PHS stars compete in same events

It wasn’t planned when the 2014 track season got under way with the Clear Channel Radio/Kim Nutter Invitational Friday night at Stadium Field.

“I didn’t know,” Parkersburg senior Landon Miller said. “We never really talked about it.”

The ‘we’ was Miller and Big Red girls standout Sarah Bever while the ‘it’ was the fact the Parkersburg duo competed in the same four events.

“When you think of it, it’s kind of neat,” added Miller. “Sarah is an impressive athlete and to compete in the same events she does is neat.”

Miller had just watched from the starting line of the 110 meter high hurdles as Bever sped past John Marshall’s Torie Derrow to capture first place in the 100 meter high hurdles.

Not to be outdone by his female counterpart, Miller jumped out to a fast start in the boys’ version of the race and held off Wheeling Park’s Richard Cummings for his first victory in the event.

“I was nervous,” Miller said. “I haven’t run these (110 meter highs) before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.”

He also didn’t expect what came earlier in the meet as well as later.

Both athletes competed in the high jump at the meet’s start with Bever finishing second with a leap of 5-feet, 2-inches while Miller placed third with an effort of 5-feet, 6-inches.

As the meet wound down to its final few events, both headed toward the start of the 300 meter hurdles, An event in which both were listed among the best in the Mid-Ohio Valley last spring.

Bever, who earned high point honors, out-dueled Park’s Dolan for the second straight time, winning with a time of 48.79 seconds. Miller, however, was not as fortunate as the Patriots’ Cummings earned a measure of revenge with a winning time of 41.78 seconds as Miller finished second in 41.89 seconds.

The duo closed out their first day’s work by anchoring their shuttle hurdle foursomes to victories. Bever, however, once again one-upped her male teammate as she teamed up with Tiffany Cline, Lauren Maloney and Lauren Leaman to establish a new meet mark with their winning time of 1 minute, 7.46 seconds.

“It (competing in the same events) is a little weird,” said Miller. “We don’t practice much together so we never really talked about it.”

That doesn’t mean that the two won’t spending some time this week talking about it as the Big Reds prepare to head to Cabell Midland.

“We are both very competitive people, so I’m sure there will be some talk,” Miller laughed. “We might have to take it to the track to settle it.”

Miller and Bever weren’t the only two Big Reds having outstanding first meets.

Senior Chandler Hamilton joined Bever as high point producer and set meet records in the 100 and 200 meter dashes while Whitney McAtee and Brandon McIntire came away with a pair of individual wins.

Contact Jim Butta at jbutta@newsandsentinel.com