Bruce McKean
Contributing Writer

The two Pocahontas County High School track teams opened their track season at Keyser March 26.

The Lady Warriors scored 137 points to place first of the eight schools who scored, and exploded for 44 more points than host Keyser who finished in second place. 

The PCHS girls also placed first in eight of the 18 events and scored in all but three events. PCHS does not compete in the pole vaulting event, and the ladies place seventh in the other two non-scoring events. PCHS finished with 32  placements. The other top-five girls teams were:  #2 Class AA Keyser – 93 points, #3 AA Berkeley Springs – 86, #4 A Tucker County – 85, and #5 – AA Petersburg – 71. The following points were awarded for placing from first through sixth place in each event:  10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1. 

The PCHS boys team scored 72 points and placed third of the nine schools who scored. The PCHS boys placed first in two of the 18 events and scored in 12.  PCHS finished with 28 placements. The other top-five teams were:  #1 Keyser – 173 points, #2  Tucker – 148, #3 PCHS – 72, #4 Petersburg – 48.33, and #5 Berkeley Springs – 43.33. The other four schools who competed were: East Hardy, Paw Paw, Moorefield and Union.

Placing first in individual events with their grade, event and time were:  Cheylin Woodruff (10th grade) 100m – 13.77, Sage McLaughlin (11th) 400m – 1:07.27, Laila Calhoun (11th) 100m hurdles – 16.84 and 300m hurdles – 51.16, Jacob Jones (12th) 800m – 2:11.72, and Thomas Smith (11th) shot put – 38-06.00. There were 25 girls and 36 boys running in the two 100m dash events, and 29 girls and 45 boys competed in the two shot put events. Calhoun’s time in the 100m hurdles heading into states last season was ranked #7 in West Virginia Class A, and her better time at Keyser would also have ranked #7 last season. Laila’s current time in the 300m hurdles would have ranked #9 at the end of last season. 

Finishing second were:  Woodruff 200m – 30.06, Macaden Taylor (9th) 800m – 2:45.47 and 1600m – 5:55.83, and Cloey Smith (11th) long jump – 12-07.75. Taking bronze were:  Woodruff 400m – 1:07.97, Kira Bircher (11th) 300m hurdles – 54.07, Iam Johnston (9th) 3200m – 12:03.68, Elijah Robertson (12th) 110m hurdles – 17.09, and Jones 300m hurdles – 43.08.

Bringing home gold in relays were:  4x200m (Calhoun, McLaughlin, Savannah McMillion 10th, and Woodruff) – 1:55.30, 4x400m (Bircher, McMillion, McLaughlin, and Taylor) – 4:46.41, 4x800m (Bircher, McMillion, McLaughlin, and Taylor) – 11:00.45, and shuttle hurdles (Bircher, Calhoun, Tessa Kiner 10th, and McMillion) – 1:13.01. Clinching silver  were:  4x400m (Robertson, Cody Kiner 12th, Jones, and Dakin Rexrode 11th) – 4;02.34. 

There are 26 boys and 17 girls on the two track rosters.  Six girls scored in the maximum four events.  Juniors Sage McLaughlin and Laila Calhoun plus sophomore Savannah McMillion all placed first in four events.  Junior Kira Bircher won three firsts and one third.  Sophomore Cheylin Woodruff and freshman Macaden Taylor both placed in four events including two golds each.  Seniors Elijah Robertson and Jacob Jones each placed in four events. Placing in three events were:  Sharp, Cody Kiner, Rexrode, Johnston and Beverage

Congratulations are in order for a strong start by the two teams and for coaches Abe Rittenhouse, Aaron Pugh and Josh Abbott.  The two teams will next travel to Richwood Thursday, April 4, for a 3 p.m. track meet.

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