and received by May 7 are: #4 (three-way tie) Jesse Taylor - high jump (6.0), #4 boys 4x200 team (136.40), #5 boys shuttle hurdles (105.10), #6 Devin Rose - discus (122.09), #7 boys 4x100 team (46.50), #7 (tie) Judd Walther (122.08), #7 girls 4x100 (55.50), #8 Fredricah Gardner - discus (90.02), #8 girls shuttle hurdles (114.20), #9 Jesse Taylor - 300 hurdles (43.90), and #9 (three-way tie) Bill Kelley - high jump (5.08).
PCHS will attempt to improve upon their 2009 sixth place boys finish (43 points with 22 teams scoring) and 2010 fifth place finish (51 points with 21 teams scoring). Looking back through the runwv.com records through 1998, the 2010 PCHS boys tied the best state finish in 2004 with a fifth place finish (33 points with 23 teams scoring), and 2010's 51 points was the highest point total. The 2011 eighth place boys finish (35 points with 23 teams scoring) was two ranks short of runWV.com's predicted sixth place finish. The PCHS girls best state finish was in 2007 with a 9th place finish (26.5 points with 20 teams scoring). 2002 was the last year for the combined Class A and AA meets that usually had more than 30 teams scoring.
The state meet is Friday (2 p.m. start) and Saturday (9 a.m. start), May 18-19, at Laidley Field in Charleston, and temperatures are predicted to be close to 80 degrees.