The 105th State Track Meet was held at Laidley Field in Charleston May 17 and May 18, and the meet had to be one of the longest in history due to major thunderstorms that started late on Friday afternoon. The prolonged thunderstorms, with lots of lightning, rain, flooded streets and power outages for thousands in that area, forced fans to shelter under the stands of the stadium for hours. There was a delay of four hours, 16 minutes on Friday, and the meet did not end until 12:15a.m. As a result, running events on Saturday started an hour later than scheduled, and some field events were also moved to Saturday’s schedule. The AA boys pole vault event was still going on Saturday, an hour after all running events had concluded.
Team titles in four of the six divisions weren’t decided until the last event on Saturday.
The Pocahontas County High School Lady Warriors won 13 medals and scored 20 points to finish 9th of 26 Class A girls teams.
The total number of athletes who participated at states this year was 1,900. The top-nine girls squads were: #1 – Williamstown – 108.50 points; #2 – Ritchie – 52; #3 – Wheeling Central Catholic – 48; #4 – Magnolia – 45; #5 – Buffalo – 43.5; #6 – Doddridge – 40; #7 – Charleston Catholic – 38; #8 – Clay-Battelle – 30; and #9 – PCHS – 20. Other close schools who scored were: #16 – Greenbrier West – 8, #18 three-way tie East Hardy – 6, and #24 Tucker – 1.
Second in 300m Hurdles – Laila Calhoun – 47.59
Josh Weekley of Run WV.com had predicted that junior Laila Calhoun would finish in sixth place in this event. The meet Performance List that is based upon regional times had Calhoun in seventh place (50.30), since that was her second place Region III time. The Best Performances list that is based on the entire season had her at #5 (49.24). Calhoun obviously exceeded expectations and jumped four places to finish with silver in second place (47.59), her best time yet. Senior Mills Mullen of Charleston Catholic was predicted to finish in 1st place with the #1 Best Performances time of 48.06, but she finished third (47.80), .21 second behind Calhoun. Sophomore Aali-yah Brunny of Parkersburg Catholic finished first with a 45.84 time; her #2 Best Performances time had been 48.29. Calhoun’s second place gave both her and PCHS 8 points.
Third in Girls Shuttle Hurdles – 1:09.22
Weekly had predicted that the PCHS girls 4×102.5m Shuttle Hurdles team (sophomores Tessa Kiner and Savannah McMillion plus juniors Kira Bircher and Calhoun) would finish in third place, and that is exactly what they did, winning bronze in a time of 1:09.22. Their regional time was slower at 1:09.51. The third place added 6 team points and 1.5 points for each of the four girls.
Fourth in Girls 4x800m Relay – 10:35.20
Weekly had predicted that the PCHS girls 4x800m team (junior Sage McLaughlin, McMillion, Bircher and freshman Macaden Taylor) would finish in fifth place, and they finished fourth in a time of 10:35.20 and moved ahead of #4 ranked Weirton Madonna, who came in at sixth. The 4th place finish added 4 team points and 1 point for each for the four girls. Williamstown, Charleston Catholic and Saint Marys finished 1.2.3 as ranked and as predicted.
Fifth in Girls 4x200m Relay – PCHS – 1:52.53
Weekly had predicted that the PCHS girls 4x200m team (McMillion, Calhoun, sophomore Cheylin Wood-ruff and McLaughlin) would finish in fourth place, and they finished fifth in a time of 1:52.53. The same four girls finished fifth in this event last year at states in a slower time of 1:53.33. The fifth place added 2 team points and .5 point for each of the four girls. Will-iamstown, Charleston Catholic and Saint Marys finished 1-2-3 as ranked and predicted.
To summarize, Calhoun won three medals and scored 10 of PCHS’s 20 points. McMillion won three medals; Bircher and McLaughlin each won two. Winning one medal each were Tessa Kiner, Woodruff and Taylor.