Ripley girls claim Class AAA team title, high point

Ripley girls claim Class AAA?team title, high point

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Ripley High girls’ track and field team celebrates with the Class AAA state championship trophy Saturday at the University of Charleston’s Laidley Field. Krystle Cunningham’s Vikings’ group outscored runner-up Morgantown 74-60.

CHARLESTON — Head coach Krystle Cunningham and her Ripley Vikings didn’t come up short this time around during the Class AAA state track meet at the University of Charleston Stadium’s Laidley Field.

Viking All-American Tori Starcher was the high-point winner (32.5) and needed a little help from her friends and that’s exactly what happened here Saturday as the Jackson County program posted a victorious total of 74 points to best runner-up Morgantown’s 60, which avenged last year’s 82-80 setback to the Mohigans.

“I’m so happy right now. I’m so ecstatic,” said Viking Allison Fields, who joined Starcher, Cassidy Miller and Grace Bumpus on the winning 4×400 unit that clocked in at 4:08.63. “It (last year’s state runner-up) definitely motivated us. We worked so hard this season.”

Starcher, who won the 2-mile on Friday, also secured top-of-the-podium finishes in the 800 and the 1600. In the mile, the Viking crossed in 4:49.14 to erase University’s Millie Paladino’s 2014 state record of 4:51.74.

“We were really excited to come out with a win,” Starcher said of ending the meet in style with the triumph in the 4×400. “The feeling (to win a team title) is like surreal. We’re all excited.”

Starcher finished the 800 with a time of 2:08.90, which topped runner-up Madison Trippett of Parkersburg’s new personal best clocking of 2:12.40.

“This season hasn’t been my best,” admitted Trippett, who was third in the 1600 with an effort of 5:03.91.

“I wasn’t running the times I was last year, but coming here this weekend has helped me regain confidence in myself.”

Coach Cunningham’s squad received a championship in the high jump from Olivia Miller (5-2) while Parkersburg South’s Erin Williams cleared 5-0 to place fourth. Cassidy Miller was fourth in the 300 hurdles and finished just ahead of Big Red Emily Kupfner (47.37 to 48.73). Fields also picked up points in the 100 and 200, placing third in both.

The Big Reds of Parkersburg head coach Lia Fleek tallied 29 points and placed seventh in the triple-A team race. Big Red Abby Tanner finished fifth in the 100 and also ran a leg with Trippett, Emily Kupfner and Jordan Balog on the red and white’s fifth-place 4×400 unit.

Parkersburg South first-year head coach Tara Swiger’s Patriots also got a fourth-place showing from Erin Williams in the high jump.

In Class AA, Little Kanawha Conference member Roane County had a pair of podium finishes on Saturday thanks to Danielle Godbey getting third in the 300 hurdles (47.75) and Savannah Unger placing sixth in the high jump (4-10).