Ritchie County boys take Region I title

ELLENBORO-Senior Jessie Hilvers scored a meet-high 29.5 points to lead host Ritchie County to a 118-97 victory over Fairmont Senior at the Class AA, Region I Track and Field Championships held at Chuck Schofield Memorial Stadium.

“It’s always nice to win, but the thing I was most concerned with today was getting the kids out that we needed to qualify for next weekend’s state meet,” said boys head coach Rick Haught.

The meet, which had to be suspended Friday night when a downed power line could not be repaired in time for the meet to continue, was the final regional meet of the week.

“That (Friday night’s decision to suspend the meet) was one of the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” continued Haught. “Oak Glen didn’t get home until 1:10 a.m. and then turned around and were one of the first schools back here this morning.”

The short turnaround, however, did not effect the Golden Bears’ girls as Oak Glen captured a 34-point win over runner-up North Marion by a 133-99 score.

Hilvers began his day’s work with a second place finish to Roane County’s Troy Fisher in the 400 meter dash. Fisher, only a sophomore, crossed the finish line in 52.12 seconds with Hilvers hot on his heals with a 52.80 clocking.

The Rebel standout came back a couple of hours later, however, to capture back-to-back victories in the 800 meter run (2:04.25) and 300 meter intermediate hurdles (40.86).

He closed his day’s work by anchoring the Rebels’ 4 by 400 meter relay (3:39.33) to a third place finish.

“Yes and no,” said Hilvers about the meet’s delay. “I was ready for it yesterday (Friday), but it (the delay) was worth it because it rained yesterday and today (Saturday) there was no rain to deal with.”

Hilvers wasn’t the only Rebel to capture an individual title as junior Johnny Hogue captured the 1600 meter run (4:44.75) and freshman Austin Garrett won the pole vault (13-0). Other local winners included Roane County’s Steven McGinnis in the 200 meter dash (24.04).

The Raiders finished third overall in the team race with 93 points followed by Oak Glen (62), Webster County (61), Weir (53), East Fairmont (49), North Marion (16), Braxton County (7), and Ravenswood (1).

In the girls’ division Oak Glen’s Alexis Burch edged out North Marion’s Emma Harrison for high point honors by one half of a point, 30.5-30. But, the senior’s effort was more than enough to catapult the Golden Bears to the team title.

Burch captured the 100 (12.94) and 400 (59.02) meter dashes, was second in the 200 (26.62) meter dash and anchored Oak Glen’s winning 4 by 400 meter relay (4:12.99).

Ritchie County’s Mikayla Little earned a pair of tickets to the state meet as the junior captured the shot put with a throw of 33-feet, 8.5-inches and discus (104-3). Roane County’s Shania Lloyd was the only other local to win an individual event as the junior took first in the pole vault with a leap of 7-feet, 6-inches.

Finishing third in the team race with 81 points was Weir followed by Ritchie County (62.5), Fairmont Senior (42), East Fairmont and Webster County (35), Roane County (26.5), Ravenswood (19) and Braxton County (12).

The top three individuals and relays earned automatic berths into the state meet which begins Friday at the University of Charleston’s Laidley Field. The top four times or distances from the remaining qualifiers will fill also earn a spot.