Despite rain, Mineral County athletes represent at state track meet

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Frankfort's Garrett Ferguson finished in third place overall in the 3200-meter run.
Keyser's Seth Earnest finished in fifth place overall in teh 400-meter run.

CHARLESTON - The West Virginia class AA state track and field meet kicked off Thursday night under rainy conditions with Mineral County student athletes represented in all four events.

The bulk of the events were held Friday with full results being reported once concluded.

The events were slated to begin at 7:10 p.m. with the running of the girls’ 400-meter run. The skies opened up and began dumping rain just prior to the scheduled 7:10 start, and at that time, members of the Frankfort and Keyser track teams could be seen hunkered down under giant tents in the bleachers.

To the surprise of many, however, an announcement was made at 7:15 for the participants of the girls’ 400-meter run to report to the field for warmups. With only a slight delay, the racing began with Frankfort’s Halley Smith competing in the event. Under a constant pouring rain and very wet, puddly conditions on parts of the track, Smith put forth her best effort.

Following the 400-meter girls’ run, the boys took to the track for the 400-meter boys’ run. Participating in the event from Mineral County were Keyser’s Jack Stanislawczyk and Seth Earnest, with the two running in different heats.  Stanislawczyk and Earnest too ran hard in very wet, puddly conditions, giving it their all. Earnest finished in fifth place overall to earn the Golden Tornado their first points of the meet.

Next, three Frankfort athletes, Addison Lease, Jillian Griffith and Brooke Jacobs took to the same wet track to compete in the brutal 3200-meter run. Eight trips around the track always makes for an exhaustive experience, competing hard for a state championship and in less than ideal conditions makes it doubly so. Lease, Griffith, and Jacobs competed admirably, representing themselves, their school, and their county well.

Finally, the last event of the night was ran, the boys’ 3200 meter run. Competing in the event from Frankfort was Garrett Ferguson, Anthony Sanders, and Xander Shoemake. “Blue Wave” members of Frankfort’s state championship cross-country team, the trio performed admirably, with Garrett Ferguson finishing in third place overall. The winner of the race, Fairmont Senior’s Logan Zuchelli won the event in a state-record time of 9:03.93, breaking a record originally set in the 1980’s.

The bulk of the class AA meet will conclude Friday and be reported on once full information is available.