LKC champs again: Williamstown girls win 4th straight league crown

WILLIAMSTOWN – The current three-time defending Class A state champion Williamstown girls track team made it four titles in a row here late Friday night at the annual Little Kanawha Conference meet as head coach Zach Hall’s Yellowjackets dominated the field with 165 points.

Doddridge County’s boys topped last year’s LKC champion Ritchie County, 120 to 96.5, for head man Bobby Burnside at the Jack Jones Track and Field Complex.

“Winning the LKC is prestigious and I’m very proud of the team. It was a total team effort,” Burnside said. “Team-wise it’s been a really good year up to this point and we graduated a great senior class last year.

“There has been a lot of pleasant surprises. There were some bad things, but there were more good things.”

Rebel Jayden Allender secured high-point honors by notching 38. He won the 110 high hurdles (15.16), the 300 hurdles (39.92), the high jump (6-2) and was runner-up to Roane County’s Troy Fisher (50.39 to 51.06) in the open 400. Fisher’s time of 2:01.78 was good for the win in the 800 against Webster County runner-up Brettley Harris, who ran a 4:32.99 to win the mile.

“We had to have a perfect meet and Doddridge had to stumble a little bit and they didn’t stumble much,” admitted Ritchie County boys head coach Rick Haught. “Jayden stepped up, but we went 1-2 in the highs and went 1-3 in the 3s (300 hurdles) with Clayton Satterfield having a big night for us.

“You’ve got to have depth to win the LKC. Doddridge just has that depth. Johnny Hogue (3200 winner, 9:57.28) ran two and a half laps in the mile before cramping up and then we opted not to run him in the 800. He’s just too important for us in two weeks (at state).”

The Yellowjacket girls received a record-breaking performance from sophomore Brooklyn Hammer in the open 100. Her finals clocking of 12.36 smashed the all-time LKC mark of 12.84 previously set in 1994 by Ritchie County’s Jessica Adams.

Doddridge County’s Sarah Ferguson, who won high-point honors with 40 thanks to her quartet of firsts, had another dominating meet. For the fourth consecutive spring, the Bulldog topped the field in the 100 high hurdles. Ferguson’s time of 14.60 broke her own LKC mark of 15.73 she established two years ago as a 10th-grader. Ferguson also won the 300 hurdles (44.70), the long jump (16-1.5) and the 200 as she edged Hammer, 26.25 to 26.56.

In fact, Ferguson’s 200 effort also broke the all-time LKC mark of 26.44, which was held by Adams and Gilmer County’s Camai Roberson.

“She’s consistent and I’m just very, very proud of her,” said Bulldog head girls coach Craig Kellar. “She works hard and does whatever we ask her to do and has a good attitude about it. She’s strong.”

Williamstown’s Madelin Gardner, the pole vault champion with an effort of 10 feet, 6 inches, was runner-up by less than a second to Ferguson in both hurdles events. Gardner finished with a winning time of 1:01.15 to capture the 400 and ended the meet with 36 points.

Samantha Stout of Webster County had an impressive evening as a triple-winner thanks to triumphs in the 800 (2:31.77), 1600 (5:41.15) and 3200 (12:22.69). Yellowjacket Cami Mossor was runner-up in the 800 and 1600 while Ravenswood’s Taylor Treadway finished second in the 2-mile.

The Doddridge County girls, who tallied 97.2 points to grab runner-up honors and finish ahead of fellow top five teams Tyler Consolidated (66.4), Ritchie County (61) and Roane County (54.4), also boasted high jump champion Haley Stephenson, who went 5 feet and edged out Rebel Olivia Vanoy and Caity Hudnall of Roane County.

Also winning individual events for the girls were Ritchie County’s Mikayla Little in the discus (110-9) and St. Marys’ Lauren Taylor in the shot put. Taylor beat teammate Whitney Jemison (34-3.25 to 33-4.75).

Coach Burnside’s crew also had wins in the long jump from Zachary Cottrill (19-8.5) and by Isaac Britton in the discus (159-11). The win by Britton was his third straight at the conference meet.

Britton finished third in the shot put as Gilmer County teammates Nathan Stout (49-4.25) and Hunter Ashley (43-2.5) grabbed the top two positions.

Host Williamstown, which finished third in the team race with 77 points and ahead of Roane County (69) and St. Marys (46), had a double-winner thanks to Matt Zlatkind (100, 11.01; 200, 23.08). Braxton County’s Bryson Dennison went 13 feet, 6 inches to win the pole vault. Rebel Austin Garrett was runner-up.

The Bulldog boys won both the 4 by 100 (45.05) and the 4 by 200 (1:33.46). Jarrod Sandy, who ran the third leg on each, was joined by Brandon Stewart, Dillon Underwood and Wyatt Ford in the 4 by 100. In the 4 by 200, Brandon Smith ran the opening leg with Brian Nestor second and Dyllon Hayes the anchor.

Steven McGinnis, Alex Pavalok, Ryan Bates and Fisher went 3:34.23 to win the 4 by 400 for Roane County. Michael Beck, Joe Sikorski, Dakota Hammer and Austin Raines captured the shuttles for WHS with a time of 1:03.20 and the 4 by 800 victory (8:41.72) went to Ritchie County, which had team members of Daniel Cooper, Jordan Smith, Hunter Deem and Dylan Skidmore.

The Yellowjacket girls used a strong effort in relay events to win the title. The only relay event WHS didn’t win was the shuttles, which went to Ritchie County with a time of 1:09.46 thanks to Janessa Adams, Anna Cokeley, Kylie Gump and Samantha Kirk.

In the 4 by 100 (51.99) victory, the ‘Jackets used Hammer, Ellie Gardner, Alexis Zide and anchor Hope Wilson. The 4 by 200 (1:51.91) also had Hammer as the lead and she was followed by Ally McMullen, Allie Robinson and Zide. McMullen led off the 4 by 400 (4:32.90) and was joined by Sarah Settle, Shealee Mossor and Robinson.

Robinson, Shealee Mossor, Sarah Settle and Cami Mossor posted a 10:28.97 to capture the 4 by 800.