Bruce McKean
Contributing Writer

The Pocahontas County High School track teams headed to Charleston to compete in the 84th Gazette-Mail Relays on a wet Friday, but a drier Saturday.  The Gazette-Mail reported that the events were delayed more than 30 minutes on Friday because of the rain and traffic congestion on the roads into Charleston.

The Lady Warriors started strong Friday and placed in three events – winning one gold, one silver and one bronze:  #1 Shuttle Hurdles (Kira Bircher, Savannah McMillion, Tessa Kiner, Laila Calhoun) 1:10.73, #2 4×800 (Macaden Taylor, Sage McLaughlin, Bircher and McMillion) 10.59.0, and #3  3200m (Macaden Taylor) 12:38.35. 

The boys grabbed two thirds and a fifth:  #3 Shuttle Hurdles (Jacob Jones, Cody Kiner, Elijah Robertson and Dakin Rexrode) 1:05.95, #3 4x800m (Rexrode, Robertson, Conner Spencer, and Kiner) 9:53.73, and #5 Shot Put (Thomas Smith) 40-7.  At the end of the day Friday, the PCHS girls had finished #3 (24 points) of the seven teams who scored, behind #1 Doddridge County (48) and #2 Charleston Catholic (35).  The boys had finished #5 (14 points) of the eight teams who scored behind #1 Doddridge (64), #2 Sherman (22), #3 tie Chesapeake, Ohio (16) and #3 tie  Ironton, Ohio (16).

The PCHS girls added 40 more points Saturday and held on to third place  with 81 points.  The boys nearly doubled their Friday effort and added 26 to finish in sixth place with 40 points. 

The girls brought home nine more placements:  #1 100m High Hurdles (Laila Calhoun) 16.12, #1 4x200m (McMillion, Calhoun, Cheylin Woodruff and Sage McLaughlin) 1:52.48,  #2 400m (McLaughlin) 1:05.23, #2 300m Low Hurdles (Laila Calhoun) 49.72, #3 3200m (Taylor) 12:38.35, #3 4x400m (Bircher, Taylor, Woodruff and McMillion) 4:37.11, #4 200m (Woodruff) 28.03, #6 100m (Woodruff) 13.43, and #6 800m (McLaughlin) 2:44.48.  The boys scored six more times:  #2 300m Intermediate Hurdles (Jones) 42.8, #3 110m High Hurdles (Robertson) 17.07, #4 800m (Jones) 2:08.26, #4 4x400m (Jones, Conner Spencer, Kiner and Robertson) 3:55.07, #4 Long Jump (Cody Kiner) 19-2 3/4, and #5 Shot Put (Thomas Smith) 40-7. 

Laila Calhoun came in fourth in Class A with 23 points of the five top-scoring girls who were recognized.  #3 RunWV.com ranked Doddridge County had the top-scoring girl, while #5 ranked Charleston Catholic had the second, and two Ohio athletes placed third and fifth. 

At the end of the day Saturday, 11 girls teams had scored, and #1 Doddridge County upped its points to 126.2, and #2 Charleston Catholic finished with 102 points.  Ten boys teams would score with #1 Doddridge scoring 164 points and #2 Webster County scoring 85. The third through fifth place teams just ahead of the #6 PCHS boys were:  #3 – Sherman – 64. #4 Ironton Ohio – 51, and #5 Gilmer County – 45.

The latest RunWV Power Rankings of the 2019 track season, calculated by using results through meets held by April 20 and received by April 22, were released on runwv.com before the Gazette Relays. 

The PCHS girls were ranked for their top efforts in the following eight events for the same April dates in the most recent Class A Best Performances:  #3 Shuttle Hurdles Relay tie/South Harrison – 1:10.34, #4 Laila Calhoun – 300m Low Hurdles – 49.24, #4 – 4x800m – 10:52.74, #5 Laila Calhoun – 100m High Hurdles – 16.84, #7 – 4x200m – 1:55.30, #8 Irish Simmons – High Jump 6-way tie – 4.10, #9 Taylor – 1600m Run – 5:55.29, and #10 – 4x400m – 4:41.14.  The following four PCHS boys’ individual event top efforts were also ranked:  #8 Jones – 800m Run – 207.94, #9 – 4x400m – 348.74, #9 Thomas Smith – Shot Put tie – 42.0100. and #10 Jones – 300m Intermediate Hurdles – 43.08. 

The PCHS track teams will compete at the Fayetteville Lions Club Invitational at Oak Hill High School Friday, May 3, beginning at 3 p.m.  The Class A Region III Track Meet starts at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at Laidley Field in Charleston.  The state track meet starts at 1:55 p.m. Friday, May 17, and at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 18, at Laidley Field in Charleston.

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