When it comes to the sport of track and field, especially when it comes to the Class A division, fans spell the word dominant-LKC.
Williamstown's 152-99 victory over fellow Little Kanawha Conference member Doddridge County not only was the Yellowjackets' second straight girls' title, but also the third in five years.
Prior to the maroon and gold's string of victories, fellow LKC member St. Marys captured championships in 2009 and 2010. In fact, since the Secondary School Activities Commission's decision to go to three classifications in track and field in 2003, no team outside of the LKC has left the University of Charleston's Laidley Field with the state championship trophy-Doddridge County finished first from 2003 until 2007.
The top five individual scorers-the Bulldogs' D'Andra Swiger and Sarah Ferguson, St. Marys' Maggie Drazba and Willamstown's Andrea Chidester and Lincoln Postlewaite-call the Little Kanawha Conference home.
Nine state records were broken over the past weekend in the division and all nine of them where broken by athletes from the LKC-three by Drazba in the 800 (2:20.35), 1600 (4:56.23) and 3200 (10:59.09) meter runs. Of the 18 possible state records only Fayetteville's Jasmine Cotton in the long jump (17-10.25) and 100 (12.42) and 400 (56.84) meter dashes, and Bishop Donahue's Lacey Hampton in the 100 meter high hurdles (14.90) are held by athletes outside of the conference.
Still not convinced?
On the boys' side, only Wheeling Central in 2005 and 2008 has kept it from being a complete sweep by the LKC in Class A. Williamstown has four crowns to its name (2003, '04, '07 and 2010) while the Bulldogs' not only have won the last two but added the 2006 and '09 championships to their trophy case.
While not as dominant on the individual side as their female counterparts, the LKC did have two of its top athletes finish among the meet's top five scorers with the Bulldogs' Daniel Plaugher joining Swiger as the Class A high point individual.
Seven new boys records were established over the weekend, four by the LKC.
Williamstown's Devon Carr eclipsed former Yellowjacket Matt Kiger's 52-2.25 effort in the shot put (52-4.25) while the others were broken by South Harrison's Zain Creamer in the long jump (22-1.75), Gilmer County's Anthony Aviles in the high jump (6-6) and the Doddridge quartet of Jeffrey Bonnell, Dillon Muhly-Alexander, Will Thaxton and Plaugher in the shuttle hurdle relay (59.01).
And, thanks to Ritchie County's 71-66 win over Point Pleasant in the Class AA division, the boys from the LKC left the Mountain State's capital with a pair of championships.
Only the Eastern Panhandle, thanks to Jefferson's third Class AAA boys' championship in a row and Hedgesville's title run in 2009 as well as Berkeley Springs' back-to-back Class AA girls' championships, has become as dominant as the LKC when the top track and field athletes in the state converge at Laidley Field.
With the Cougars' continued success this spring, it would appear as if the power-at least in Class AAA boys-has traversed the Appalachian Mountains and found a home in the Eastern Panhandle.
Contact Jim Butta at email@example.com