Bringing home the medals: Keyser, Frankfort impress at states

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Frankfort's Garrett Ferguson and Keyser's Seth Earnest go toe to toe near the finish line of the boys' 800-meter run. Ferguson would finish in fourth place and Earnest in fifth place, with the two separated by just .4 seconds.

CHARLESTON - The West Virginia class AA track and field meet, conducted Thursday and Friday at the University of Charleston Stadium at Laidley Field, resulted in many medals won for Mineral County athletes from Keyser and Frankfort.

While no gold medals/state championships were awarded to either Keyser or Frankfort, there was success in terms of multiple second, third, fourth, fifth and six place finishes for the Black and Gold and Columbia Blue and Silver.

The state track meet consist of both individual results and team results. Points are awarded for every top-six finish, the better the finish the higher the points. The total team tally is used to determine final team standings.

The boys’ competition was much closer than the girls’ competition.

On the boys’ side, Point Pleasant claimed the top prize with a score of 86, followed by Winfield in second place with a score of 74. Oak Glen was third with a score of 55, Fairmont Senior finished fourth with 50 points, and Keyser fifth with 47 points. Frankfort finished in eighth place with 27 points.

On the girls’ side, Winfield destroyed the rest of the field, finishing in first place with 159 points. In second place, 104 points behind at 55 points, was North Marion. Fairmont Senior was third with 53 points, Point Pleasant in fourth with 50.50 points, and Oak Glen in fifth place with 45 points. Frankfort finished in 18th place with 2.50 points while Keyser finished in a four-way tie for 19th place with two points.

Thursday night’s events, occurring under a torrential downpour and soggy, soggy track, included the 400-meter dash and 3200-meter run for both the girls and boys.

In the girls’ 400-meter dash, Frankfort’s Halley Smith finished in 11th place. In the boys’ 400-meter dash, Keyser’s Seth Earnest finished in fifth place overall, with Jack Stanislawczyk of the Golden Tornado finishing in 14th place.

In the girls’ 3200-meter run, Frankfort’s Addison Lease finished in eight place while Falcon teammates Brooke Jacobs and Jillian Griffith finished in 11th and 12th place respectively. In the boys’ 3200-meter run, Frankfort’s Garrett Ferguson finished in third place, with teammates Anthony Sanders and Xander Shoemake finishing in sixth and 10th place respectively.

Frankfort's Gavin Tharp clears the bar in the pole vault competition. Tharp finished in 10th place overall.

Friday’s activities, under considerably more sunny skies, began with field events and carried on throughout the day with the rain holding off until the final events were being run.

In the boys’ discus throw, Keyser’s Gabe Ryan finished in sixth place overall. Ryan had even better results in the boys’ shot put where he finished in third place. In the boys’ pole vault, Frankfort’s Gavin Tharp finished in 10th place, with Keyser’s Griffin Paugh and Chris Furey also participating. In the boys’ high jump, Keyser’s Harris Boggs took fourth place, with teammate Joshua Wheeler finishing in a tie for eighth place.

In the girls’ high jump, Frankfort’s Emily Smith finished in sixth place. In the girls’ 1600-meter run, Frankfort’s Addison Lease finished in ninth place. In the boys’ 1600-meter run, Frankfort teammates Garrett Ferguson and Anthony Sanders finished in fourth and fifth place respectively. Their Falcon teammate Xander Shoemake finished in 14th place.

In the girls’ 300-meter hurdles, Frankfort’s Payton Mandell finished in 11th place. In the boys’ 300-meter hurdles, Keyser teammates Collin Salesky and Joshua Wheeler finished in ninth and 10th place respectively. Frankfort’s Jonathan Lewis finished in 13th place.

In the girls’ 4 x 800 relay, the Frankfort team of Jillian Griffith, Halley Smith, Brooke Jacobs and Addison Lease finished in ninth place. Keyser’s team of Maddy Broadwater, Janiah Layton, Gretchen Rice, and Scarlet Cameron finished in 12th place. The boys’ 4 x 80 relay saw the Frankfort team of Anthony Sanders, Peyton Slider, Kent Niland, and Garrett Ferguson finish in second place. Keyser’s team of Seth Earnest, Jack Stanislawczyk, Trenton Denne, and Edan Parks finished in 10th place overall.

In the 110-meter hurdles, Keyser’s Zion Powell earned a second-place finish. In the boys 100-meter dash, Keyser’s Joshua Wheeler did not advance out of the preliminaries. In the girls’ 100-meter dash, Keyser’s Delta Wheeler did not advance out of the preliminaries.

In the girls’ 4 x 200 relay, the Keyser team consisting of Ricki Ferrell, Gretchen Rice, Maddy Broadwater, and Delta Wheeler finished in 11th place. In the boys’ 4 x 200 relay, the Keyser team of Parker Anderson, Jack Stanislawczyk, Zion Powell, and Drae Allen finished in second place.

In the girls’ 4 x 100 relay, the Keyser team consisting of Ricki Ferrell, Janiah Layton, Maddy Broadwater, and Delta Wheeler finished in sixth place overall. In the boys’ 4 x 100 relay, Parker Anderson, Hunter Van Pelt, Zion Powell, and Drae Allen teamed to finish in second place.

In the boys’ 800-meter run, Frankfort’s Garrett Ferguson finished in fourth place with Keyser’s Seth Earnest finishing just a step behind in fifth place. Frankfort’s Anthony Sanders finished in 14th place. In the 200-meter dash, Frankfort’s Halley Smith finished in seventh place.

In the girls’ 4 x 102.5 shuttle hurdles, the Keyser team of Delta Wheeler, Gretchen Rice, Ricki Ferrell, and Janiah Layton finished in sixth place. In the boys’ 4 x 110 shuttle hurdles, the Frankfort team consisting of Levi Sgaggero, Barrett Feaster, Gavin Tharp, and Jonathan Lewis finished in fifth place. The Keyser team consisting of Trenton Denne, Lonnie Pridemore, Collin Salesky, and Gavin Salesky finished in eighth place.

In the girls’ 4 x 400 relay, the Frankfort team consisting of Abigayle Olenchick, Emily Smith, Payton Mandell, and Halley Smith finished in fifth place. The Keyser team consisting of Maddy Broadwater, Janiah Layton, Gretchen Rice, and Ricki Ferrell finished in 12th place.

In the boys’ 4 x 400 relay, the Keyser team consisting of Seth Earnest, Noah Sprouse, Jack Stanizlawczyk, and Harris Boggs finished in second place overall.  The Frankfort team consisting of Jonathan Lewis, Peyton Slider, Kent Niland, and Levi Sgaggero finished in 14th place.

Again, while not a single individual or team from Mineral County claimed a top-prize, there were several second place and other high finishes. All in all, however, it was a successful state track meet for Keyser and Frankfort, with Mineral County well-represented.

One very positive aspect from the state tournament is the fact that the heavy weight of COVID-restrictions seemed to have substantially been lifted, and in some respects disappear. For the most part, all in attendance and participating enjoyed the much more natural, normal, feel of the event.

After the year the student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and fans have endured for the most part in other sports, it was great to end the track season in such a positive way. With fall sports only a few months ahead, it is likely this positive momentum will carry into the fall season.