CHARLESTON Weirton Madonna's Taylor Pavan did not have a fun track and field season as a sophomore.
Any remnants of last season went away Saturday with one toss of the discus.
The junior twirled the platter 108-9 and that held up as Pavan stood on the podium Saturday as the Class A champion at the West Virginia State Track and Field Championships at the University of Charleston's Laidley Field.
"Last year was a bad year for me," said Pavan, who placed second in the discus at 104-8 as a freshman and sixth last year at 94-10. "I just told myself that this year I had to pick it up. I changed a few things around and at regionals, it kicked in.
"Throughout the year I was nervous and I wasn't sure I was going to make it down here. But, I kept my head high and made it down here."
Pavan spent most of the season throwing in the mid-80 to mid-90 foot range.
"I think it was all a mental block for me," she admitted. "It was all in my head. I just had to get my head set straight."
That, she did.
"It clicked at regionals," she said with a huge smile.
Pavan won the regional meet with a 104-5 toss.
"It just felt good at that meet," she admitted. "And that throw today felt really good coming out of my hand. It's my personal record and today was a great day to have it. It felt like it went a lot farther than normal. I knew it was a good one."
Pavan finished seventh at the Brooke Relays at 84-8 on April 28. She threw 85-5 in the OVAC Class A qualifying meet and did not make it to the finals.
"Those distances were getting frustrating," she admitted. "But, with the help of my coaches, family and friends sticking by my side and telling me things were going to get better really helped me. No one got down on me.
"Everything that happens to me is all God's choice. I just knew it was God who was helping me throughout this day. I just left it up to him. And that made today a lot easier."
Now she knows she will go into next year as the defending champion.
"It will just make me work harder," she said. "I had to work a lot harder this year after last year and I'll work even harder next year to succeed in what I want to do.
"I had a lot of success my freshman year, then I decided to change my spin, make it a little more difficult and that really didn't work well for me. This year I got it down, it just took a while a little longer than expected.
"Now I know I can do it."
Brooke senior Ali Crawford had a pretty good day.
The West Virginia Wesleyan-bound athlete finished second in the 100 hurdles, fifth in the 300 hurdles, joined Rachel Richard, Amanda Loughrie and Natalie Fowler to take fourth in the 4x100 and Richard, Loughrie and Erin Conaway to finish seventh in the 4x400.
"That race is definitely not what I expected to be running my last year here," said Crawford, who will continue her track career next year, major in international business and minor in French. "I was supposed to run the 200, but our anchor got hurt. I had the open event and here I am. It was new to me, but I liked it. I just tried to give it all I had and that's about all I had left."
Buckhannon-Upshur's Emily Godwin won the 100 hurdles in 14.67, which was .01 off the state meet record. It was Crawford's only loss in the race all year.
"That race felt great to me," said Crawford. "For me, to end on that note in that race made me feel really proud of the four years here.
"She (Godwin) is great competition."
Crawford admittedly surprised herself by taking fifth in the 300 hurdles. She did so from the first heat.
"That was kind of a shock, because at first I didn't think I would place at all," she said of the race , also won by Godwin in a record time of 43.96. "Like I've said, this is my first year running that event so to be down here and place is great by me."
She also set the school record in the event.
The Bruins foursome ran 50.39 in the 4x100.
"We were disappointed with the time," she admitted. "We obviously wanted to win a state championship, and run faster and place higher, run in the 49s like we did at OVACs, but our anchor is really hurt and for us to pull through and for her to pull through for us, we're really proud of that.
"This day is really bittersweet. It's upsetting because it's the last time I get to compete for Brooke High School, but it's also a good day because I'm ready to move on and go to the next challenge.
"But, I'm going to miss and the heat, all the excitement and the fun that goes on down here.
"And I'm going to miss all the rules."
Oak Glen junior Alexis Burch, still hampered by a quad injury, placed second in the 400 (58.12), third in the 100 (12.84), third in the 200 (26.21) and partnered with seniors Paige Smearman and Amy Webster and junior Megan Collins to place fourth in the 4x200 in 1:49.91.
Collins, Kayla Swiger, Webster and Kelsey Chambers took fifth in the 4x400 in 4:19.48.
Chambers took fourth in the 1600 in 5:28.98.
In as gutty a performance as there was by Smearman on Friday, she anchored the shuttle relay team with Megan Nally, Tori Feicht and Webster to a third-place finish in 1:08.79.
The Golden Bears placed fourth as a team with 54 points, which is really amazing considering all the injuries they were dealing with throughout the season.
Weir High's Raven Young, Shelva Burns, Alexis Virtue and Chantelle Harper finished fourth in the 4x400 in 4:18.46.
Harper, Gracen Hayes, Burns and Young took sixth in the 4x100 in 52.43.
Weir's Kristen Mastrantoni was sixth in the 1600 in 5:30.86.
Madonna's Elliott Nero, Garrett Hypes, Nate Nero and Marquise Jeter placed fourth in the 4x100 in a season-best 46.28.
Weir High's Cole Slates, JoJo Rice, Lucas Dankovchik and Clarence Bennett finished fifth in the 4x100 in 45.45 and fifth in the 4x200 in 1:35.41.
Oak Glen's Ethan Delekta, Micah Swiger, Clayton Flowers and Chris Bailey were sixth in the 4x100 in 45.83.