The Times West Virginian


March 30, 2014

Track athletes off and running


FAIRMONT — Fairmont Senior breaks personal, meet records

Fairmont Senior set the bar high in the first meet, breaking some personal and meet bests.

Daquan Hilson threw a personal record 46 feet, 7 inches to take first in the shot put. Andrew Summers was just behind in third place with a throw of 43 feet, 1 inch.

The record continued to fall in the track events. Neil Scherich set a meet record in high hurdles with a time of 15.3 seconds.

Andrew Bundy also shaved about half a second off his best time in the 200-meter dash to take fourth.

In the relays, Dakota Mouser, Ben Stewart, Chad Heldreth and Scherich placed first in the shuttle hurdle

Heldreth, Scherich and Stewart also joined Malik Boddy to take first in the 4x100 meter relay.

The 4x200  meter team of Bundy, Boddy, Heldreth and Brent Wyne took third.

But it was the 4x800 meter team that had coach Ken Scherich most satisfied. Running the event for the first time, Stewart and Wyne joined veterans Jacob Van Horn and Matt Strand to take fourth place.

“Those guys really did a great job for their first time,” Scherich said.

On the girls’ side, Shania Riffle cleared five feet to take second in the high jump, and Emily Hershberger placed fifth in the same event.

Junior Taylin Dobbs earned third in the 400-meter dash.

And the shuttle hurdle team, running without a couple of its normal participants, took third. The team was made of up Riffle, Hershberger and freshmen Bethann White and Seneca Williams.

“I knew they’d be fine,” said Fairmont Senior girls’ track coach Mike Burns. “I’m just pleased they stepped up as much as they did.”

Veterans step up for East Fairmont

East Fairmont doesn’t have very many returners from last season’s team, but the few with experience stepped up in a big way Saturday.

Freddy Vincent placed second in the 400-meter dash and tied for third in the 300-meter hurdles. Barron Ford took second in the 200-meter dash. And Patrick Friend got sixth in the 300 meter hurdles.

On the girls side, senior Ashlie Merril took fifth in the 100 meter dash and Macey Nuzum placed second in the 200 meter dash.

The two athletes joined Makenna Murphy and Anastasia Benedum to take fourth in the 4x200 meter relay.

Of the 14 competitors on the girls’ track team just four of them have high school experience. First-year coach Bethany Pleyo said she believes the meet provided good experience for the newcomers.

“In the first month of practice, these girls have seen their fitness levels change week to week,” she said. “Now they need to just get the knowledge to run different events and the discipline to run longer events like the 400, 800 and mile.”

“We still have a lot of work to do,” she added. “I think later on in the year we’ll start to have others stand out as well.”

Email Mike DeFabo at or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.

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