CHARLESTON - Little Kanawha Conference champions Williamstown (girls) and Doddridge County (boys) emerged as the top squads at the Class A, Region IV, track meet here Wednesday at Laidley Field.
Both single-A programs will be seeking four-peats as state champions at next week's meet, which is also back at Laidley Field. The top three individuals and relays in running events as well as the top three in the shot put, discus and long jump and top four in the pole vault and high jump automatically advance.
Calhoun County senior Ryan Slider made school history when he won the high jump (6-0) and fellow senior classmate Shay Parrish finished third in the 300 hurdles to continue their careers for another week.
"We have a very small team and my two seniors stepped it up," said Calhoun County head coach Melinda Fitzwater, noting Slider's victory was the first regional win for any Red Devil thinclad. "His best jump is 6-3 this year. I thought he had a chance. It just depended on how he jumped. Shay turned in his best time of the year (in the 300 hurdles)."
Slider's win topped runner-up Zachary Cottrill of Doddridge County and Noah Aviles of Gilmer County. They went 5-8. Cottrill won the 400 (51.5) and Bulldog teammate Brandon Smith finished third. Smith also grabbed third in the 100, finishing behind winner Jordan Tucker of Buffalo and Williamstown second place finisher Matt Zlatkind, who was third in the 200 to teammate Trace Hart. Tucker also claimed the 200 title.
The champion Bulldogs of head coach Bobby Burnside also had victories from pole vaulter Dyllon Hayes (13-6), Hunter Riffle in the 3200 (9:45.64) and by Isaac Britton in the discus (159-3).
The LKC went 1-2-3 in the discus with Gilmer County teammates Nathan Stout and Hunter Ashley following Britton. Stout won the shot put (49-6) and Ashley moved on by finishing third.
Cottrill (long jump) and Jeffrey Myer (pole vault) also had runner-up showings for the Bulldogs. Riffle finished third behind Wirt County's Logan Kerby in the 1600 and Doddridge's Brandon Lively grabbed third in the 800.
Williamstown's boys had automatic qualifiers with Austin Raines (2nd, 110 hurdles; T3rd pole vault) and Dalton George (T3rd pole vault).
Wirt County's Glenn McMillan, who ran a leg with Kerby, Brady Ohrn and Austin McVey on the winning 4 by 800 relay team (8:44.53), finished third in the 2-mile.
The Yellowjackets of head man Doak Markley won the 4 by 100 (44.75), 4 by 200 (1:34.23) and 4 by 400 (3:39.95). Hart, Zlatkind and Riley West ran on the 4 by 100 and 4 by 200 with Malik Dufor. Michael Beck, Marshall Williams, Jon Petty and Tom Bobbitt comprised the victorious 4 by 400 squad.
Williamstown's Madelin Gardner (200, 26.05; 400, 1:01.73; pole vault, 9-0) and Doddridge County's Sarah Ferguson (100 hurdles, 16.26; 300 hurdles, 46.87; high jump, 4-10) won three events each. Also, Ferguson was runner-up in the 200 and Gardner was second in the 300 hurdles.
The LKC was well represented in the discus (WHS teammates Melissa Cieslewski, Rylee Cunningham and Bulldog Gabriella Glaspell) as well as the high jump (Bulldog Haley Stephenson, 'Jacket Victoria Buckley, Gilmer's Autumn Marks) with 1-2-3 finishes in both.
Brooklyn Hammer of Williamstown had the only other area victory by going 12.86 in the 100 to beat Parkersburg Catholic runner-up Alexis Saunders, who also was the bridesmaid in the 400 and long jump. She took third in the 200. Bulldog Haley Stephenson's third-place showing in the long jump gave the LKC another 1-2-3 showing.
Also qualifying in other individual events were Williamstown's Cami Mossor (2nd, 3200; 3rd, 1600), Shealee Mossor (2nd, 1600) and Erica Amos (4th, 8-0, pole vault); Doddridge's Rosa Plaugher (2nd, 100 hurdles), Chelsey Randolph (T2nd, pole vault), Savanah Ferguson (3rd, 400), Savanna Phillips (2nd, shot), Glaspell (3rd, shot) and Emily Hileman (5th, 7-6, pole vault); and Gilmer County teammates Tish Riffle (3rd, 100 hurdles) and MacKenzee Huff (3rd, 300 hurdles).
WHS girls head coach Zach Hall's squad dominated the relays with wins in everything but the 4 by 400.
Hammer and Alexis Zide ran legs on both the 4 by 100 (52.26) with Ellie Gardner and Hope Wilson as well as the 4 by 200 (1:53.54) with Ally McMullen and Allie Robinson. Zide, McMullen, Gardner and Erica Amos finished with a winning time of 1:10.89 in the shuttles. Robinson, Cami Mossor, Sarah Settle and Jensen Newton won first in the 4 by 800 with a time of 11:03.55.