Burcham's stellar triple
Burcham edges Doughty by .02 to earn the trifecta. (Lance McDaniel photo)
Going into the boys AAA State Track Meet, much hype surrounded the 800-meter, 1600-meter and 3200-meter runs.
It’s safe to say that all three events lived up to that hype.
In the 3200-meter run, three athletes--Cabell Midland’s Jacob Burcham, Jefferson’s Brandon Doughty and Fairmont Senior’s Dayton McVicker were expected to be the front-runners.
After five laps of the eight laps, very little separated the threesome. As the sixth lap began, McVicker made a move that triggered counter moves by Burcham and Doughty. Doughty would keep pace with Burcham until about 600 meters left to go, when Burcham would pull away for good en route to a state meet-record time of 9:11.29. Doughty would hold onto to second in 9:20.43.
As for McVicker, his attempt to win the race nearly cost him a top three finish. McVicker got in just before Jefferson’s Eric Graf and University’s Jordan Brown-Stobbe. Preston’s Peter Schwarzenberg nabbed the last all-state spot.
The 1600-meter run was a near mirror image of Friday night’s race. Once again McVicker, Burcham and Doughty, along with Morgantown’s Cody Pelliccioni were the leaders at the halfway point in the race. During the third lap, Pelliccioni made a move towards the front. Doughty and Burcham went with Pelliccioni. By the bell lap, Doughty and Burcham had gapped everybody else. Burcham, a sophomore ran way from Doughty on his way to a state-record time of 4:08.80. Doughty was able to run under the state record with a time of 4:12.90. Winfield’s Joe Kirtner made a major move to finish third. Jefferson’s Eric Graf, Cabell Midland’s David Jobe and McVicker rounded out the top six.
Burcham’s time ranks in the top ten in America for the 1600-meter run.
Maybe the event of the state meet was the AAA boys 800-meter run, Doughty and Burcham were the only two runners to run 1:55 or better all year. Both runners came through the 400-meter mark in 57 seconds. With 200 meters left in the race, Burcham appeared to gap Doughty for the third consecutive race. However, Doughty closed the gap with 50 meters left to go. As they approached the finished line, Doughty dove for the finish line, only to come up .02 seconds shy of Burcham. A pair of Cabell Midland runners finished third and fourth--Ryan Smith and Matthew Edmunds. Washington’s Cameron Russell and Martinsburg’s Nick Bauer rounded the top six.
The following photos of the amazing finish are by Lance McDaniel
Brandon Doughty - One tough competitor
After the 800, Burcham said, “It feels amazing to be a three-time state champion.” Burcham also tipped his cap to Doughty’s competitiveness throughout the weekend. “Doughty is my favorite runner from other teams.,” he said. “He’s really fun to run with especially when [he dives at the finish line in an attempt to win the race.”]
Burcham plans to qualify for the USA Jr. Olympic team in June. “I’ll be running the 1500-meter run at Myrtle Beach,” he explained. If I qualify, I’ll be racing in France.”
Some other notable performances were Wheeling Park’s Errin Baynes winning the high jump with a jump of 6 feet, 4 inches. Baynes attempted to jump 6 feet, 10 inches, but failed. Baynes best performance this season was 7 feet. According to Baynes, he plans to compete at New Balance Outdoor Nationals. Baynes has the third best jump in the U.S. this year. “I wasn’t happy with my performance today,” he said after the competition. “My goal at New Balance is to break seven feet and medal.”
Despite losing to Burcham in three individual events, Doughty and his teammates Ashton Hyler, Dante Price and Denzel Washington defeated Cabell Midland’s 4x400-meter team, which included Burcham.
Ultimately, Jefferson was able to defeat Cabell Midland for the team title.
Earning high point honors was Elkins’ Cam Viney, who won the 400-meter dash and the 300-meter intermediate hurdles. Viney also had a pair of second place finishes in the 200-meter dash and 110-meter high hurdles.
Jefferson’s Dante Price was able to capture titles in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes.
Dante Price (in the middle) - Double State Champion in the 100m and 200m