Jackets 3-peat: Williamstown girls claim third straight A crown

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – On a day when the Williamstown girls track program finished off a three-peat for the Class A state crown, St. Marys senior Maggie Drazba ended her prep career as a Blue Devil with a trio of victories and Doddridge County’s D’Andra Swiger earned high-point honors with 37.

Saturday turned out as expected as the Yellowjackets of head coach Zach Hall posted 114 points to run away with the team championship. The Bulldogs of mentor Craig Keller took runner-up honors with 67, finishing just ahead of Tucker County (63).

The West Virginia University-bound Drazba broke her own state meet record in the 3200 (10:31.83) and also coasted to victories in the 800 (2:21.42) and 1600 (5:03.53). Drazba finished with 30.5 points, earning the half by running the anchor leg on the Blue Devils’ fifth place 4 by 800 team.

“I was really happy to get the 3200 (time) down,” Drazba said. “I just didn’t have it today for that (breaking her own 1600 record).

“Overall, I was pleased with how the weekend went. My last high school race in a St. Marys uniform. I guess it’s kind of sentimental.”

The senior Swiger posted victories on Saturday in the 200 (26.18), the 300 low hurdles (45.41) and in the long jump (17-2). Swiger’s time in the 300 hurdles lowered her own meet record and she nipped Williamstown’s Andrea Chidester in the 200 by seven-tenths of a second. In the long jump, she finished ahead of Bulldog teammate Sarah Ferguson, who went 16-3.25.

“Today was so much better,” said Swiger, who finished in a tie for second on Friday night in the high jump. “I felt fine high jumping. It’s just my steps were wrong.

“I did have a horrible day jumping, but I’m not making any excuses. It (Friday’s event) was in the past and I needed to move on.”

Ferguson didn’t go without a victory, though, as the Bulldog 11th-grader captured the 100 high hurdles with a clocking of 15.52.

Despite coming up just short against Swiger in the 200, Chidester was able to claim a photo finish in the 100 versus Wahama’s Kelsey Zuspan (12.69 to 12.72) and also picked up 10 points for placing first in the 400 (58.66).

“It feels good,” noted the junior Chidester of winning another state team title. “I’ve been hurt the whole year. I mean it could’ve been better if I was healthy, but since I was hurt it’s all right.”

Williamstown also had winning individual efforts on Friday by Megan Steele in the high jump (5-2) and from Lincoln Postlewaite in the pole vault. Postlewaite, who owns the Yellowjacket school record at 11-1, topped her own state meet record with a vault of 10 feet, 7 inches. “That was definitely something I wanted to achieve this year,” Postlewaite stated.

On winning the team race for a third straight year, she added “we’ve went through a lot of trouble and kind of been low on girls compared to previous years, but we really pulled together as a team and it took a lot of teamwork.”

Laura Taylor of St. Marys had the best local finish in the shot put, finishing as a runner-up with a heave of 31 feet, 10 inches. Williamstown’s Rylee Cunningham (101-2), Melissa Cieslewski (100-10) and Lisa Spencer (98-2) took fourth through sixth, respectively, in the discus.

No squad from the Mid-Ohio Valley managed to capture a relay crown, but Williamstown’s 4 by 800 team finished second as the quartet of Kathleen Cornell, Allie Robinson, Carley Ellison and Cami Mossor clocked in at 10:35.3.

Clay-Battelle (51), Charleston Catholic (50), St. Marys (40) and Tyler Consolidated (34) rounded out the top seven in team scoring.

“They did what we asked. They came out and performed,” Hall said of his team, which suffered a disqualification in the shuttles on Friday night, dropped a baton in the 4 by 100 and also had a bad exchange in the 4 by 200.

As far as whether or not WHS can win it for a fourth consecutive year next spring?

“All I’m going to say is we will be all right,” said the coach.