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Island jumps to second

Brooke’s Yazmin Island placed second in the long jump during Saturday’s state championships. (Photo by Kyle Lutz)

CHARLESTON — The Wheeling Park boys and girls track teams have been forces all year long. The memorable season came to a fitting end Saturday during the West Virginia High School state track meet at Laidley Field.

Throughout the entire meet, Wheeling Park was in contention for a state championship, and on both sides, it all came down to the final event.

In the end, the Wheeling Park boys and girls track team both claimed second to cap a memorable season.

Spring Mills secured a victory in the 4×400 to claim the overall boys’ team title with 71 points and edge the Patriots by three.

It was more of the same for the girls. Ripley won the 4×400 to capture the overall team title with 82 points while Wheeling Park ended with 80.

“We came down here and score 150 points or whatever,” Wheeling Park coach Bryan Arbes said. “Whatever it was, it’s absolutely awesome. We came down and battled.

“That’s what it was. It came down to if we beat Ripley in the girls’ 4×400, we win. If we Spring Mills in the boys’ 4×400, we win. We led for 17 events for both sides and it came down to that. But I can’t be happier with the way we preformed.”

There were two winning relay teams for the Patriots as the girls’ 4×200 claimed the top spot on the podium as Marlee Porter, Alex Knight, Amari Poole and Abby Snedeker clocked in with a time of 1:44.93.

On the boys side, the 4×100 tandem of Justin LeVelle, Sincere Sinclair, Shaheed Jackson Mayfield and Torrence Walker clocked in at 43.11.

In the girls’ 4×100, a school record fell as Aaliyah Speights, Aubrey Wiethe, Poole and Snedeker placed second with a blazing time of 48.96. While there were many strong performances from the Wheeling Park team, the quickest relay event was the one that caught Arbes’ eye.

“The one that stands out most to me is in the girls’ 4×1,” Arbes said. “We ran a 48.96 and came in second. If you would have told me that you’re going to run a 48 in the 4×1 and not win, I would have said you’re crazy. Just like if you would have told me that three teams would run 1:45 in the 4×2, and it would take a 1:44 to win, I would have thought you’re crazy too. That’s the type of meet this was. It was good competition and we were right there. All in all, a good couple of days here.”

Wiethe was also solid in a couple of individual events as she got second in the 100 hurdles (15.61) and third in 300 hurdles (45.80).

The Wheeling Park girls got two more runner-up medal as Poole got second in the 100 (12.76) and Brady Browning in the pole vault (10-feet-06).

Knight captured fourth in the 100 hurdles (16.48) while Marlee Porter had a strong performance in the 300 hurdles claiming fourth (45.91).

In the 4×400, the Patriots placed third as Maya Taggart, Abby Barki, Knight and Porter timed in at 4:08.91.

Other placers for the boys include Christian Sorge as he placed second in the pole vault (14-00). LeVelle, Walker, Sinclair and Jackson Mayfield captured silver in the 4×200 (1:30.65).

LeVelle also placed sixth in the 100 (11.58).

Walker, LeVelle and Sinclair all placed in the 200. Walker captured third (22.44), LeVelle clocked in in fifth (22.77) and Sinclair sixth (22.97).

Ronnie Saunders got fourth in the 1600 (4:20.94) and fifth in the 800 (1:59.05).

Jackson Mayfield, Walker, Dakota Scott and Eric Estep placed third in the 4×400 (3:30.35).

“We lose some seniors on the boys’ side and on the girls’ side we lose Brady,” Arbes said. “The culture is there. All these kids even stick around and cheer each other on. Wheeling Park track is a main sport now. That was my main goal.”

Brooke’s Yazmin Island secured a second place finish in the long jump (16-08). After winning the event last year as a sophomore, the junior had another strong outing claiming the silver.

John Marshall’s Zara Zervos placed fifth in the 400 (59.52) and 800 (2:20.04).

Zervos was also on the sixth place 4×400 team that consisted of Allie Danna, Claudia Callahan and Emily Harr (4:14.16).

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