Bulldog ladies top Class A field
DC’s Ferrell captures the high-point honor
CHARLESTON — Doddridge County sophomore Jonna Ferrell won four events, set a meet record, tied another and helped the Bulldogs of head coach Craig Kellar claim the girls Class A state track title as the squad from West Union topped runner-up Williamstown, 89-68, here Saturday inside the University of Charleston Stadium’s Laidley Field.
Following Friday’s victory in the long jump, Ferrell topped the field in the 100, 200 and 400 en route to high-point honors (40). She ran a 12.49 in the 100 and her time of 25.61 in the 200 tied the state meet record previously held all alone by Williamstown’s Andrea Chidester from 2012.
“It’s sweet,” said Ferrell, who clocked in with a 56.55 in the 400 to break the old 2006 mark of 56.84 established by Fayetteville’s Jasmine Cotten. “We knew we were right there with Williamstown and Wheeling Central.
“I was telling the girls we had it if we put our minds to it and I’m glad I could help them. We have the best coaches, hands down. They are really good at what they do.”
Williamstown, which got a 4×400 victory with a time of 4:14.66 thanks to Lilly McMullen (400 runner-up; third in the 200; fourth in the 100), Shyla Watson, Emmy Strauss and Ella Hesson, nipped Charleston Catholic (66) in the team race while Wheeling Central (58) and Buffalo (49) followed in fourth and fifth.
“It was a very cooperative group,” admitted Kellar. “You could see it as the season progressed. This year, sometimes you could see it in their eyes, literally. We scored in all but three events. A point or two here and there, but they add up and you put that together with Jonna and that’s just what we need.”
The team title for the Bulldogs helped ease the pain of falling two points shy in 2017 to state champ Wheeling Central.
Gilmer County senior thrower Sada Wright, who is expected to declare her college choice in the next few weeks, successfully defended both of her state titles from a year ago. The Titan won the discus with a heave of 137 feet, 9 inches, which broke the 126-5 effort of Williamstown’s Melissa Cieslewski set in 2016. Wright also went 38-6.25 to win the shot put, but she was off the 2003 record of 40 feet, 11 inches still held by former Williamstown standout Molly Kiger.
“It was a good meet. It didn’t rain as much as I thought it would,” said Wright, whose career best discus effort was 140 feet. “I had a good day. You can’t ever be satisfied, but I worked really hard for what I accomplished. I’m happy with where I’m at.”
Williamstown’s Bethany Arnold finished runner-up in the shot put (35-6) while Magnolia’s Mady Winters (35-4) placed third. The Mid-Ohio Valley had five of the top six finishers in the discus. Wirt County’s Alexis Petrovsky placed third and was followed by Magnolia’s Kyndra Pilant, Williamstown’s Elizabeth Newton and Doddridge County’s Ashlynn Ross.
The Bulldogs had a runner-up showing in the 4×100 thanks to Jasmine Ball, Mista Smarr, Gracie James and McKenzie Newton going 52.40. Bulldog Desirae Schoonover added a fifth-place showing in the 1600 and Ball took fourth in the 100 hurdles. DCHS also placed third in the 4×200 (Kanoe Huihui, Smarr, James, Newton; 1:50.79) and fifth in the 4×400 (James, Smarr, Cameron Smith, Huihui; 4:29.74).
Yellowjacket freshman Ella Hesson’s time of 5:16.47 was good for runner-up honors in the mile behind Buffalo’s Sydney Smith (5:14.53). WHS girls head coach Zach Hall’s ‘Jackets also watched Emmy Strauss place fourth in the 300 hurdles. She was followed by Parkersburg Catholic’s Aaliyah Brunny (6th in 100 hurdles) and the Bulldog Huihui.
Also placing in the top six individually from the MOV were Magnolia’s Kennedy Parsons (6th, 400); St. Marys’ Jessy Higgins (6th, 1600); Paden City’s Abbe Stackpole (3rd, 100; 4th, 200); Blue Devil Marissa Cottrill (5th, 100); and Ritchie County’s Abi Haught (5th, 100 hurdles).
St. Marys also placed fourth in the 4×100 (Kylie Myers, Jaden Hatcher, Ciara Bennett, Cottrill) and sixth in the 4×400 (Bralynn Davis, Cottrill, Bennett, Jessy Higgins).
Ritchie County also scored in the 4×100 by placing fifth thanks to Abigail Morrison, Lauren Strickland, Kaelynn Ireland and Catherine Jones. The Rebels were fourth in the final race of the season — the 4×400 — thanks to Jones, Gwyn Napier, Strickland and Haught.