CHARLESTON - The West Virginia State Track and Field Championships begin Friday at the University of Charleston's Laidley Field and the local contingent is quite strong.
Leading the way is Oak Glen senior Kelsey Chambers, who has the best times in the state in Class AA in the 800 (2:21.94), 1600 (5:17.84) and 3200 (11:41.14). She is also the anchor on the state-leading 4x800 relay (9:59.51).
Chambers is joined by Christen Mangano, Felicity Nolder and Alex Arnott on the relay team.
The Golden Bears also qualified the 4x100 (McKenzie Jones, Marissa Nolder, Natelie Chappell, Megan Nally), 4x200 (Jones, Tori Feicht, Arnott, Nally), 4x400 (Mangano, Feicht, Arnott, F. Nolder) and shuttles (Feicht, M. Nolder, Kimberly Smith, Nally).
Also qualifying for the Golden Bears are: Arnott (400), F. Nolder (800), Nally (100 hurdles), Autumn Moninger (high jump), Rachelle Woofter (shot put), Emmy Delekta (discus) and Bridget Bemis (discus).
The Weir High girls qualified in the same relays: 4x100 and 4x200 (Francesca Farren, Chantelle Harper, Alyssa Shingle, Kylee Leathers), 4x400 (Stephanie Pennacchio, Alesia LeSane, Farren, Harper), 4x800 (Pennacchio, Margaret Budik, Raegan Stead, LeSane) and shuttles (Taylor Zdan, Amelia Adams, Shingle, Megan Longwell).
Also qualifying for the Red Riders are: Harper (400) and Leathers and Shingle (long jump).
The Madonna girls 4x400 relay team - Chloe Conner, Gianna Anile, Cameron Dowiak, Emille Pollard - is back as the No. 1 seed to defend its title. The 4x100 (Dowiak, Anile, Gabrielle Anile, Lea Colantonio), 4x200 (Molly Pavan, Colantonio, Gianna Anile, Conner), 4x800 (Dowiak, Hannah Barger, Pollard and Gabrielle Kotten) and shuttles (Tessie Tokash, Gabrielle Anile, Dominique Brown, Barger) teams also qualified.
Also qualifying for the Blue Dons are: Colantonio (100), Dowiak (400), Kotten (3200) and Brown (300 hurdles).
The Brooke girls qualified in the 4x100 (Mekenzie DeFranco, Natalie Fowler, Cheyenne Hudson, Jena Riccelli), 4x200 (Faith Johnson, Alexis Turner-Davis, Riccelli, Hudson), shuttles (Krista Brady, Calandra Olenick, Kristin Brady, DeFranco) and long jump (Riccelli, Hudson).
The Red Riders 4x100 (JoJo Rice, Cole Slates, Donovan Spencer and Clarence Bennett) and 4x200 (Rice, Slates, Alex Hannah, Bennett) relays are back to defend their titles, along with Slates in the 200.
Also qualifying for Weir High are: Delante Tucker (long jump), Rice and Spencer (100), Slates and Rice (200), Slates (400) and Hannah (300 hurdles).
The Oak Glen boys have qualified for four of the relays - 4x100 (Micah Swiger, Chris Bailey, David Campbell, Dakota Price), 4x200 (Chris Burnham, Bailey, Swiger, Campbell), 4x400 (Cody Tropeck, Burnham, Bailey, Campbell) and 4x800 (Tropeck, Cyle Perez, Zachary Mynes, Brock Smith).
Also qualfying for the Golden Bears are: Swiger (200, long jump), Campbell (200), Tropeck (800), Burnham (300 hurdles) and Noah Mills (shot put and discus).
For the Bruins, Gavin Lewis qualified in the 100; the 4x100 (Nigel Bowland, Derek Jenkins, Jeremy Bosick, Lewis) and shuttles (Jacob Kennedy, Wayland Stewart, Blake Grizzel, Lewis).
The Madonna boys have qualified in the 4x100 and 4x200 (Richard Daddario, Tavon Jeter, Levi Shreve, Marquise Jeter); along with, M. Jeter (200) and Marcello Biondillo (long jump).