CHARLESTON - Parkersburg High School's boys track team is ranked third heading into this weekend's state meet at Laidley Field.
Jefferson -led by sprinter Dante Price, who has the state's fastest time in the 100, 200 and 400 - is expected to dominate the big school division with Cabell Midland and nationally-ranked distance standout Jacob Burcham, ranked second behind the powerful Cougars.
Parkersburg is led by junior Evan Rhodes, who has the state's fastest time in the 300 hurdles. Big Red sprinter Chandler Hamilton ranks third in the 100 (11.05) and tied for fourth in the 200 (23.11).
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg's Nick Musgrave will represent the Big Reds in the 3200 when the state meet opens on Friday at the University of Charleston’s Laidley Field. Parkersburg is ranked third in Class AAA.
In the field events, Big Red Austin Allman and his 6-4 best in the high jump ties him for second, albeit six inches behind the 6-10 leap recorded by Jefferson's Jordan Hardiman.
Three of the Big Reds' relay teams are ranked, led by the shuttle hurdle squad at No. 3. Parkersburg's 4 by 200 team is seeded fourth and the Big Reds 4 by 800 team is ranked seventh.
Meanwhile, Parkersburg South is led by junior Dylon Rippeto, who is seeded second in the discus and fifth in the shot put, an event in which Patriot senior Mack White is seeded seventh.
South senior Logan Cox is ranked fourth in the 110 high hurdles and also is part of the Patriots' shuttle hurdle relay team that is seeded fourth. Cox and teammate Evan DeGraef, a sophomore, are among a large group of athletes who have a best of 6-foot in the high jump, including Big Red seniors Adrian Webster and Seth Davidson.
The Class AAA girls team race should be a day-long battle between Morgantown and Buckhannon, with no local teams ranked in the top 10. However, several local individuals are in contention for honors.
Two city athletes -Parkersburg South senior Jessica Hamrick (10-6 in the pole vault) and Parkersburg High's Whitney McAtee in the discus (122-8) have the third best performances in those events. McAtee also is seeded seventh in the shot put. Parkersburg's Sarah Bever (5-5) is seeded fourth in the high jump with her freshman teammate Lauren Leaman one of five athletes with a best of 5-2.
Bever has the seventh-fastest time (15.73) in the 100 high hurdles while South senior Demi DeGraef is ranked eighth in the 200 (26.64) and 10th in the 400 (1:00.09).
Parkersburg's girls have three relays ranked in the top 10 as its 4 by 400, 4 by 800 and shuttle teams each are ranked seventh while the Patriots also have three relays in the top 10 times, with the 4 by 100 and 4 by 200 ninth and the 4 by 800 10th.