Pole Vault action with Capitol in background - Rollie Jacobs photo
It was sultry day at Laidley Field and the performances heated up. Fourteen state or meet records were broken on Day 1 with more sure to follow today. As expected the AAA Boys meet is tight. While Burcham was expected to win in the day's last event, the 3200, Cabell Midland did better than expected with a 1, 4, and 5 finish. With Jefferson's Ryan Graf getting nipped at the line by Winfield's Joe Kirtner, and unable to join brother Eric in the scoring, Cabell Midland was able to pull into a tie at the end of the day. This sets up a battle royale for Day 2. Jefferson still has great opportunities to score with their strong sprinters and hurdlers while the Cabell Distance runners figure to be strong in the 800 and 1600. Jefferson's distance runners will be a major factor in those events as well so this could be a shoot out. It may come down to a wild card...with an athlete on either team doing something unexpected to sway the outcome. Jefferson probably has more opportunities here but Cabell Midland's distance runners seem to be on a mission. No matter what, it will be an exciting day!
In the girls AAA, Morgantown seems to be in charge but Buckhannon-Upshur must be watched. Morgantown got a surprise victory from Rachel Hewitt in the Pole Vault over favored Kaitlyn Clark of Jefferson to get them to the top of the standings. They also earned a 1st and 4th finish with Brynn Harshbarger and Sydney Pineault in the 3200 to solidify their day 1 lead. Nevertheless, Buck-Up star Emily Godwin is looking strong in her events and should score big during day two. With additional support from Godwin's teammates, Buck-up could factor in the final standings. With limited opportunities to go head to head in the remaining events, each team will have to focus on maximizing points across the board.
A couple of other reflections....St. Mary's Maggie Drazba is simply exceptional. Running essentially unopposed, she was focused and strong throught her 3200 to not only break the A meet record but also post the best time by any girl in any division in the 3200...wow. This continued a trend seen throughout the day with exceptional performances being posted at the A and AA level by boys and girls. Great athletes and coaching exist through out West Virginia no matter the size of the school.
That's it for now, off to day 2. Stay tuned to WV Runners for more updates, stories and the most extensive photographic coverage on the web. Good luck to all the athletes...you're all winners.