Yellowjackets cruise at states

Williamstown girls crush the rest of Class A on way to title

JOSH HUGHES, The Marietta Times Williamstown's girls track and field team celebrates a dominant Class A state track and field championship performance Saturday after events concluded at Laidley Field in Charleston, W.Va.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Ella Hesson took home high-point honors and the Williamstown girls of head man Zach Hall rolled to the Class A girls state championship here Saturday as the Yellowjackets scored 108.5 points to easily outdistance runner-up Ritchie County (52) and third-place Wheeling Central (48).

Hesson swept the 800 (2:22.99), 1600 (5:24.87) and 3200 (11:30.02). She also ran a leg on Friday’s victorious 4×800 team, which gave her 32.5 points.

“I’m not the biggest fan of the heat, but it’s all right,” Hesson said of the 90-plus degree temperature. “Everyone was feeling the heat. You just have to push through it.

“There’s a bunch of really good girls here and you never know what to expect. It feels good. It’s been amazing. We’re all so close as a team and push each other so hard.”

Coach Hall also watched the Yellowjackets’ 4×200 team of Camryn Irvin, Ella McCullen, Emma Berman and Lilly McCullen set a new state meet record with a time of 1:45.36.

Yellowjackets’ distance runner Ella Hesson participates in a state final. Hesson captured high-poing honors in Class A. JAY W. BENNETT, The Marietta Times

Lilly McMullen, who set a state record during Friday’s 100 prelims, finished the final on Saturday in third with a rounded up time of 12.82. Doddridge County’s Jonna Ferrell won the event with a 12.80 and Wheeling Central’s Kenadee Wayt had a 12.8136 to McMullen’s 12.8196.

Despite the loss in the 100, McMullen owns the state record and also finished with championships in the 200 (25.87) and the 400, where she edged out younger sister Ella, 56.97 to 59.50.

“We’re all pretty close,” Lilly McMullen said of the sprinters.

“Very nerve racking, but also very exciting. I only have one more year left after this and I just want to make the most of it. Our team is amazing. We have a really strong team.”

When asked if she knew on Friday her time of 12.41 broke the 2006 state meet record of 12.42 set in 2006 by Fayetteville’s Jasmine Cotton she replied, “I had no idea until coach Hall texted me.

“I had a lot of support from friends, family and coaches.”

When asked if the ‘Jackets would win it all again in 2020 she added, “we hope, we hope. We have a very strong freshman class right now and they keep getting better.”

The ‘Jackets also ended the meet with a state championship in the 4×400 (4:10.21) thanks to Irvin, Berman, Sofia Calvet and Ella McMullen.

Parkersburg Catholic’s Aaliyah Brunny, who won the 300 hurdles with a time of 45.84, also placed third in the 100 hurdles on Saturday.

“Well, I wasn’t as nervous as I was last year,” said the PCHS sophomore. “I was really nervous. Knowing how the atmosphere was going to be really helped. I’m very pleased. My goal is to get all-state for all three of the sports I do.”

Magnolia’s Mady Winters swept the single-A throws with a discus effort of 124 feet, 5 inches and a 38-4.5 in the shot put.

“I was expecting one (title), but I did better I guess,” admitted the Blue Eagle. “I beat my PR by six feet in the discus. I guess I had a good day. I knew if I threw my best I could win the shot.”

Ritchie County freshman Olivia Cress brought home a state title to Ellenboro in the long jump (16-5.5) as she topped Doddridge County’s Faith Galagar (16-1.25), third place Jaci Rohde of Magnolia, Rebel fourth place teammate Catherine Jones and fifth place ‘Jacket Jillian Modesitt.

“It wasn’t my best, but it was all right,” she said of her winning effort. “It’s still not my best jump. That’s 16-9. I really, really loved being down here.

“Thankfully, I avoided the weather (on Friday). We got done with the shuttles and then it started raining. I’m really happy and excited about all of this.”

Cress also finished fifth in the 100 hurdles on Saturday.

Also placing individually in single-A from the Mid-Ohio Valley were St. Marys’ Erica Davis (4th, 400; 5th, 800), Ritchie County’s Presley Johnson (4th, 300H), Blue Devil Jessy Higgins (6th, 3200), Paden City’s Abbe Stackpole (4th, 200; 4th, 100), Magnolia’s Kyndra Pilant (2nd, shot put; 3rd, discus), Wirt County’s Alexis Petrovsky (4th, discus; 5th, shot put), Williamstown’s Bethany Arnold (3rd, shot put; 6th discus), Magnolia’s Jaci Rohde (5th, 100) and Ravenswood’s Lakyn Swindler (6th, 100H).

Magnolia finished with 45 points to top Buffalo (43.5) for fourth place. Doddridge County had 40 points to place sixth and Parkersburg Catholic took 10th with 18 points.