Rebels come up short in Class AA at state meet

CHARLESTON -Ritchie County head boys track coach Rick Haught has been around long enough to know when his Rebels have a chance to win a state track meet and when they don’t.

The veteran coach knew his team was in trouble Saturday at the 100th W.Va. State Track and Field Championships even before the final session got underway.

“We’re done,” Haught explained. “We have a 4 by 200 that is ranked seventh and a 4 by 400 that is in the slow heat. Bridgeport is going to have to have something bad happen for us to hold on.”

That didn’t happen, however, as the Indians swept the Class AA division, winning the boys’ title by a 61-54 margin over Ritchie while their girls nearly tripled the score over runner-up Oak Glen, winning by a 130-53 score with Ritchie County finishing third with 51 points.

With its chance at a third straight Class AA state track and field championship beginning to melt away Saturday at University of Charleston’s Laidley Field, Ritchie County needed something big to happen.

The Rebels got their wish on the last race before the break when juniors Jayden Allender and Clayton Satterfield finished second and third respectively in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles. The 18 points propelled the blue and gray back into the team race, trailing only Bridgeport by three points, 49-46, with nine events left to be decided.

“They (the points) are way more important than the win,” Allender said. “It would have been nice to win the race, but getting 18 points at this point in the meet meant more.”

Ritchie would only get a fifth place by Satterfield in the 110-meter high hurdles (15.7) and a third place by Austin Garrett in the pole vault (12-6) the rest of the way.

Little Kanawha Conference rival Roane County finished third with 49 points. The Raiders’ Troy Fisher finished third overall for the high-point award, finishing with 28.5 points. Fisher captured the 400-meter dash (49.92), was second in the 800 (1:58.9) and long jump (20-2.75) and ran on the Raiders’ winning 4 by 400-meter relay team with Steven McGinnis II, Thomas Bates and Joseph Hamilton).

On the girls’ side, Ritchie County received a winning effort by Mikayla Little in the discus (119-7) and second-place efforts by Janessa Adams in the 300-meter low hurdles (48.18), Kylie Gump in the high jump (5-0) and Sarah Cokeley in the pole vault (8-6).

Roane County finished seventh overall with 26 points. Josie Raines accounted for 10 of those with a third-place effort in the long jump (16-4.5) and a fourth place in the 200-meter dash (26.81).