Locals lead at state track

CHARLESTON – After the first day of action at the 100th West Virginia State High School Track Meet, five Mid-Ohio Valley teams either own or share the lead in their division of competition.

With five events decided in each division, Parkersburg South’s boys share the Class AAA lead with Jefferson as each accumulated 32 points on Friday night. University is third with 18 points while Parkersburg High is fourth with 14.

In the Class A boys race, two other Little Kanawha Conference teams are tied for the lead as both Doddridge County and Gilmer County accumulated 30 points.

In the girls races, Ritchie County holds a nine-point lead over Oak Glen in Class AA, 30 to 21, while Williamstown has a six-point edge over Charleston Catholic in Class A, 38 to 32.

The only divisions led by out of area teams are the Class AAA girls, where Hurricane is literally blowing away the competition, leading runner-up Buckhannon-Upshur, 51 to 18, and the Class AA boys, with Bridgeport nipping Ritchie County, 31 to 30.

On a night with many outstanding individual performances, the discus took center stage as Parkersburg South’s Dylon Rippeto won the state Class AAA?title by throwing nearly 13 feet further than his closest competition.

Rippeto’s 165 feet, 3-inch toss dominated the event. South also got second place performances in the high jump from Evan DeGraef (6-4) and in the long jump from Anthony Bibbs (21-3).

Plus, the Patriots shuttle hurdle relay team placed fourth.

Parkersburg High got a third place in the long jump from Dan Fox (21-0), and a runner-up finish from its shuttle hurdle relay team. Sprinter Chandler Hamilton advanced to the finals in both sprint races, qualifying third in the 100 and 200, while Evans Rhodes qualified fifth in the 110 hurdles.

Jayden Allender of Ritchie County won the Class AA high jump title with a leap of 6-4. The Rebels also got a second-place finish from its shuttle hurdle relay team, fourth from its 4 by 800 relay squad and a fifth-place effort from Johnny Hogue in the 3200.

Doddridge County’s Hunter Riffle won the 3200 state title by less than half a second over a runner from Buffalo while Bulldog Isaac Britton set a new meet record by winning the discus with a toss of 165-11. Nathan Stout of Gilmer won the shot put in 51-8 and placed second in the discus (with teammate Hunter Ashley third) while St. Marys got on the podium when Cody Wolfe, Cole Smith, Alex Baker and Anthony Johnson won the shuttle hurdle relay in 1:02.64.

Williamstown’s Madelin Gardner won the pole vault with a leap of 10 feet, with teammate Erica Amos giving the Yellowjackets a 1-2 finish.. The Jackets also finished second in the 4 by 800 and third in the shuttle hurdle relay. St. Marys got a 2-3 finish in the shot put from freshman Whitney Jemison and Olivia Taylor.

Ritchie County’s girls got second places from Anna Cokeley in the pole vault, Kyle Gump in the high jump and from its the shuttle hurdle relay and third place from Olivia Vanoy in the high jump while Josie Raines of Roane County was third in the long jump and teammate Kylie Goodson likewise in the pole vault.

In the Class AAA girls events, Whitney McAtee of PHS was third in the discus and fifth in the shot put.

Action continues today with the crowning of six state team champions, numerous individual champions and recognition ceremonies for past track and field greats.