By Dennis Atwood - firstname.lastname@example.org
HARRISONBURG -- The Stonewall Jackson Generals took several top spots, and Central also earned some medals, in the Shenandoah District Track and Field meet on Wednesday evening at Harrisonburg High School.
Stonewall Jackson placed first overall for boys with 130 points, followed by Riverheads with 86, Page County (81), Central (76), Buffalo Gap (52) and Luray (38). Stonewall Jackson coach Dick Krol was awarded boys coach of the year honors.
Riverheads took the girls' team first-place honors with 202 points and Central was second at 108, followed by Buffalo Gap (61), Page County (36), Stonewall Jackson (33) and Luray (25). Riverheads coach Gene Wassick earned the girls coach of the year award.
The Generals' Dylan Shirley earned boys field athlete of the year and teammate John Michael Pirtle took the boys track athlete of the year trophy.
"My day went all right," Pirtle said. "I won both the 110 and 300 hurdles, and my field events actually went a little better than I thought they would, especially with my discus, my personal best with 125 feet for third place. That's my personal best, ever, by 10 feet. I got to the event late and was throwing by myself at the end, but I worked out well.
"In the 4x100-meter relay, we broke our school record, and we broke the district meet record.
"For the 4x400 relay, we didn't have our A team. And they gave it all they had and Cole [Shaffer] gutted it out at the end."
"For me, personally, I didn't think it was that great of a track day," Shirley said. "It was a little cold, but I placed first in the high [jump], placed second in the long [jump] and triple [jump]. I also placed second in the 100 [-meter dash]. I had never run the 100 in my entire life. Once the weather warms up, I'll definitely be running better."
"We started a little slow in the field events," Krol said. "Once the running started, we did extremely well. We have not really won the 100-meter dash and Dylan [Shirley] did really well, and then [Trevor] Warner comes around and wins the 200. So we did a lot good things.
"Our distance people stepped forward. If we were going to be competitive we needed them and daggumit they did it and we're very happy about it."
Central junior Lindsey Toothman earned female field athlete of the year honors. Toothman took first place in both the long jump and triple jump. Her long jump of 16-00.5 topped her previous best of 14-09.75. She made 35-00 in the triple jump.
"My last [triple] jump was a lot better than the other ones," Toothman said. "Coach [Stewart] Leek was really helped me concentrate on which areas I need to work on in my phases."
Central first-place finishers included Michael Marston in discus with a toss of 138 feet, 7.05 inches on his third try, nearly six feet beyond his previous personal best.
"I just [got] done running the [100-meter] dash, so on my second toss I was still a little tired," Marston said. So I rested, came back, and the third one was a good one. It's always good to be trending up at this time of year than at the beginning of the year."
Central's Brandon Poff finished first in the longest runs, the 3,200-meter and 1,600-meter events. Team mate Cole Baker took second in the 3,200.
Falcons freshman Logan Patrick turned it up early on the second lap and broke into a dash in the last 100 meters to win the 800-meter run with a 2:06:29 effort.
"I really didn't have a strategy, I was just staying with the group," Patrick said. "I did a kick at the end. Coach [Bill] Simmons helped me out, telling me when to kick it. And I couldn't have done it without [teammate] Joe Nilsen helping me run it, pacing me."