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It’s been a long time since Staunton River was able to claim a regional title in anything (Boys indoor track, 1997).
Today, the Golden Eagle student body can hold its collective head high. That’s because the school’s track team is the boys Region III co-champion, along with E.C. Glass.
“All wins are good,” said Staunton River Head Coach Joe Curcio. “This one is satisfying because of the makeup of this team, and how hard they have worked to be successful.”
Last year, the Eagles were edged out for the Region title, as Amherst beat them by a single point. This year, the Blue Ridge champion Rivermen were every bit the equal of the Seminole champs, in the form of E.C. Glass.
River’s depth put the team in good stead, but it came down to the meet’s final event: the 4 X 400. If the Eagles were to finish more than one place behind the Hilltoppers, they’d watch Glass waltz off with the team trophy.
The Eagle crew of David Barrett, Malik Claytor, Ben Pendergraft and Rico Turner cruised home in fourth place, hot on the heels of the Glass quartet.
That ensured the tie, with each team scoring 72 points. Heritage was third, with 46. Jefferson Forest nailed down fourth place with 44, while Harrisonburg was fifth. Liberty picked up 20 points, all thanks to hurdle specialist Derek Anderson, for 12th place in the 20-team field.
On the ladies’ side, Glass took top honors, with 112.5 points. The next four teams were: R.E. Lee (70), Harrisonburg (43), Northside (40) and Rustburg (38).
JF led county schools, taking eighth place, with 26 points. Liberty (12 points) was 15th and Staunton River (8) was 17th.
But this was the meet for the county’s boys to shine. In fact, athletes from one of our three high schools placed in every event, except one: the shot put. Even there, we had an eighth-place finish.
River got a big win from Stuart Robertson in the 3200 meters. Big Stu burned home in 9:48, a full 18 seconds ahead of the field.
While that was River’s only event win, the Eagles piled up points elsewhere. Chris Eggleston earned a pair of fourth-place finishes in the 100 and 200 meter sprints.
Jarrett Moon took third in the 100 (11.47 seconds), 0.04 seconds ahead of Eggleston.
Pendergraft and Barrett took fourth (2:00) and fifth (2:01) in the 400. Robertson (4:31) nabbed third in the 1600.
Moon, Eggleston, Meech Coles and Bry Mosley nailed a third place in the 4 X 100 (44.39 seconds).
The 4 X 800 team, running with mostly new faces, came through with a big third-place finish. Ben Woodford, Cody Meadows, Barrett and Pendergraft joined forces to turn in a time of 8:31. While earning points for their team, they allowed others, such as Robertson, to focus on individual events. Well done, Men.
In field events, Cam Holdren continued to shine for River. He took second in the high jump (6’ 5”) and second in the triple jump (43’ 4.25”).
Eggleston picked up a couple of points in the long jump (20’ 1.75”) as did Asa Walvoort, finishing fifth in the discus (133’ 9”).
As was already mentioned, Anderson accounted for all of Liberty’s points. He took first place in the 110 meter hurdles, with a time of 14.91 seconds. He was even more impressive in winning the 300 meter hurdles (40.14 seconds).
Anderson heads to States as the top-ranked hurdler in AA.
Another one to watch for at States is JF’s Justin Resendes.
The Virginia Tech-bound senior won the 800 meters in convincing fashion, with a time of 1:56.
Resendes also anchored the winning 4 X 800 team of Tres langhorne, Caleb Pollard and Will Stratton.
JF actually picked up a pair of wins in relay action. In the 4 X 400, the Cav quartet of Langhorne, Pollard, Jason Corell and Noah DeLaHunt edged Harrisonburg, with a time of 3:28.53.
Pollard, a sophomore, earned some individual accolades by nabbing a second-place finish in the 400 meter run (51.71 seconds).
JF’s other points came in field events. Ken Ritchey nabbed fourth in the pole vault (11’ 6”), while DeLaHunt improved his personal best by going 6’ in the high jump to take fifth.
Highlights from the girls regional meet included a pair of second-place finishes by Jeff Forest’s Leigha Schimmoeller. The senior, at 2:23.07, was a mere second behind Spotswood’s Chafin Brumfield in the 800.
Schimmoeller also clocked in at 5:25 in the 1600 meters. In that event, she was tailed closely by Liberty’s Kennedy Flynn, who nabbed third.
Flynn also took third in the 3200, running a 12:17.10, a mere 0.04 seconds behind second place Hannah Rose, of Wilson Memorial, thus scoring Liberty’s only points.
Schimmoeller also helped the JF 4 X 800 team to a second place, anchoring a crew that included Katie Whitlock, Hannah Owens and Carsen Wilkersen. That team turned in a time of 10:04.
A pair of Staunton River lasses found success in the field. Lily Garrecht took fourth in the long jump, leaping 16’ 6”. Beka Miller punched her ticket to States in two events, throwing the shot a full 36’ and heaving the disc 107’ 7”. She finished in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Speaking of which, States will be this weekend. As was with Regionals, the meet will be held at Harrisonburg.