Cabell Midland, Jefferson enter States as team favorites
As the state meet approaches for the top athletes in the state of West Virginia, a possible storyline could be the team and individual battles between Cabell Midland and Jefferson.
In the 100 and 200 meter-dashes, Jefferson’s Dante Price enters the 100 ranked number two in the state and number one in the 100. Meanwhile, Cabell Midland’s Jacob Reynolds is slated at number three in both events. In the distance events, Cabell Midland sophomore Jacob Burcham has the top times in both the 800 and 1600-meter runs. Burcham’s time of 1:53.88 is the second-fastest time all-time in the state. It is also ahead of last year’s state meet record time set by St. Albans’ Andy Bailey in a time of 1:54.03. However, Burcham will be challenge by numerous runners in the 800. Jefferson’s Brandon Doughty has runn 1:55.61. Joining Doughty and Burcham in the sub-2:00 800 club is Cabell’s Midland Ryan Smith, David Jobe and Matthew Edmunds and Fairmont Senior’s Dayton McVicker. Burcham, Doughty and McVicker should figure into the half of the field for the 1600-meter run. Burcham’s time of 4:11 at Penn Relays in late April ranks second all-time in the state and puts him ahead of former North Marion star Zach Tennant’s record from 2009. Doughty has run 4:18. McVicker has run 4:22. However, both of their best times came much earlier in the season. Although, he has struggled some this season, Morgantown senior and future NC State runner Cody Pelliccioni should not be counted out of this race. Some dark horses to watch in this event is Gazettes’ 1600-meter run winner Jordan Brown-Stobbe from University, Jefferson’s Eric Graf and Winfield’s Joe Kirtner. Much like the 800 and 1600, Doughty and Burcham will headline the event in the state. Doughty ran 9:12 at Gazettes, while Burcham ran 9:21 at Louisville early in April. McVicker won this event last year and set the state meet record in the process. He enters the event ranked second with a time of 9:18. Even though Pelliccioni is currently ranked fourth in the state, he did not run the 3200 at regionals, which disqualifies him from the race.
In the relays, Jefferson and Cabell Midland will once again battle it out. Jefferson has run 8:01 for the 4x800-meter relay, while the Knights have run 8:04. The real question entering the event will be whether Doughty and Burcham run the event for their respective teams or they focus on their individual events. If one or both of would rest, teams such as Winfield, Parkersburg, Washington and Martinsburg could move up into the top two. In the 4x400, Jefferson is ranked four seconds ahead of its closest competition--Cabell Midland.
In the field events, Wheeling Park’s Errin Baynes has an opportunity to break the state meet record in the high jump. Baynes enters the meet with a season-best of seven feet and a quarter inch. Baynes is less than three inches from breaking the record. Hurricane’s A.J. White could win double as a field event champion in both the discus and shot put.