Rivermen off and running

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Staunton River tracksters dominate BRD meet

By Mike Forster

  The Staunton River boys track team continued its skein of Blue Ridge success by taking the district crown at Saturday’s BRD meet.

The Eagles owned the Lord Botetourt track, using their depth to advantage in the easy win.

River rang up 220 points, well ahead of runner-up William Byrd, which scored 119.5.  Alleghany (101.5), Northside (37) and Lord Botetourt (27) rounded out the field.

Northside took top team honors on the girls’ side, posting 177 points.  Lord Bot (120) was second, with River (99) third.  Byrd (69) was fourth and Alleghany (35) was last.

But the big story was the dominating performance that Staunton River put forth in locking down a third-straight district track championship (last year’s outdoor, this year’s indoor and, now, outdoor again).

“That’s a feeling I never thought I’d have,” said senior middle-distance specialist Ben Pendergraft, shaking his head.  “Three straight track seasons.”

Pendergraft, who took third in the 400 meter run, may have been stunned, but few in the bleachers were, especially as they saw a sea of black and gold cross the finish line at the head of seemingly every pack.

“The biggest thing is that, in the last two years, we’ve gotten the kids out (for track) that you need to have out,” said SR Head Coach Joe Curcio, who was named Boys Coach of the Year.

The 100 meter dash was a good example of Curcio’s prescience.  In that most noble of sprints, Golden Eagles took the top three spots, with Jarrett Moon, Meech Coles and Chris Eggleston finishing in order.

Those three athletes are already very well-regarded in football and basketball.  Now, they’ve helped the Eagles to a championship.  Still, they don’t look at track as merely a means to stay in shape.

“A championship means a lot to us,” said Moon.  “Any win is big for us.”

Added Coles, “I’m convinced this team is like a family, just like in football and basketball.  We do everything together.”

Well, they were doing a lot of winning together.

Cam Holdren, who is highly esteemed for his hoops skill, showed he can bring a lot elsewhere.  The sophomore was named Male Field Performer of the Meet for winning the high jump (6’4”) and the triple jump (43’ 6.5”).

Asa Walvoort, an outstanding football lineman, tossed the shot 45’ 1.5” to claim first in that event.  He also earned a second in the discus (135’ 7”).

Kyle Jones won the pole vault with an encouraging leap of 9’, even.

Back on the track, Eggleston zipped home with the win in the 200 meters, clocking in at 23.23, which was .01 seconds ahead of runner up Leonte Gorham, of Alleghany.

The next five finishers were all Eagles:  Moon, Coles, Rico Turner and Bry Mosley.

Stuart Robertson picked up a win in the 3200 (10.06) before nabbing second in the 1600 (4:29).  David Barrett and Cody Meadows placed right behind Robertson in the 1600.

Dalton Parker was the hero of the hurdles.  He took first place in the 110 meter hurdles (16.53 seconds) and earned second place in the 300, with a time of 43.71 seconds.

River even took two of the three relay races.  In the 4 X 100, Coles, Eggleston, Moon and Mosley scorched a 44.41 seconds.  In the 4 X 400, Pendergraft, Malik Claytor, Jones, and Turner wrapped up the meet with a win in 3:37.


Ladies in third

There weren’t a lot of individual winners on the ladies’ side for River.

Lily Garrecht and Beka Miller were the only two to bring home gold.

Garrecht picked up wins in the 300 meter hurdles (50.62 seconds), the pole vault (7’6”) and the long jump (15’ 8.5”).

She also earned third place in the 100 meter hurdles.

Miller, mighty thrower of iron things, took top prize in the shot, going 36’ 10.25”.   Miller also nailed a first prize in the disc, tossing the plate 11’ 11” for another 10 team points.  She was ahead of Danielle Holdren, who earned second place with a toss of 87’ 1”.

Miller was named Girls Field Performer of the Meet.

Taylor Jones picked up a third place in the 400 meters and is worth keeping an eye on in the future.