White Falcons finish 22nd at Class A meet


Kearns 4th in 800; Lady Falcons go scoreless

By Bryan Walters - bwalters@civitasmedia.com



Wahama senior Travis Kearns (531) hits full stride during the final leg of the Class A 4x100m relay finals held Saturday at Laidley Field in Charleston, W.Va.


Bryan Walters/OVP Sports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For better or for worse, things remained the same for Wahama.

The White Falcons scored at least one point for the sixth straight year and the Lady Falcons came up empty for the fourth consecutive postseason following the conclusion of the 2017 WVSSAC Class A track and field championships on Saturday at Laidley Field.

Both programs went scoreless in the opening round of events on Friday, but the White Falcons mustered their only points of the weekend early Saturday as senior Travis Kearns came away with a podium finish in the 800m final.

Kearns’ time of 2:05.66 was good enough for fourth place, which accounted for all four of Wahama’s points in the boys competition — keeping a streak that started in 2012 intact. Kearns was also 12th in the long jump following a leap of 17 feet, 10.5 inches.

The White Falcons — with their quartet of points — finished the state meet in 22nd place out of 26 scoring teams. St. Marys (105) edged Williamstown (99) by six points for the Class A team crown.

Wahama entered the boys state tournament with 11 athletes competing in 14 different events, but the Red and White struggled as only four of the 14 competitions resulted in better times or distances than the Class A Region 4 qualifying marks a week earlier.

The White Falcons had only one other legitimate shot at points, which came in the form of sophomore Brodee Howard in the 110m high hurdles. Howard qualified for the finals with a sixth-best time of 17.10 seconds, but did not compete in the finals after suffering a false start — leaving him last in the final eight standings.

Brady Bumgarner ended up 11th in the 200m dash (24.33) and was also 12th in the 100m dash (12.07), while Wyatt Edwards finished 13th in the discus final with a throw of 120 feet, 1 inch. Mason Hildreth was also 14th in the 3200m run with a mark of 10:57.51.

Johnnie Board did not have a qualifying height in the pole vault final and Chris Hesson was 16th in the shot put with a heave of 38 feet, 6 inches.

Wahama’s best relay finish came in the 4x800m event as Hildreth, James McCormick, Jacob Lloyd and Isaiah Pauley were 10th overall with a time of 8:51.20.

The 4x100m squad of Howard, Bumgarner, Kearns and Abram Pauley finished 11th with a time of 47.36 seconds, while Board, Lloyd, Bumgarner and Abram Pauley were also 11th in the 4x200m relay with a mark of 1:39.32.

The foursome of Lloyd, Edwards, Board and Howard were 13th overall in the 4x110m shuttle hurdles relay (1:07.11). Edwards, McCormick, Lloyd and Abram Pauley were also 15th overall in the 4x400m relay with a mark of 3:52.64.

The White Falcons will graduate four of their 11 state qualifiers from this spring.

South Harrison and Williamstown led the Class A boys field with four individual titles apiece, followed by Doddridge County and St. Marys with three apiece. Madonna, Paden City, Magnolia and Tyler Consolidated also came away with a state championship apiece.

South Harrison junior Freddy Canary won four events and scored a perfect 40 points en route to winning the Class A boys high-point scorer award. Canary captured gold in the 100m, 200m and 400m dashes, as well as the long jump.

On the girls side of the Class A tournament, the Lady Falcons did not earn a podium effort in any of their four events. Wahama last scored in the girls state final during the 2013 campaign.

Junior Kaleigh Stewart was the closest to breaking the scoreless drought after finishing seventh overall in the long jump with final mark of 15 feet, 5 inches. Stewart’s leap was also the only improved effort from the Region 4 meet the week before.

Stewart, Skylar Riffle, Elizabeth Mullins and MacKenzie Barr posted the eighth-fastest time of 53.38 seconds in the 4x100m relay. Barr also did not have a qualifying height in the pole vault final.

Junior Pia Thomanek was 16th in the 3200m final with a time of 16:39.65. All five WHS state qualifiers are underclassmen, although Thomanek is a foreign exchange student.

Wheeling Central Catholic (69) narrowly defeated Doddridge County (67) for the Class A girls crown. A total of 22 teams scored at least one point at the Class A girls meet.

Huntington Saint Joseph came away with the most individual titles with four, followed by WCC with three championships. DCHS, Ritchie County, Magnolia and Gilmer County each won two titles, while Williamstown, Madonna and Richwood also earned a championship apiece.

Huntington Saint Joseph sophomore McKenzie Moran was the Class A girls high-point scorer with 32.5 points. Moran won the 400m dash, the 800m and 1600m runs, and was also part of the winning 4x800m relay squad.

Complete results of the 2017 WVSSAC track and field championships are available on the web at runwv.com

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

Wahama senior Travis Kearns (531) hits full stride during the final leg of the Class A 4x100m relay finals held Saturday at Laidley Field in Charleston, W.Va.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2017/05/web1_5.23-WAH-Kearns.jpgWahama senior Travis Kearns (531) hits full stride during the final leg of the Class A 4x100m relay finals held Saturday at Laidley Field in Charleston, W.Va. Bryan Walters/OVP Sports
Kearns 4th in 800; Lady Falcons go scoreless

By Bryan Walters

bwalters@civitasmedia.com