Eagles Brings Home Its 8th Boys’ State Track Title
In the boys’ competition at the West Virginia State Boys’ and Girls’ Track Meet, the Magnolia Blue Eagles Team nipped the Ritchie County Runnin’ Rebels 79-72 to claim the Eagles’ eighth State Class-AA Crown. It was Magnolia’s first such state title since 2002 — and the first under five-year Head Coach Matt Quinet. But, it came full circle for Quinet, who helped Magnolia win four state championships and was on the last team to win the Class-AA championship in 2002. The sprint races and the relay events were critical for Magnolia. The relay quartet of Timothy Shreve, Nick Blatt, Dakota Rohde and Stephen Rogalski won the 4X200. Then Shreve, Rogalski, Rhode and Brendan Kacor claimed the 4X100-meter relay that sealed the deal for Magnolia. The 4X400-meter relay team of Shreve, Rohde, Blatt and Seth Blake ended the final race of the meet with a fourth place finish that put them over the top. The Eagles also got a pair of runner-up performances from Rogalski in the 400 and 200-meter dash events, while Kacor crossed the finish in second place in the 100-meter dash. Kacor also ran third in the 200-meter dash and brought home a third-place finish in the long jump with a leap of 20’3.50. He scored 22.5 of the Eagles’ points, good enough for second place in high points in boys’ Class-AA. Rogalski was just as impressive. After adding his two second-place finishes in the 200 and 400-meter events, he would help the 4X100 and 4X200-meter relay teams finish in the top spot that gave him 21 points and the fourth highest total in class-AA boys. In addition to these events, Matthew Riggs secured points in the shot put and discus. He was the only athlete to heave the ball more than 50′ on every attempt. However, Ritchie Rebel strongman Mark Britton waited for his last toss to nip Riggs with a launch of 52’2.75. Britton also won the discus, while Riggs fell to fifth place but added crucial team points. Alec Hinerman also tallied valuable points for the Blue Eagle thinaclades with a fourth-place finish in the 3,200-meter run and Billy Feeney earned points in the same event with a sixth-place finish. Kacor, Blake, Shreve, Riggs, and Justin Wade will graduate this year. But returning state qualifiers Rogalski, Blatt, Hinerman, Feeney, Rohde and James Haught will try to make it two in a row with a nice group of eighth graders moving up, in addition to athletes that will come out to help Magnolia secure an 8th state championship. Blue Eagle Assistant Track Coach Mike Findling, along with Rohde, Shreve, Rogalski, Blatt and Wade, coached or played on the 2010 Class-AA state football championship team. Also, Blatt, Rogalski and Wade were on three OVAC Championship teams this season, in track, football and basketball. ***** In the boys’ Class-A championship at Charleston’s Laidley Field May 20-21, Lumberjack Casey Pingley took first place in the 100-meter dash, while setting a school record with a time of 11.26. He now holds the school’s record in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash. Pingley, along with teammates Dylan Edgell, Clay Ueltschy and Kody Jenkins, finished third in the 4X100-meter relay and fourth in the 2X200-meter relay. Valley’s shot and discus man, Spencer Mason, collected some hardware with a runnerup performance in the shot put and a third-place in the discus to help the Lumberjacks to a respectable sixth place in class-A. Valley athletes Troy Hubbard, Shawn Miller, Bret Christensen and Chucky Ice each made the trip to Charleston as qualifiers. ***** In girls’ Class-AA, the Lady Silver Knight’s bid for a state championship was lost in the last event of the day, a 4X400-meter relay. They finished sixth, while Berkley Springs placed fourth to earn the title by four points, 50-46. Magnolia took only eight girls, who tallied 17 points for a 17th place in a 24-team field. The Lady Eagles’ shuttle team of Emily Patterson, Emily Amos, Aly Smith and Holly McDonald came out of nowhere to snatch a sure victory away from the Knights by .34 seconds. McDonald, Magnolia’s shuttle anchor, was a couple of strides behind Tyler and got some help when the Knights’ hurdlers grazed the next-to-last hurdle. That gave McDonald a split second to capture the win. It was the second straight shuttle championship for McDonald, Amos and Patterson and the first for Smith, who replaced Brittany Leek from last year’s team. All four girls are cheerleaders and have won two OVAC Cheerleading Championships and two regional championships during their high school careers. McDonald finished third in the 100-meter hurdles, while Smith finished sixth in the high jump. Other Lady Eagles qualifying at state included Christa Harshberger, Sarah Goddard, Lauren Cline and Jennifer Emch in the 4X800-meter relay and Amos in the 100-meter hurdles. Patterson also qualified in the 100-meter dash. ***** In Class-A, the Williamstown Lady Yellowjackets ran away with the title by 48 points, while the Valley Lumberjills finished 11th and Paden City tied with Richwood for 20th place. There were no area first-place or runnerup finishers in Class-A, but Valley’s Jade Starkey finished in third place in the 100-meter hurdles, while Lady ‘Cat Taylor Parsons finished in sixth place. The Paden City shuttle team of Taylor Parsons, Lynnsie Parsons, Joni Myers and Josie Fox piked up a ribbon for finishing in sixth place. The ‘Jills just missed getting ribbons in the long jump and the 4X100-meter relay events. Dani Hayes jumped 4’10, while the team of Starkey, Hayes, Brittany Sivert and Tristen Willey finished seventh. Other ‘Jills earning recognition at the state track meet included Casey Ueltschy and Abigail Willey in the discus and 4X200-relay events, respectively.