WVRunners File Photo of John Paul Blankenship (L) and Coach Mike Cox
This past weekend’s indoor meet at Marietta had a strong showing from Concord University’s women and men’s teams.
The most notable performance came not from a current Concord athlete, but an alumni. John Paul Blankenship, former All-American athlete from Concord out threw the entire field Friday night in the shot put with an impressive mark of 18.02 meters (59’ 1.5”)! Blankenship’s throw, which was two and a half meters further than the his nearest competitor, gave him a USAT&F provisional shot put mark for the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 26 and 27. This throw was just 6 centimeters short of an automatic qualifying standard.
“It’s 1.5 inches [away] and that wasn’t even my best throw that day...on my 3rd attempt I fouled a big one; perhaps 18.5 to 19 meters,” Blankenship said of his performance. He seems positive going into his next meet where he hopes to throw past that automatic qualifying mark.
As for current athletes, the Women’s team held nothing back Friday evening. The Women’s 200 meter dash saw a close race between some of the WVIAC’s finest, but it was Concord’s Shawnee Carnett who came away the victor in a time of 27.34. Lydia Powell took 3rd in 27.69. Carnett also took the crown in the 1 mile run where she ran a 5:18.27. Chelsea Callaway took 3rd with a time of 5:29.82, and Tabatha Whited was 5th in 5:37.00. In the 1000 meter run Rachel Williams dominated the field running a 3:15.99, almost 12 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor! Megan Savioli finished 3rd in the 55 meter hurdles with a time of 9.28. The women also took home the triple crown of relays Friday afternoon winning the 4x200 (1:49.57), 4x400 (4:10.55), and the 4x800 (9:48.51). The women’s team finished out the meet in 2nd place with 101 points. West Virginia Wesleyan won with 165.50 points.
The men’s team showed up ready to compete as well. Distance runner, Nathan Rees took 3rd in the 400 meter dash running an outstanding time of 52.52. Jason Brackett took home the victory in the 500 meter dash with a time of 1:09.23. Teammate Jarrett Wharton wasn’t far behind in 5th with 1:10.66. The 1 mile run saw an exciting race as Brad Dugan fought desperately to maintain his lead over the last 200 meters. He was passed by two right at the end and came across the line in a close 3rd with a personal record time of 4:30.71. Craig Pritt was hot on Dugan’s heels as he crossed the line in 4:33.91 placing 4th. The young 4x400 meter relay team finished 3rd in 3:40.39.
The men’s team placed an impressive 5th in the field of 12 collegiate teams with 69.50 points. West Virginia Wesleyan also won the men’s meet with 140 points.