On a beautiful sunny day in scenic Smithsburg, Maryland, the Jefferson boys and Washington girls demonstrated the strength of West Virginia High School Track and Field by notching 40 point victories in the Charas Heurich Invitational. In the boy’s meet, Jefferson posted a 47 point victory by defeating second place Stone Bridge (VA) 128 to 81. Catoctin (78) and Sherando of Virginia (71) rounded out the top four finishers. In the girls’ meet, Washington defeated second place Catoctin (MD), 114 to 74 followed by host Smithsburg with 70 and Stone Bridge with 61.
Jefferson Boys Score Balanced Victory
Despite some of their top runners missing events due to ACT testing, Jefferson again proved too much for the ten team field by using a balanced roster to score in every event except the Pole Vault and Long Jump. Dante Price again led the way with victories in the 100 M Dash (11.09), and the 200 M Dash (21.84). Price also contributed to Jefferson’s victory 4 X 100 M Relay (44.04) and a second place finish behind Smithsburg in the 4 X 200 Relay (132.20).
Dante Price Sprints to 100 M Victory - Rollie Jacobs Photo
Jefferson’s distance runners did their part as well with Eric Graf taking home the 1600 M Run title with a last lap burst to win by nine seconds in an impressive 4:20.16. In the 800 M Run, Graf was one of three athletes breaking 2:00 minutes. Alex Warfield of Winters Mill (MD) posted a fast 1:57.44 while Jeff Stone held off a charging Graf in the final 50 meters to take second in 1:59.38 to Graf’s 1:59.63. Jefferson’s Ryan Graf and Sam Munnis rounded out the top five by finishing in 2:02.65 and 2:06.30 respectively. In the 3200 M Run, Winter’s Mill posted an impressive 1-2 finish with Weston Carvalho taking home the trophy with a time of 9:45.52 followed by Zach Hopkins in 9:49.01. Jefferson’s Andrew Milliron finished in third with a time of 9:54.44. Smithburg’s Luke Daigneault also broke 10:00 minutes with a time of 9:59.59 to finish fourth. In the 4 X 800 Relay, Jefferson entered a team of three sophomores (Andrew Milliron, Rhett Zillinger, and Jackson Jacobs) and one senior (Sam Munnis) and strode to an easy victory over second place Sherando with a time of 8:34.08.
Eric Graf Strides to 1600 M win - Rollie Jacobs Photo
The Jefferson hurdlers held up their end of the bargain as well led by Warren Gray’s victory in the 300m Hurdles with a time of 40.74. He was followed closely by teammate Ashton Hyler in second (41.18) and Curtis Chiswell in fifth (42.43). Chiswell also pitched in with a fourth place finish in the High Jump after clearing 5’10”. In the 110 Hurdles won by Stone Bridge’s D’Ante Yarborough (15.15), Jefferson’s Lane Simpson pulled up late but still managed to take fourth in 16.02 followed closely by Warren Gray in fifth with a 16:08.
Warren Gray Leads Jefferson Hurdlers in the 300 M IH - Rollie Jacobs Photo
In the field events, the big story was again Washington’s Roland Rush. Rush repeated his performance in at the Dwight Scott Invitational last week by clearing 14’0” to defeat second place Brandon Stearns of Francis Scott Key (MD) by a foot and a half. West Virginia vaulted well with two Hedgesville athletes, Hunter Weaver (3rd, 12’0”) and Mike Higginbotham (6th, 11’6”) scoring in the top six. In the High Jump, Washington’s Martinez Grant cleared 5’10” to take third place just ahead of Jefferson’s Chiswell. Chris Smith of Sherando was the victor jumping 6’0” to take the crown. Grant also scored in the long jump, leaping 20’01” to take third in the event won by Smithburg’s Zane Gardenhour with a stellar leap of 21’6”. The boys’ Shot Put was won by Catoctin’s Tyler Silverman with a toss of 45’10”, just outdistancing second place Travis Ritter of Sherando (45’7”) and Jefferson’s Travis Miller (45’5”). In the Discus, Catoctin’s Tyler Silverman’s doubled up to earn the Discus victory in addition to his Shot Put victory. Silverman spun his way to a throw of 150’01” outdistancing the filed by over 20 feet. Jefferson’s Cornell Holt contributed to the team victory with a throw of 114’11” to earn fourth.
Other notable West Virginia performances on the day included Washington’s Derrick Burnson (51.85) and Jefferson’s Leon Waldron (52.28) earning third and fifth respectively in the 400 M Dash and Hedgesville’s Aaron Lloyd taking 6th in the 200 M Dash with a time of 24.16. In addition to Jefferson’s team victory, Washington took seventh and Hedgesville ninth in the ten team field.
Washington Girls Outclass the Field
Rhonda Rogombe Nips Devyn Hosby for 400 M Victory - Rollie Jacobs Photo
In the girl’s events, Washington High School posted an impressive victory. Freshman Rhonda Rogombe led the way posting personal bests and victories in the 200 M Dash (26.45) and the 400 M Dash (58.79) and a second place finish to Catoctin’s Hannah Stone (5’6”) in the High Jump with a jump of 5’4”. Jefferson’s Ahry Green and Kenya Price finished in third and fourth with jumps of 4’8”. Washington’s Devin Hosby supported the team victory by winning the 100 M Dash with a time of 12.81 and placing just behind Rogombe in the 200 M at 26.52. Washington’s Nikki Ashbaugh bridged the gap to her distance teammates by placing third in both the 400 M Dash (1:01.46) and leading a strong West Virginia contingent in the 800 M Run. The 800 was won by Mt. de Sales Academy’s Jessica Harris with an impressive 2:16.27 but Ashbaugh led the West Virginians with a third place finish (2:27.41) followed by Hedgesville’s Brittany Pollard (4th, 2:31.28), Washington’s Destiny Harrison (5th, 2:35.29) and Hedgesville’s Fallon Stone (6th, 2:36.19). Savannah Steinly of Catoctin was second in 2:22.51.
Nikki Ashbaugh Looks to Pass Brittany Pollard - Rollie Jacobs photo
In the other distance events, Savannah Steinly pulled away from two Washington runners to post an easy 15 second victory in the 1600 M Run winning with a time of 5:17.55. Vivian Ruiz finished second 5:32.62 trailed by teammate Destiny Harrison in 5:44.93. In the 3200 M Run, Foot Locker XC Nationals qualifier Hannah Oneda of Winters Mill cruised to a 49 second victory in 11:29.28 over second place Lauren Johnson of Smithsburg (12:19.70). Washington’s Ruiz again made her mark as she placed fifth in 12:41.99 followed Hedgesville’s Stone (12:51.67).
Vivian Ruiz Trails Hannah Oneda in the 3200 - Rollie Jacobs photo
Washington’s pole vaulters shined on the day with a 1-2 finish in the event. Caysie Irving followed up last week’s second place finish with a victory at 10’0”. She was followed by teammate Sara Pifer with a vault of 9’0”. Hedgesville’s Tameisha McBrearty cleared 8’0” to take fourth and Jefferson’s Ananda Garcia 7’6” to take sixth.
In the throwing events, Hedgesville’s Victoria Reid scored a remarkable double victory by winning the Shot Put with a throw of 33”4” over Francis Scott Key’s Danika Ana (32’4”) and winning the Discus Throw with a toss of 109’0” to beat Smithsburg’s Gabby Slayman (91’5”) by over 17 feet. Washington’s Taylor Cathcart recorded a throw of 81’9” to place fifth in the event.
The other notable West Virginia performances on the day were posted by Jefferson. The Cougars showed significant improvement over last week by scoring in all four relays posting times of 53.02 to finish fourth in the 4 X 100 M Relay, 1:51.82 to finish fourth in the 4 X 200 M Relay, 4:24.71 to finish sixth in the 4 X 400 M Relay and 10:48.34 to finish 4th in the 4 x 800 M Relay. Additionally, Jefferson’s Allison Thomas finished second in the 100 M Hurdles with a time of 17.34 seconds just behind Francis Scott Keys’ Jordan Fine who took the win with a time of 17.19. Jefferson’s Selena Renteria pitched in with a sixth place finish in the 200 M Dash (28.47).
In the team standings, Washington scored the easy victory in the eleven team field with an improved Jefferson team just nipping Hedgesville for eighth place by a score of 32 points to 31.
One final note…the Charas Heurich Invitational was founded to honor a wonderful young woman and Smithsburg student-athlete who died tragically while attending Smithsburg High School. On this day in 2012, the meet was dedicated to another Smithsburg student-athlete who also lost his life earlier in the week. Mitchell Akers was killed when he was accidentally thrown from a utility vehicle while working at Hagerstown Municipal Stadium. A moment of silence was held before the start of the meet and the Smithsburg athletes wore orange bandanas and remembrance stickers dedicated to Mitchel Akers. Condolences go out to his family, the students and staff of Smithsburg High School and the Smithsburg community as they mourn this tragic loss.