A year after missing out on their entire 2020 seasons just as their other spring sports counterparts did, track and field teams statewide began region qualifying competition for the state meet on Wednesday.
Class A teams took part in region qualification on June 2. Class AA squads are on tap for June 3 and AAA teams for June 4.
The state meet will be held June 10-12 at UC Stadium's Laidley Field.
The Class A Region 3 meet at Woodrow Wilson High School on Wednesday was slated to feature Charleston Catholic, Greater Beckley Christian, Greenbrier West, James Monroe, Meadow Bridge, Midland Trail, Montcalm, Mount View, Pocahontas County, Richwood, River View, Summers County and Webster County.
On Thursday, Class AA schools will also converge at the Pete Culicerto Track in Beckley for their qualifying event. The field is expected to include Bluefield, Herbert Hoover, Independence, Liberty-Raleigh, Nicholas County, PikeView, Shady Spring, Westside and Wyoming East.
In the double-A meet, field events begin at 4 p.m. and running events at 5 p.m. Adult and student tickets will be available at the gate.
Beckley head girls coach George Barbera said Tuesday the Flying Eagles are looking forward to hosting the Wednesday and Thursday events. "We've all been working hard on getting everything ready," he said.
Class AAA Region 3 participants at Laidley Field beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 4 will include Capital, George Washington, Greenbrier East, Oak Hill, Princeton, Riverside, South Charleston, St. Albans and Woodrow Wilson.
Oak Hill head coach Matthew Sydnor is looking for some solid showings from his athletes on Friday. "Our girls team has had a strong season, not finishing worse than sixth all year," he said. That included a team win at PikeView, a runner-up finish, and a pair of two third-place efforts. The Red Devil boys team also was victorious at PikevView.
"Girls wise, I expect Kiya Babkirk, who has won two high-point awards this year, to do very well in 300 hurdles (an event in which she is undefeated this spring) and to do good in the open 400 along with Samiah Lynch (a junior)." The girls 4x400-meter relay team (Babkirk, fellow senior Morgan Wills, Lynch and freshman Jade Babkirk) should also fare well, he noted.
"Of course, Shannon Farrow will look to win the open 100 and 200, as well as long jump for girls," Sydnor said of his standout senior sprinter.
On the boys side, Sydnor expects Leonard Farrow, Shannon's brother, to perform well in the 100 and 200 dashes. He's also looking for strong placings from the 4x100 quartet (Farrow, Te-amo Shelton, Colton Workman and Chase Minor), the 4x200 unit (Farrow, Shelton, Workman and Tony Stump) and the 4x400 team (Stump, Ty Wilburn, Workman and Jeremiah Jackson).
Sydnor also says Stump and Shelton will be among the top contenders in the long jump, Wilburn "has been doing very well in the open 400," and Eli Calloway has made strong showings in the hurdles.
• • •
Among the statewide best performances (fully automatic times in running events) posted on www.runwv.com for meets contested by May 22 and received by May 24, some of the following local athletes were among the state's top performers:
AAA — Oak Hill's Kiya Babkirk (2nd, 300 hurdles, 48.18) for the girls; and Woodrow Wilson's Keenan Cook (3rd, high jump, 6-0 1/2).
AA — Bluefield's Jacorian Green (3rd, 200, 23.02; and 4th, 100, 11.29), Shady Spring's Noah Hatfield (3rd, shot put, 45-1; and 6th, discus, 130-1) and PikeView's Logan Keaton (3rd, 800, 2:01.24) on the boys side; and Nicholas County's Natalie Barr (1st, 800, 2:27.34, and 4th, 400, 1:02.76), Nicholas County's Taylor Winebrenner (2nd, shot put, 36-9.5, and 2nd, discus, 118-10), and PikeView's Erin O'Sullivan (2nd, 1600, 5:26.8) for the girls.
A — Richwood's Carlee Dillard (4th, high jump, 4-11) and James Monroe's Lilly Jackson (3rd, long jump, 16-2 1/2) in girls individual events; and Richwood's Aiden Miller (tie-4th, high jump, 6-0) and Richwood's Josh Landreth (4th, discus, 128-8).
• • •
Point Pleasant won both divisions of the Frank Young Memorial Invitational on May 27 at Summersville, according to results on www.runwv.com.
The Woodrow Wilson, Nicholas County and Richwood girls grabbed places 2-4, respectively.
For the boys, Nicholas County was second.
In the girls races, Nicholas County's Natalie Barr (400 in 1:04.14, 800 in 2:30.16 and 1600 in 5:38.03) was a triple-winner. Beckley's Somalia Nelson was a double-winner (100 in 13.3 and 200 in 27.56).
Ethan Board, of Nicholas County, won both the boys 800 (2:12.47) and 1600 (4:54.15). Westside's Daniel Reed produced wins in the high jump (5-8) and long jump (20-2).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @gb_scribe