Williamstown has high hopes for state track meet

JAY W. BENNETT The Marietta Times Williamstown’s Bethany Arnold is set to compete in the shot put and the discus at the W.Va. Class A state track meet Friday and Saturday in Charleston, W.Va.

WILLIAMSTOWN — The journey back to the Class A track and field championships for the Williamstown Yellowjackets started back in March, and now both boys and girls teams are looking to finish strong and end some unfinished business.

For coach Zach Hall’s girls, they were runners-up in last year’s state meet to Doddridge County. Those Bulldogs, led by Jonna Ferrell, bested the ‘Jackets in an 89-68 victory. A big difference from last year is that the Williamstown girls bring 19 athletes to Charleston in 2019. They brought 11 girls to the meet last year.

While 10 freshmen will be competing over the weekend, there are still some familiar faces that will give Yellowjacket fans a lot to cheer.

Junior Lilly McMullen headlines the group, as she hopes to avenge her losses in three events from a year ago. Having finished fourth in the 100, third in the 200 and second in the 400, McMullen qualified for those events following the regional meet on May 9. She also qualified for the 4×200 relay, an event she didn’t compete in in 2018.

If McMullen is headlining the group of returning athletes, then sophomore Ella Hesson wouldn’t be far behind her. Both McMullen and Hesson finished tied for fourth in high-point scoring at the 2018 state meet, and Hesson looks to improve after two runner-up showings in the 1600 and 3200. She also had a fifth place finish in the 800.

Both athletes won in the 4×400 relay in 2018, but new blood from Hall’s deep roster took their places.

“This group of freshmen give us the relays,” Hall said. “They give us the depth. We have 17 pretty good freshmen (on the roster).”

Junior Sofia Calvet leads the new-look 4×400 team, and she’s joined by freshmen Tori Combs and Emma Berman. Sophomore Camryn Irvin rounds out this relay team, as each relay race will be full of new faces.

Calvet, Combs and Berman join freshman Chloe Lightfritz in the 4×800. Meanwhile, the trend continues in the 4×100 and 4×200 races. In addition to qualifying for the 200 and 400 meter races, Ella McMullen ends her freshman season as a part of both the 4×100 and 4×200. Her freshman teammate Natalie Chambers joins her in both events, and Irvin will also run both races in addition to her run in the 4×400. Freshman Lydia Conner rounds out the 4×100 relay, and Lilly McMullen joins her younger sister, Ella, in the 4×200.

Carsen Hesson returns to the state meet for the final time, as she gets a chance to improve on her ninth place finish in the high jump in 2018. She joins fellow-returning Yellowjacket Kenzie Hill (and freshmen Tara Fleming and Jillian Modesitt) in the 4×102.5 shuttle hurdles relay. She also qualified in the 300 meter hurdles.

Speaking of Modesitt, she qualified for the long jump and 100 meter hurdles. From a freshman to a senior, Bethany Arnold finishes her storied time at Williamstown seeking a top finish in the shot put (an event where she finished second in 2018) and discus throw. Freshman Emme Stull joins her in the shot put, and the duo of Berman and fellow-freshman Madelyn Anderson compete in the pole vault. This group of girls from Williamstown come to the state’s capital in search of a championship. It was the same title that eluded them a year ago.

On the boys’ side, 18 athletes qualified. Veteran leadership is plentiful on coach Jill Bryant’s team, and it starts with, but is not limited to the likes of Bradey Fayad, Mikey Bell and Joel Bindley.

Fayad competes in both the 110 and 300 meter hurdles. He teams with Bindley, and juniors Ty Moore and Kole Sutton in the 4×110 shuttle hurdles. Sutton also earned a spot in the 400 meters.

Bindley tests his leaping abilities in the long jump and high jump, and he’ll be joined in the long jump by Bell and sophomore Brayden Modesitt.

Mikey Bell enters in the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 relays. He teams with junior Dawson Reynolds in all three of those events. Junior Samuel Thompson (in addition to the 100 meters) also competes in the 4×100 (alongside junior Donathan Taylor) and teams with Colin Hunkele to round out the 4×200.

Sutton and Moore team with freshman John Coleman and sophomore Ryan Wager in the 4×800, as a solid lineup of relay teams take shape for the ‘Jacket boys.

Junior Dakota Scott participates in the shot put, as juniors Zach Burrell and Caden Tallman join freshman Ashton Wasmer to make up a trio of competitors in the pole vault. The final field event sees freshman Isaac Joy compete in the discus throw.

Both teams are sure to be ready on Friday and Saturday when the meet takes place in Charleston.

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