Big Red boys win regional; girls second

PARKERSBURG – Parkersburg High’s boys’ track team captured the title at the Class AAA, Region I championships held Wednesday at PHS, defeating runner-up Morgantown by a 117-101 score.

The Big Red girls finished second to the Mohigans, with Morgantown crowning four individual and three relay champions en route to a commanding 153-118 margin of victory.

Parkersburg South ended the day in fifth place in the boys’ standings with 71 points, while the Patriot girls finished seventh in the field with 27.5 points accumulated.

“We only had three first-place winners,” commented Big Red boys’ coach Rod O’Donnell.

“The key to victory was a team effort – our depth and balance in other events.

“When you’re not winning a lot of events, you need a lot of people placing. For example, in the 800, we had the 3rd, 4th and 6th place finishers, and that outscored the team that won the event.”

Gaining the aforementioned three event wins for the Big Reds were Erik Musgrave in the 300-meter hurdles, Jacob Bussey, whose 13-effort won the pole vault, and the 4×400-meter relay team of Graham Nesselrode, DeShawn Akers, Jarred Winters and Logan Wooddell.

Wooddell also scored important points individually, finishing second in the 100 and 200-meter sprints. Musgrave added a runner-up finish in the 300-meter hurdles to his 100-meter crown.

A solid day in the field events for the Big Reds included, as well as Bussey’s pole-vault win, a third-place effort from Easton Martin in the long jump, three of the top six placers in the discus and two in the shot put.

“It’s the most points we’ve scored in field events since I’ve been here,” O’Donnell commented.

Parkersburg South had its best day in field events as well, as Stoney Nolan won the discus by a scant seven inches over Patriot teammate Timothy Ferguson.

The Big Red girls’ efforts were paced by Hannah Taylor, Teah Somervill and Haley Ackerman, who swept the podium in the discus. Taylor’s winning throw of 94 feet, six inches just topped Somervill’s 93 feet, 10 inches for the title.

Lauren Leaman and Mackenzie Sims also added event wins, Leaman capturing the 300-meter hurdles by a second over Morgan Glass of Wheeling Park, and Sims’ leap of 16 feet, 5.75 inches winning the long jump by just under two inches.

Leaman also finished second in high jump and third in the 100-meter hurdles.

The shuttle hurdle team of Lauren Maloney, Megan Kupfner, Sims and Leaman brought PHS its fourth title, cruising to nearly a two-second victory over Wheeling Park.

“Everyone ran really well,” said PHS girls’ coach Lia Fleek.

“Going 1-2-3 in the discus was exciting and they’re all seniors, so that’s special.”

The Mohigans’ margin of victory was attributable to their dominance in the sprint and relay events. Morgantown’s Sabra Metheney, high-point winner Jahmia Bridges-Butler and Amber Dombrowski won the 100, 200 and 400 meters respectively, and their relay squads triumphed in the 4×100, 4×400 and 4×800 competitions.

O’Donnell complimented all the evening’s competitors.

“It’s a tremendous tribute to all eight teams that on a Wednesday, when they had to be in school all day, then travel to be here, they turned up and everyone was ready.

“This region has the best times in the state. Next to the state meet, this is the biggest meet of the season.”

The state meet commences in Charleston on May 20.