Williamstown track teams seek regional titles

Times file photo Williamstown’s Colin Hunkele, left, and Mikey Bell exchange a baton during a relay event at last year’s Fenton Relays. The Yellowjackets will compete in today’s regional meet at Parkersburg South.

PARKERSBURG — The road to next week’s state track and field championships in Charleston begins this afternoon across the Mountain State for Class A programs.

Defending Class A girls state champion Doddridge County will join Gilmer County at the Region II meet in Lewis County. Field events are slated to get underway at 2 p.m.

Local track and field fans will have to choose between the Region I meet in St. Marys or the Region IV championships at the Erickson All-Sports Facility. Both of those will get underway with field events at 4 p.m. and running events 60 minutes later.

The defending state champion Magnolia boys, who feature the top 400 single-A time in the state so far by Pat Mirandy as well as the best shot put distance thanks to Jakob Barrows, will join area programs Paden City, Ritchie County and Tyler Consolidated along with the host Blue Devils in Region I.

Williamstown, the favorite to win the single-A girls crown next week, is actually the host school for Region IV, which also will include fellow Little Kanawha Conference members Calhoun County, Parkersburg Catholic, Ravenswood and Wirt County fighting for points at Parkersburg South.

Yellowjackets Ella Hesson (3200) and Lilly McMullen (200/400) currently have the fastest times in the state, but Ella McMullen has the second quickest 400 clocking while Doddridge County’s Jonna Ferrell has the top 100 effort and the second best 200 time.

Ritchie County’s Olivia Cress has posted the top single-A statewide efforts in both the high jump and long jump with Parkersburg Catholic’s Aaliyah Brunny having the next top leap in the long jump.

Also for area girls, Magnolia’s Mady Winters has recorded the best shot and No. 2 effort in the discus. Blue Eagle teammate Kyndra Pilant has the top discus throw.

Several other thinclads from the Mid-Ohio Valley also have had top efforts — Ravenswood’s Blake Jarrell (800/1600), Bulldogs Carter Lipscomb (3200), Griffin Devericks (110/300 hurdles) and Reese Burnside (pole vault) as well as Gilmer County long jumper Chase Steele and Tyler Consolidated high jumper Spencer Corley.

Obviously, health is the biggest key for continued success this late in the season, but all squads need to qualify out of regional action. The top four efforts in the high jump and pole vault from each region will advance as well as the top three individual finishers in the other events and relays. The next four best marks in all the events aside from high jump and pole vault also will advance, but those results likely won’t be known until late tonight.

Going into the regional, the Class A boys state champion appears as though it will come from the quartet of Magnolia, LKC champ Ritchie County, Ravenswood or Doddridge County.

Boys with second-best statewide efforts in their individual events are Williamstown’s Colin Hunkele (400), Ravenswood’s Bryce Jarrell (800/1600/3200), St. Marys’ Isaak Mooney (long jump), Rebel Gus Morrison (110/300 hurdles) and Bulldog pole vaulter Dawson Evans.

There are also automatic qualifying standards in the pole vault (Class A boys, 11-6; girls, 8-6) and high jump (Class A boys 5-10; girls, 4-10).

On Friday, Roane County will make the trek to Lewis County for the Class AA, Region II championships.

LKC high-point winner Jordan Coon has the best double-A time in the state in the 300 hurdles and has the No. 2 effort in the long jump.