Bruce McKean
Contributing Writer

Twelve schools, including Allegheny County and Covington High Schools in Virginia, participated in the Greenbrier East Invitational April 12.  The other 10 West Virginia schools included two in Class AAA, four in AA and four in A. 

The girls teams in order of their finish with their school’s class (WV only) and points scored were: #1 AAA Greenbrier East 140 points, #2 A Pocahontas County High School 60, #3 A Greenbrier West 51, #4 AA PikeView 42, #5 AA Bluefield 40, #6 A Midland Trail 39, #7 Alleghany VA 38, #8 Covington VA 29, #9 AA James Monroe 28, #10 A Summers 26, #11 AA Independence 12, #12 AAA Princeton 10, and #13 AAA East “B team” 7. 

The boys teams were: #1 AAA East 103 points, #2 Covington 97, #3 Allegheny 57, #4 A PCHS 55, #5 A Summers 52, #6 AA Bluefield 40, #7 AAA Princeton 34, #7 A Trail 34, #9 AA PikeView 28, #10 AA Independence 23, #11 A West 16, and #12 AA James Monroe 6.

Bringing home gold (10 points for first) for PCHS were: junior Lola Guamis (1600m – 5:55.38); junior Cora Hedrick (3200m – 13:03.13); senior Ryan Irvine (discus – 133-00); team of senior Connor Pyles, senior Kyle Lester; sophomore Jacob Jones and senior Logan Davis (4x400m – 3:40.43); and team of Jacob Jones, Lester, Pyles and sophomore Elijah Robertson (4x800m – 8:47.96). 

Taking silver (8 points) were: Lola Guamis (800m – 2:45.34); sophomore Bridget Carrol (discus – 94-07); Kyle Lester (800m – 2:10.43); team of freshman Laila Calhoun, Hedrick, Lola Guamis and freshman Sage McLaughlin (4x400m – 4:45.04); and team of Lola Guamis, Hedrick, McLaughlin and Calhoun (4x800m – 11:07.96). 

Winning bronze (6 points) was senior Danny Kimble (discus – 121-05). 

Coming in fourth (4 points) were: sophomore Irish Simmons (high jump – 4-04.00); senior Brady Jones (shot put – 41-02.25); team of freshman Cloey Sharp, McLaughlin, Calhoun and senior Brittney Sharp (4x200m – 2:03.95).  Simmons needed a jump of 4-08 to be ranked. 

Finishing fifth (2 points) were: junior Gus Foe (3200m – 12:07.07); team of Logan Davis, Lester, Pyles and senior Hunter Shafer (4x200m – 1:42.06); and team of Jacob Jones, Shafer, Robertson and sophomore Logan Woodruff (shuttle hurdles – 1:11.51). The boys 4x200m team had a baton drop and recovered pretty quickly, but that hurt their time and their finish.

Grabbing sixth (1 point) was:  Jacob Jones (300m hurdles – 45.83).

This meet lasted a long time. One running event, the boys 200m dash, had 46 entrants entered, and the East track only has five lanes. One field event, the boys shot put had 49 entrants listed.

The PCHS boys entered the Class A  top-10 team rankings last week at #10 due to their very strong meet at BUHS. The PCHS girls team is getting close to being ranked. The PCHS boys were ranked in seven events last week, and the PCHS girls were ranked in six events. The absence of talented PCHS freshman sprinter Rita Guamis at this meet lowered the girls point total.

Being ranked in any sport  this year got much tougher for Class A schools and follows similar changes four years ago. The new WVSSAC classifications for the next four years (2016-17 through 2019-2020) greatly reduced the number of AAA teams from 38 schools to 29, with the nine smallest AAA schools being moved to AA. Class AA increased by nine schools from Class AAA and lost their six smallest schools in AA, resulting in 44 schools now in AA.  Class A increased to 54 schools from 49.  Ravenswood, Mount View, Webster County, Ritchie County and Summers County all moved from AA to A, while Man moved up from A to AA due to an increase in their student count. The Ritchie County girls and boys track teams were ranked #6 and #7 respectively in Class A last week, and they are the only “new to Class A” teams now ranked.  It will be interesting to see how many of these schools bring home medals and place at states this year.  All private schools are in class A in West Virginia, and the private schools have dominated in most sports for whatever reason.

The PCHS track teams travel to the Nicholas County Invitational Meet in Summersville on Tuesday, April 25. The meet starts at 3 p.m.  The Nicholas County Track is located at the NCHS football field on US 19 south of Nicholas County High School.