Oak Glen’s Kovalcik leaps to a state championship
CHARLESTON — After the first day of the West Virginia state track meet, many local athletes have turned in podium performances, as well as qualify to the finals in their respective events on Friday at Laidley Field.
During the last heat of the boys Class AAA shuttle hurdles, it was announced lightning was in the area. It didn’t take long for it to strike, as rain started to fall, too, delaying the race for multiple hours. The meet still was in a delay at 9:15 p.m.
Taking home the first individual title was Oak Glen’s Maggie Kovalcik. The senior came into Friday’s event as the defending state champion. She will end her prep career as a winner, as she turned in a jump of 17-10.25.
“I didn’t get as far as I wanted to get, but it was good last jump that got me over the top, so it was a good day,” Kovalcik said. “It means everything. Every day I work very hard to get to the end of the year to get where we are at states. It means the world.”
Teammate Kaylee Travis also made her way to the podium, as she secured fourth in the discus with a throw of 116-06.
The Golden Bears also put points on the board in the shuttle hurdle. The team of Kristina Neely, Skye Stokes, Gracie Wright and Izabelle Barganski claimed sixth (1:11.55).
The Madonna girls 4×800 relay team (Tori Combs, Sofia Calvet, Chloe Lightfritz and Ella Hesson) made it to the podium with a sixth-place finish in a time of 10:37.42.
Weir’s Sebastian Spencer clocked in with a record of 10.65, propelling him to the finals in the 100 in Class AA, while Tyler Consolidated’s Mark Rucker will compete in the finals in Class A.
In Class AA high jump, Jake McCoy tied for fourth (5-10).
The Wheeling Park boys 4×800 relay team captured a gold medal. The tandem of Vincent DiProseris, Eric Estep, C.J. Powell and Ronnie Saunders clocked in at 8:01.29, breaking the school record.
The Patriots also will bring home a gold medal on the girls’ side. The shuttle hurdle relay team of Aubrey Wiethe, Alex Knight, Marlee Porter and Tasia Walker clocked in at 1:04.50.
Cheyenne Nash secured second place for the Patriots in the shot put, with a haul of 37-01.75.
The Patriots also got a solid performance out of Jermain Snodgrass, as he captured third in the shot put with a throw of 52-feet-05.50.
Hundred’s Katherine Henderson capped off a stellar prep career in track. She took home the silver medal in the high jump (5-0).
On the boys’ side, Magnolia (Gavin Herrick, Spencer Shepard, Logan Beegle and Jason Beisel) claimed third in the 4×800 (8:34.20) while Oak Glen (Matthew Wright, Mason Konchar, Konnor Allison and Nathan Atkinson) got fourth in Class AA (8:26.57).
In the shuttle hurdle, Tyler Consolidated placed third. Nathan Barker, Elijah Day, Austin Timmons and Zack Placer clocked in at 1:00.86.
In Class A are Paden City’s Abbe Stackpole, Wheeling Central’s Kenadee Wayt and Magnolia’s Jaci Rohde and Audrey Cross in the 100.
In Class AAA, Wheeling Park’s Amari Poole qualified.
Barganski qualified in the 100 hurdles in Class AA while Wiethe and Knight will run in the finals in Class AAA.
Wheeling Park’s Justin LeVelle will also run in the finals in Class AAA.
A handful of athletes will run in the 110 hurdles in Class A, including Placer, Barker, Madonna’s Brennan Secrist and Cameron’s Dillon Meintel. Oak Glen’s Jacob Clark also qualified in the event in Class AA.