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Athletes from Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Hidden Valley, Liberty, Marion and William Byrd combine for seven championships out of 10 events Friday.
MARK TAYLOR | The Roanoke Times
Maggie Eddleton of Christiansburg (right) gets a hug from former Christiansburg discus champion Rochelle Evans.
MARK TAYLOR | The Roanoke Times
Marcellus Fletcher of William Byrd takes the triple jump Friday with a distance of 47 feet, 9 inches.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
HARRISONBURG — The printed program read “Group AA boys and girls state track and field meet” but it might as well have been called the Timesland Invitational.
Athletes from six Timesland schools — Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Hidden Valley, Liberty, Marion and William Byrd — won a combined seven championships out of 10 events Friday on the opening day of the VHSL Group AA meet at Harrisonburg High School.
Sophomores Marcellus Fletcher of William Byrd and Mikalah Jones of Liberty backed up their Region III triple jump championships with personal bests to win their respective state titles.
Fletcher captured the boys crown on his last jump, sailing 47 feet, 8 inches to edge runner-up Devon Cook of Brookville by 3 ¾ inches.
“It just got me more focused on what I was supposed to be doing,” said Fletcher, who became Byrd’s first individual state champion since Broderick Bonds won the long jump in 1990. “I don’t know how it happened. I really don’t know. I’m just surprised actually, pulling that off.”
Jones matched Fletcher’s effort with a huge mark of 39-1, beating second-place Erin Morant of Liberty-Bealeton by almost a foot.
Jones blew away Morant’s 38-1 ¼ on her final jump of the preliminary round, and followed that with jumps of 38-11 and 38-10 to dominate the competition and become the Bedford school’s first girls outdoor champion.
Jones finished second in last year’s state meet by two inches, which only served as extra motivation.
“It made me try even harder,” Jones said. “I wanted it so bad.”
Jones’ 2013 season got off to a slow start as she was hampered by a back ailment.
“She had some losses to some people she wouldn’t have lost to if she was healthy,” Liberty jumps coach Shawn Webb said. “She never let that get her down. Straight-A student, works harder than anybody else on the team. If anybody looks like they’re going to work harder than she does, then here comes another gear.”
Blacksburg’s Nick Link won the boys 3,200 meters in 9:17.19 as pre-race favorite Kurtis Steck of Lafayette faded to fifth place.
“States is a weird thing,” Link said. “It’s always a weird thing. Last year I was seeded third, maybe and I finished eighth. You never know.
“The last 800 meters I was just running scared they were going to run me down and it was going to be embarrassing.”
Blacksburg had 24 points to own the lead heading into today’s final 12 events. Link will shoot for more team points as he attempts to win the 1,600 today.
“I don’t think I’m going to win it, but at this point I’m trying to win a team title.”
Blacksburg and Hidden Valley are expected to battle for the girls team title. Hidden Valley senior Carolyn Bethel will be a key player as she tries to win the distance triple.
The Northern Arizona signee captured the first leg by claiming the 3,200 in 10:55.25, using a late kick to beat Grafton’s Rachel Rabbit by 7.5 seconds.
“It was windy out and I’ve got two races tomorrow,” Bethel said. “I was trying to conserve energy, but those girls made it really hard.”
Blacksburg’s foursome of Kathryn Benson, Claire Ewing-Nelson, Jennifer Fleming and Rachel McCoy won the 3,200 relay in 9:37.86, finishing more than six seconds faster than Grafton.
Ewing-Nelson’s second leg set up McCoy with a healthy lead. The Blacksburg anchor, who is a cancer survivor, brought home the baton in first place.
“That meant so much,” Fleming said.
The title was Blacksburg’s sixth in the event in the past eight years, following a string of five from 2006 to 2010.
Timesland athletes carried their weight in the throws as Christiansburg’s Maggie Eddleton won the girls discus, and Anthony Bowling of Marion won the boys shot put.
Eddleton uncorked a personal-record toss of 130 feet, 4 inches on her final throw to defeat Turner Ashby’s Katelyn Senger and claim the state title after finishing 10th in 2012.
“I’m pretty surprised, but it feels pretty good,” said Eddleton, who topped her previous best by 9 feet. “Three of us were at 120 coming into, so it was kind of up in the air.
“It was all or nothing. It was my last throw so it might as well be my best one.”
Eddleton’s victory gave Christiansburg a three-year stranglehold on the discus title. Rochelle Evans, who won the Colonial Athletic Association title this spring at William and Mary, claimed Group AA titles in the event in 2011 and 2012.
Evans was in attendance Friday night to offer moral support.
“She’s pretty good at what she does,” Eddleton said. “Rochelle is awesome and she’s like a second coach. It’s always nice to have her around.”
Bowling added a second state title to the Group AA indoor crown he claimed in February. His whopping toss of 56-10 ½ on his final throw of the trials. Matthew Zajac of E.C. Glass again finished behind the massive Marion junior.
“It was a good battle like it was in indoor, and the same thing happened again,” Bowling said.
Bowling, who placed ninth outdoors last spring, hoped his early toss would hold up as the winner.
“I was hoping it was, but I wanted to throw farther,” he said.
Boys team scores
(Through 5 events)
1. Blacksburg 24, 2. Marion 15, 3. tie, Lafayette and Fauquier 14, 5. Fluvanna County 11, 6. tie, Western Albemarle, William Byrd and New Kent 10, 9. tie, E.C. Glass and Broadway 9, 11. Brookville 8, 12. Brunswick 7, 13. tie, King George, Tuscarora and Smithfield 6, 16. tie, Amherst County, Potomac Falls, Louisa County and Pulaski County 4, 20. tie, Tabb, Caroline and Sherando 3, 23. tie, Courtland, Lord Botetourt and Christiansburg, 26. tie, Loudoun Valley, John Handley, Chancellor and Brentsville 1.
Boys individual results
Anthony Bowling, Marion, 56-10.5; 2. Matthew Zajac, E.C. Glass, 53-0.5; 3. Jacob Dunlap, Broadway, 52-11.5; 4. Jordan Probst, Marion, 52-5.5; 5. Ian Calfee, Pulaski County, 51-8.25; 6. Deiondrey Key, Fluvanna County, 51-8.25; 7. Jordan Fenton, Christiansburg, 49-10; 8. Jordan Dowrey, John Handley, 48-4.75
Marcellus Fletcher, William Byrd, 47-9; 2. Devon Cook, Brookville, 47-5.25; 3. Marquis Childress, Smithfield, 46-5.25; 4. DeJuan Seward, Brunswick, 45-3.5; 5. Reashawn Bishop, Louisa County, 45-2.25, 6. DaQuan Pollard, Caroline, 44-11.5; 7. Donmanique Hardy, Brunswick, 44-11; 8. Raymond Buckner, Chancellor, 44-8.75
1. Grant Holmes, Fauquier, 14-9; 2. Chance Parmly, Fluvanna County, 14-6; 3. Jonathan Graham, King George, 13-6; 4. Carlos Curevas, Amherst County, 13-6; 5. Ryan Enos, Fauquier, 13-6; 6. Timothy Miller, Broadway, 13-00; 7. Jake Thompson, Western Albemarle, 12-6; 8. Matt Crawford, E.C. Glass, 12-6
1. New Kent 8:01.05; 2. Blacksburg 8:01.86; 3. Tuscarora 8:05.59; 4. Lafayette 8:08.98; 5. Potomac Falls 8:11.82; 6. Sherando 8:12.33; 7. Courtland 8:13.27; 8. Brentsville 8:13.27
1. Nick Link, Blacksburg, 9:17.19; 2. David Taylor, Western Albemarle, 9:23:29; 3. Noah Combs, Blacksburg, 9:25.14; 4. Jason Menzies, Lafayette, 9:25.61; 5. Kurtis Lafayette, 9:29.0; 6. Baron Kieffer, Tabb, 9:38.43; 7. Michael McBane, Lord Botetourt, 9:39.39; 8. Andrew Hunter, Loudoun Valley, 9:40.59.
Girls team scores
(Through 5 events)
1. Grafton 16, 2. Hidden Valley 15, 3. Blacksburg 14, 4. Brunswick 11, 5. tie, Christiansburg and Liberty-Bedford 10, 7. Turner Ashby 9, 8. Liberty-Bealton 8, 9. tie, Western Albemarle, Louisa County and King George 6, 12. tie, Staunton River and E.C. Glass 5, 15. tie, Powhatan, Fort Defiance and Woodgrove 4, 18. tie, Cave Spring, Sherando and Tuscarora; 21. tie, Bruton, Jefferson Forest and James Monroe 2, 24. tie, Kettle Run, Lafayette and William Byrd 1.
Girls individual results
Morgan Crewe, Greensville, 5-6; 2. Katie Houser, James Wood, 5-5; 3. Sydney Anderson, Pulaski County, 5-4; 4. Lora Homer, Courtland, 5-3; 5. Erika Bridges, Warhill, 5-3; 6. Steffene Cheeks, Chancellor, 5-3; 7. Aslyn Marine, James Monroe, 5-2
Maggie Eddleton, Christiansburg, 130-4; 2. Katlyn Senger, Turner Ashby, 123-04; 3. Younique Morgan, Brunswick, 119-3; 4. Breontae Crump, Hidden Valley, 117-9; 5. Lillie Cummings, Fort Defiance, 116-08; 6. Alaina Combs, Sherando, 113-5; 7. Janae Jackson, James Monroe, 108-1; 8. Katie Landes, Turner Ashby, 107-9
1. Mikalah Jones, Liberty, 39-1.25; 2. Erin Morant, Liberty Bealeton, 38-1.25; 3. Monica Mallory, Louisa County, 37-3; 4. Bria Stith, Brunswick, 37-0.75, 5. Montiera Johnson, Powhatan, 37-0; 6. Lily Garrecht, Staunton River, 36-5.25; 7. Taylor Jones, Staunton River, 36-3; 8. Melvina Brown, Kettle Run, 36-3
1. E.C. Glass 9:48.10; 2. Woodgrove 9:50.82; 3. Tuscarora 9:53.38; 4. Jefferson Forest 9:53.38; 5. Fauquier 9:56.28, 6. Heritage 9:57.56; 7. Sherando 10:11.81; 8. Warhill 10:13.44
1. Carolyn Bethel, Hidden Valley, 10:55.25, 2. Rachel Rabbitt, Grafton, 11:02.75; 3. Annie Taylor, Western Albemarle, 11:04.36; 4. Amber Hawkins, James Wood, 11:05.07; 5. Bonnie Angermeier, Blacksburg, 11:06.73, 6. Katie Fortner, Cave Spring, 11:06.89, 7. Carley Shannon, Bruton, 11:10.43; 8. Adriana Hooks, Lafayette, 11:11.92
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