Rittenhouse Repeats 3200m State Championship
The weather in Charleston this weekend, low 70s with a little light rain Saturday morning, had to help the athletes from the cooler mountain counties who have often melted at past state track meets.ﾠ
The 2010 Pocahontas County High School (PCHS) Boys Track Team coached by Mike Knisely finished in fifth place in Class A at the 2010 West Virginia High School State Track Meet held Friday and Saturday, May 21 and 22, at Laidley Field.ﾠ
This yearﾒs finish by the boys ties the highest finish ever, that of the 2004 boys team that scored 33 points (23 teams scoring).ﾠ The 2009 boys scored 43 points (22 teams scoring) for the points record on their way to a sixth place finish.ﾠ This 2010 team exceeded expectations and again brokeﾠ the points record with 51 points (22 teams scoring).
The top seven boys teams with their point totals followed by Josh Weeklyﾒs RunWV predicted finish were:ﾠ #1 Williamstown ﾖ 77.5 points (Prediction (P) - #2), #2 Charleston Catholic ﾖ 76 (P - #4), #3 Saint Marys ﾖ 64.5 (P - ﾠ#1), #4 Richwood ﾖ 56 (P - ﾠ#3), #5 PCHS ﾖ 51 (P - #7 ), #6 Doddridge County ﾖ 48.5 (P - #6), and #7 Wheeling Central Catholic ﾖ 46.5 (P - #5 ).ﾠﾠ
The results and predictions indicate that Charleston Catholic and PCHS exceeded their seasonﾒs body of work by 20 and 9 points respectively to jump each school two positions higher than predicted.ﾠ Saint Maryﾒs 22.5 point drop resulted in a two position slide from their predicted first place finish to third place.
The top seven girls teams with their point totals were:ﾠ #1 St. Marys ﾖ 128, #2 Williamstown ﾖ 106, #3 Doddridge County ﾖ 63, #4 Charleston Catholic ﾖ 59, #5 McMechen Bishop Donahue ﾖ 34, #6 South Harrison ﾖ 28, and #7 East Hardy ﾖ 22.ﾠ The top four girls teams finished as predicted, and the next three teams were one place off of their predicted finish.ﾠ All state results and predictions can be found on the RunWV.com web site under Track and Field and then under State Meet.
To show how good the prediction research was, Senior Abe Rittenhouse repeated his 3200m run state championship of 2009 in a time of 9:50.92 this year, came in second to senior Derrick Chaffin, of Richwood, a second straight year in the 1600m run (4.31.18 to Chaffinﾒs 4:30.27), and placed fifth in the 800m run (2.01.92), and those are exactly the placements predicted.ﾠ Rittenhouse was also correctly predicted to place fourth among the five high point scorers with his repeat four-medal output.
The only surprise was that Rittenhouse and the rest of the 4x400m team (seniors Josh Arbogast and Jesse Bolyard and junior Tanner Graham) did better, placing second, than their predicted third place finish, to up Rittenhouseﾒs point total to 22, not the predicted 21.5 points.ﾠ Individual relay team members get one-fourth of the placement points using the 10,8,6,4,2,1 point system for first through sixth place for each event.
Rittenhouse was in third place in the 3200m most of the race, but took the lead with about one lap to go.ﾠ Sophomore Andrew Shaffer, of Richwood, finished about 1.5 seconds behind Rittenhouse with Richwoodﾒs Chaffin, the #3 finisher in cross country this year, finishing 25 seconds behind Rittenhouse in fourth place.ﾠ Rittenhouse wasﾠ interviewed by Channel 8 TV Sports of Charleston/Huntington on the 11 p.m. news on Friday about his two straight state championships in the 3200m.ﾠ Rittenhouse said he had dreamed of being on the podium and receiving a state championship medal.ﾠWatching his older brothers, Ben and Nathan, be successful at state track meets helped ignite that dream.
Watching the last event, the boys 4x400m, was worth the cost of admission.ﾠ PCHS was placed in the first slow heat due to a slowerﾠ regional time with Rittenhouse and Graham not running the event at regionals.ﾠ The Warriors took a huge lead from the start and easily beat the other seven teams in 3:34.96, about five seconds better than their #4-ranked time, with the state record being 3:32.57 (Charleston Catholic 2006).ﾠ Charleston Catholic thenﾠ took the same type lead in the second faster heat and knocked more than six seconds off of their #2 ranked time, breaking the state record by about 2.5 seconds.ﾠ When these two rival schools now meet in any sport, both schools push themselves to new heights.
Steve Keenan, of the Beckley Register-Herald, interviewed Chaffin and Rittenhouse about their rivalry this year in the 1600m.ﾠ Rittenhouse explained that he tried to sap some energy out of Chaffin in the raceﾒs early stages.
ﾓChaffin has an awesome kick, so my only hope was to wear him down early,ﾔﾠ Rittenhouse explained.ﾠ ﾓI couldﾒve made up more in the second or third lap, but it didnﾒt happen.ﾔ
The very close high point honors went to seniors #1 Kyle Davies of St. Marys ﾖ 40 points, #2 Derrick Chaffin of Richwood ﾖ 24, #3 Zach Holden of Doddridge ﾖ 23,ﾠ and #4 Rittenhouse of PCHS - 22, and junior #5 Aaron Schneid of Wheeling Central ﾖ 20.ﾠ Davies scored the first 40-point meet in any boys classification with four good medals (100m, 200m, 400m and long jump).
Chaffin broke Williamstownﾒs Ryan Jobesﾒ record (2004 ﾖ 2:00.10) in the 800m with a 1:59.76, and Mount Hope senior Kyle James also came in under the record at 1:59.98.ﾠ Rittenhouse and Chaffin both took about three seconds off their #5 and #2 ranked best season performances.ﾠ There were several runners, including Chaffin, who had to be helped up by Abe after collapsing at the finish of the record-breaking 800m.
The girls high point honors went to:ﾠ #1 (tie) senior Lacey Hampton, of Bishop Donahue ﾖ 30 (broke three meet records), #1 (tie) freshman Maggie Drazba, of St. Marys ﾖ 30, #3 junior Gretchen Lantz, of South Harrison ﾖ 26.25, #4 junior Kelsea Fickiesen of St. Marys ﾖ 24.50 and #5 freshman Sami Harris, of Charleston Catholic ﾖ 22.25.
Tanner Graham, a junior, is now the leading candidate to take gold next year in the 200m with his predicted third place 23.58 finish, .50 second behind senior #1 meet high scorer (all classes) Davies, of St. Marys, and .03 second behind another senior, Kerns, of Williamstown. Grahamﾒs second place medal in the 400m (51.24) wasﾠ .53 second behind Davies also, so
Graham is also heir apparent to the 2011 400m championship.ﾠ Graham went from unranked early in the year to pushing Davies, the top scoring athlete in any class, in two events.
Jesse Bolyard illustrated the extra effort at statesﾠ that lifted PCHS into fifth place.ﾠ Bolyard wasﾠ ranked fourth in the 300m hurdles best performances in April, but then dropped out of the rankings and was not predicted to place at states.ﾠ His regional time was ranked ninth, so he ran the slow heat and won it.ﾠﾠ He ended up with a fifth place medal (43.17) after the times were crunched.
Arbogast, Bolyard and Graham plus junior Noah Pugh of the 4x200m team ended the season ranked #5 in the best performances, and they walked away from Charleston with a fifth-place medal.ﾠ They were not predicted to place, but RunWV.com noted that they were capable of cracking the top five.ﾠ This was Grahamﾒs fourth medal, Bolyard and Arbogastﾒs third medal and Pughﾒs first.
Junior Evan Rose had his best efforts of the season in both the shot put (44-10.50) and the discus (133-02) for fourth and fifth place medals respectively.ﾠ Rose was ranked eighth in the shot and sixth in the discus going into the state meet, and he was predicted to only win fifth in the discus.ﾠ
The closest Kay Wileyﾒs young and improving girls track team came to scoring was in the 800m event.ﾠ Freshman Olivia Workman placed seventh, and her regional time was ranked thirteenth.