CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A lengthy weather delay caused the postponement of several events on Day 1 of the West Virginia High School Track and Field Championships at University of Charleston Stadium.

The event entered a delay at 6:00pm when severe storms rolled through the capital city. Running events resumed at 10:20pm and wrapped up at 12:20am Saturday morning.

Six field events scheduled for Friday evening were postponed to Saturday afternoon. The entire Saturday schedule has been delayed by one hour. Running events will now begin at 11:00am. Field events open at 10:00am.

Cabell Midland leads in the boys Class AAA competition with 22 points. The Morgantown girls took the lead over Wheeling Park in the final event of the day as Athena Young finished second in the 3200 meter run.

Defending state champion Bridgeport holds a narrow 31-27 lead on Winfield in girls Class AA. The Indians edged the Generals in the shuttle hurdle relay. The Indians’ team of Lillian Iaquinta, Payton Hefner, Anaiya Jackson and Emily Meade won in a time of 1:06.41. Winfield scored their lone victory in the 4×800 meter relay.

The Fairmont Senior boys jumped out to an early lead in Class AA by earning victories in a pair of relays. The Polar Bear team  4x800m team of Tyler Hayes, Caleb Carlson, Ethan Kincell and Tavian Richardson won in a time of 8:17.76. Their shuttle hurdle relay team of Connor Rush, Cam Longwell, John Smith and Daxx Leonard also claimed a title with a winning time of 56.67.

Doddridge County paced the field in the Class A boys competition thanks in large part to their performance in the pole vault. Reese Burnside cleared 14 feet to win. Fellow Bulldog Dawson Evans was the runner-up, clearing 12 feet on his second attempt. Carter Lipscomb added ten points to the Bulldog ledger with a win in the 3200 meter run. 

Williamstown owns the lead in the Class A girls competition. Ella Hesson led the WHS effort with a victory in the 3200 meter run. They opened the event with a victory in the 4×800 meter relay. Hesson ran anchor leg behind Tori Combs, Sofia Calvet and Chloe Lightfritz. Ritchie County trails the Yellow Jackets by just a single point. The Rebels rallied with a strong anchor leg to win the shuttle hurdle relay. The team of Kailey Dwire, Abi Caught, Presley Johnson and Olivia Cress crossed the line first in a time of 1.06.19. Cress, a freshman, won the high jump with a height of 5 feet, 2 inches.

Both of the Class AAA throwing events were held in the opening hours of the meet. Cabell Midland senior Gavin Beverage put on a show in the shot put. His final throw was his best at 65 feet, 10 1/2 inches. Beverage broke the state meet record set by Randy Barnes of Saint Albans in 1984. 

“It means a lot knowing it is my last high school meet in West Virginia. It was a huge PR (personal record). I am just really ecstatic to get that win.”

Five of Beverage’s six throws cleared Barnes’ mark of 61 feet, 7 inches. Chalk lines in the pit were specially drawn to mark Barnes’ record.

“I tried not to pay attention to it. I just tried to close out my mind and do what I do,” Beverage said.

Beverage was also the runner-up in the discus. He will compete at UC-Riverside next year.

The throwers then shifted to discus, where Hampshire senior John Hicks took the title with a winning toss of 179 feet, 4 inches. Hicks narrowly missed the state meet record, also held by Randy Barnes, but just over two feet. Earlier this season, the future Liberty University athlete cleared 190 feet in a meet at Spring Mills High School.

“I am pretty pleased with it. I really wanted the state meet record. I hadn’t been throwing shot too hot in the last few weeks so I just focused on discus. Overall, it was a pretty decent day.”

Hicks also finished fifth in the shot put. Spring Valley senior and future Virginia Tech Doug Nester lineman was the runner-up in the shot put and finished third in the discus.

Ripley junior Tori Starcher opened her meet with a dominating victory in the 3200 meter run. Her time of 10:32.75 was ten seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. Starcher will compete in the 1600m, 800, and 4 x 400 relay Saturday. Starcher won the 1,600 at the prestigious Penn Relays last month.

Winfield’s Aaron Withrow opened his quest for Class AA high point honors with a win in the 3200.

–Check out full team standings and results at kvtfoa.net–

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