WV Athletes Shine at New Balance Outdoor Nationals


Greensboro, N.C.--While West Virginia is known nationally for its ability to produce outstanding distance runners, it was a sprinter that stole the show at New Balance Outdoor Nationals.


Harpers Ferry-native and current Jefferson star Dante Price won the Boys’ Emerging Elite 200-meter dash with a time of 21.95 seconds. Price, who is one of only two West Virginia sprinters to break 22 seconds in the event this year, missed his season personal best by .01 seconds.


Price also ran in the Boys’ Emerging Elite 100-meter dash clocking a time of 11.03 seconds, but failed to qualify for finals.


A few other non-distance runners grabbed some attention in Greensboro. Wheeling Park’s Errin Baynes finished tied for seventh in the Boys Championship high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 8 inches. The junior couldn’t quite match his season best of 7 feet, .25 inches. However, Baynes did better than his state meet jump of 6 feet, 4 inches.


Throwers Mark Britton and A.J. White both had strong performances at the meet. Britton, who will be throwing for Winthrop next year, finished 12th in the Boys Championship discus with a toss of 169 feet, 5 inches. The recently-graduated Ritchie County senior was approximately 12 feet of his personal best of 181 feet, 4 inches.


Meanwhile, White was entered in both the shot put and discus. In the Boys Emerging Elite discus White finished in fifth place with a throw of 157 feet, 5 inches. He, too, was unable to match his season best of 161 feet, 8 inches. White had an equally strong showing in the Boys Emerging Elite shot put--finishing fourth with a throw of 52 feet, 10 inches.


As for the distance runners representing West Virginia, it was headlined by Sami Harris’ performance in the 5,000-meter run.        Harris ran a time of 17 minutes, 41.24 seconds, which was good enough for eighth place in the 5K.             More importantly, Harris’ time ranks fastest all-time in the state. While most other 5,000-meter times have come on a cross country course. Former Morgantown runner Maria Dalzot, who ranks second behind Harris, ran her 5K on the track in 2006.


At the state meet in May, St. Mary’s Maggie Drazba was able to edge Harris in both the 3200-meter and 1600-meter runs. Once again, Drabza was able to put together an outstanding performance on the track. She finished second in the Girls Emerging Elite 2 mile run with a time of 11 minutes, 3.77 seconds--a season best and fastest in the state this year.


West Virginia saw a small contingent of distance runners on the boys side this year, as Winfield’s Joe Kirtner and Fairmont Senior’s Dayton McVicker competed in Greensboro. Kirtner, who was coming off a third place finish in the 1600-meter run at the state meet in a personal best time of 4 minutes, 19.81 seconds. In the Boys Emerging Elite Mile, Kirtner finished 16th with a time of 4 minutes, 34.69 seconds. The Oklahoma-bound McVicker was coming off a great race at the Midwest Distance Gala. At the meet he ran 9 minutes, 12.16 seconds--a personal best for McVicker. McVicker could not quite follow through with another strong outing at New Balance Nationals as he ran 9 minutes, 46.50 seconds, which was good enough for 21st place.