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Hurricane sweeps the field at BB&T Classic

CHRIS DORST | Saturday Gazette-Mail
Poca’s Christian Buckley was the winner in the boys discus by a comfortable margin.
CHRIS DORST | Saturday Gazette-Mail
Hurricane’s Ally Lawhon ( left) takes the baton from teammate Anna Gordon during their win in the 4x800 relay.

Thursday’s BB&T Classic track meet turned out to be all about Putnam County, with Hurricane flexing its collective muscle on both sides.

The Redskins swept the team titles Friday night, with Winfield a strong second on both counts. The count was 147-108 on the girls side and 109-73 on the boys side, both with one relay event remaining at press time.

Capital’s boys, who won the 4x800-meter relay and took an early lead, finished third with 55 points, followed by George Washington with 47. On the girls side, nobody else was in the same area code.

For Hurricane it was a profitable, wind-blown night at Laidley Field.

“They’ve had a very good day. We’re very proud of them,” said girls coach Shelly Young. “It’s nice to see this kind of success this early in the season.”

On the boys side, Jason Henley thinks this was his first meet victory as a head track coach. “We had step-up performances from Garrett DeFries in the long jump and high jump [won both]; we had a big race out of [son] Jake Henley in the 1,600, a [personal record],” Henley said.

“They girls are running well, the guys are running well. It’s an exciting time out this way.”

The Redskin girls captured five individual events, with Lauren London sweeping the pole vault and long jump. After leading the 4x800-meter victory, Tori Dent defeated Capital’s Peyton Panger in the 1,600, though Panger rallied to even the score in the 800. Abbie Short took the 3,200.

And Audrey Barber did as much damage as anybody, winning the 100 hurdles and taking second in the 300 hurdles and the long jump. Depth was a major factor, as the Redskins placed two of the top three in four different events. They picked up a second relay win in the shuttle hurdles.

Winfield picked off two relay victories and went 1-2 in the 400 with Barkley Castro beating out Mary Zulauf. Carly Hinkle captured the high jump at 5 feet, 2 inches.

The Putnam Class AAA rivals combined to place at least two in each event, with the lowest finish a 4-5 in the 200.

That was one of two events taken by St. Albans’ Anacia Hines, who ran 26.44 seconds in that race and 13.18 in the 100. Buckhannon-Upshur, a distant third in the team standings, did have Mackenzie Leigh win both the shot put and the discus.

Poca’s Christian Buckley won his throwing double, as representatives of all four Putnam County public schools combined for 10 individual wins. Buffalo captured two distance events, Isaiah Robinson in the 800 and Hayden Harrison in the 3,200, and won the shuttle hurdle relay. Winfield’s Bryce Humphreys won the 400.

Capital, missing a few athletes including top pole vaulter Tristan Slater, picked up wins by Naquay Little in the 100 and James Knox in the 110 hurdles. The winning 4x800 team consisted of Michael Ruhnke, Marshall Sharp, Deandre Jones and Ethan Reed.

George Washington’s Will Walker won the 300 hurdles, and the Redskins took most of the rest.

DeFries hasn’t run track since middle school, and just got his practices in after the Redskins’ basketball season ended in the state championship game. Nonetheless, he cleared 6-4 in the high jump and went 20-9 in the long jump.

Other Hurricane winners were Nick Young in the 200 and Chantz Rankin in the pole vault.

Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, or follow him at

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