Williamstown dominates Class A, Region IV track meet

Photos by Jay W. Bennett Williamstown’s Bethany Arnold won the shot put during the Class A, Region IV track meet Wednesday night at Parkersburg High’s Stadium Field.

PARKERSBURG — Alexis Saunders of Parkersburg Catholic stole the show here Wednesday at Stadium Field during the Class A, Region IV track meet, but Williamstown put on a dominating performance en route to sweeping the team titles.

The defending Class A state champion Yellowjacket boys amassed 227 team points to easily top runner-up Ravenswood, which held off Wahama, 83-31. The ‘Jacket girls finished with 204 points and were followed by Buffalo (98), Huntington St. Joe (79) and Parkersburg Catholic (60).

“I’m really excited for the team,” said WHS defending shot put state champion Bethany Arnold, who won the event Wednesday with a heave of 35 feet, 6 inches. “I mean, obviously, I already have an individual title. It would be fine if I got another one, but team is what I really care about.

“It (35-6) wasn’t a PR, but I scratched my one PR, so I was a little disappointed. I tried to watch it land and I got too excited and I just kind of fell. I got really excited and I just fell. I got a little too cocky. I’m really ecstatic about all of us making it. It was our biggest goal this year and just being able to finish with the girls who pushed me all season is really great.”

Saunders put on an epic performance with wins in the 100 (13.27), 200 (27.11), 300 hurdles (48.09) and the long jump (16-2.25) as she produced two-thirds of the Crusaderettes’ point total.

Ravenswood twin brothers Bryce Jarrell (left) and Blake Jarrell (right) finished first and second, respectively, in the 3200.

Not to be outdone, Huntington St. Joe sprinter McKenzie Moran was the lone triple-winner at the regional. She took gold in the 400 (1:00.30), 800 (2:26.25) and the mile (5:30.78), while Buffalo’s Madi Michels clocked in at 12:00.38 to capture the 2-mile.

Williamstown also had a double-winner thanks to Ellie Gardner, who won the 100 hurdles with a time of 16.71 to best teammate Ally McMullen (16.98). She also went 10 feet in the pole vault with her nearest competitor being Crusaderette Maggie Walters (8-6).

The Yellowjackets’ other individual triumphs came in the discus where Brianna Kendall (107-0) topped teammates Sydney Palmer (106-2) and Elizabeth Newton (101-10) as well as in the high jump, which Victoria Buckley won. Buckley cleared 4-10 and was followed by teammates Carsen Hesson (4-8) and Jillian Leo (4-6).

Buffalo (4×400, 4:27.94) and St. Joe (4×800, 10:38.98) had relay wins, but the other three events were won by Williamstown. In the 4×100, Lilly McMullen, Ally McMullen, Jensen Newton and Lexie Zide went 52.76 to place first. Zide, Jensen Newton, Shyla Watson and Lilly McMullen finished the 4×200 in 1:51.32. WHS also won the shuttles (1:11.61) with the quartet of Zide, Ashley Morris, Watson and Ally McMullen.

Williamstown’s boys were led by double-winner Tim Wickham, who continued his strong season in the hurdles. His time of 15.86 topped teammate Bradey Fayad (16.51) in the 110 high hurdles and he raced to victory in the 300 hurdles with a final clocking of 41.11.

One event the ‘Jackets didn’t win was the high jump, where Ben Frederick of Calhoun County cleared 5 feet, 8 inches before runner-up Trevor Hoosier — the discus (156-8) champion — did.

“I cleared 5-8 and that’s my highest this year, but last year I was clearing 5-10 pretty consistently. I hurt my ankle in basketball,” said the Red Devil. “I wasn’t really expecting it (a win) considering he was clearing 6-2 going into it, but everybody has those days you know.

“I was really hoping to get 5-10 to go into states, but you don’t always get what you want. I’m hoping to get third, fourth or close to winning it (at state), but who knows. It’s going to be a pretty hard competition this year. A couple of guys are jumping 6 feet.”

Ravenswood’s Bryce Jarrell topped twin brother Blake Jarrell in both the 1600 (4:49.25 to 4:50.35) and the 3200 (10:16.62 to 10:18.33). The Red Devils also had a first-place showing in the 200 from Austin Garrett, who sped to victory in 23.80.

WHS also had top of the podium efforts from Trenton Tallman (100, 11.66), Tom Bobbitt (400, 52.66), Chase Uppole (800, 2:06.89), and pole vaulter Dakota Hammer (10-0). Sam Harris won the discus with a heave of 48 feet, 2 inches and was followed by teammates Hoosier and Bryce Mefford. The other individual title went to Sherman’s Elijah Deboard, who went 18-6.5 in the long jump.

Just like the final team score, the ‘Jacket boys dominated the relay events and won all five. In the 4×100 (45.93), Brandon Sands was joined by Bobbitt, Jon Petty and the anchor Tallman, who led off the 4×200 (1:36.60) and was followed by Kyler Sutton, Petty and Preston Mayer. The 4×400 finished in 3:40.20 thanks to Bobbitt, Petty, Sutton and Uppole. In the 4×800, Petty, Bobbitt, Joshua Chambers and Uppole won with a time of 8:44.61. It was the same story in the shuttles thanks to Fayad, Sutton, Hoosier and Wickam clocking in at 1:00.34.

The top three individuals and relay teams from each region qualify to next week’s state meet in Charleston along with the next four fastest times/distances from all the other regionals. The top four placers in the high jump and pole vault also advance.