By Brad Fauber
WOODSTOCK -- Central participated in just its second meet of the track and field season when it hosted a six-team event on Wednesday, but the Falcons have already impressed head coach Rick Lytton.
The Falcons followed up last weekend's performance at the Ram Country Invitational with another strong showing on Wednesday, as the boys finished in second place with a final score of 104, while the girls finished third with 96.33 points.
"I was impressed and very proud of how we performed in the first meet [on Saturday]," Lytton said, "and then today, as hot as it was, we had some pretty good performances."
James Wood won both the boys (129.5) and girls (149) events. Strasburg finished third in the boys with a total of 99 and fourth in the girls (63.33), while Massanutten Military Academy finished sixth in both events.
Central's solid performances began early in the meet, as junior Anne Jadot took first place in the girls long jump with a leap of 14-00.75, and Anna Ragland (5-00) and Lexi Keller (4-10) finished second and third, respectively, in the girls high jump.
Junior Josh Gum also got the Falcons started off right on the boys side, as he won both the shot put (46-03) and discus (140-06). Gum already qualified for the state tournament in the shot put with his performance last Saturday, and the junior said he is now focused on qualifying in discus.
His throw in the discus on Wednesday surpassed the required mark, giving Gum some confidence for his next qualifying opportunity, which will come at an event at Turner Ashby this weekend.
"I'm really focused on that now, I'm trying to push my discus throws," Gum said. "Today I surpassed it, so it gives me a little boost of confidence going into Saturday."
Falcons senior Justin Bauserman also displayed dominance in the hurdle events, as he won both the 110- (14.76) and 300-meter (41.60) hurdles. Bauserman said he has already qualified for the state meet in both events.
Bauserman also helped Central take the top spot in the 4x400 relay, as the Falcons finished with a time of 3:40.87, nearly nine seconds better than second-place Clarke County.
Strasburg's boys provided some highlights of their own on Wednesday, as Troy Gordon put together a stellar outing to lead the way for the Rams.
Gordon captured first place in both the 100 and 200, while helping the 4x100 relay team take first place with a time of 44.90 seconds. Gordon finished with a time of 23 seconds -- a personal record -- in the 200, and his time of 10.80 seconds in the 100 eclipsed Strasburg's school record of 11 seconds.
"I'm pretty excited, I'm doing a lot better than I expected," Gordon said as he tried to catch his breath shortly after his 200-meter sprint. "I was talking to my football coach at Alderson-Broaddus, where I'm going to school [next year], and I told him that was my goal [to break the 100 record] by the end of the season ... so I'll probably go home today, text him about it."
The Rams also had first-place finishes in the boys 400 (Cody Darr, 58.90), high jump (Matt Clutter, 5-08) and the 3,200 (Anthony Wallis, 10:27).
"On the boys side, we didn't have many highlights other than Troy Gordon," Rams coach Glenn Proctor said. "I do think that [Wallis] and Mark [Colson], they ran better in the distance events ... and [Clutter] won the high jump. But I'll tell you what, those were the highlights for us today on the boys side."
Central's Lexi Keller won the girls 400 with a time of 1:04.40, and the Falcons also took the top spot in the girls 4x100 relay with a final time of 56.60 seconds. Falcons junior Heather Landes also performed well in her only event of the evening, the 3,200.
Landes finished second in the event with a time of 13:11.00, 15 seconds behind James Wood's Brittany Arnold.
"I'm pretty happy with it, for the temperature that it was. It is fairly hot compared to how it was last Saturday," Landes said. "Last year and the year before, I ran the mile and the two mile, but this year I'm focusing on the two-mile and trying to place in states."
Strasburg's girls continue to do well in the weight events, as senior Rachel Speaker won the discus with a toss of 111-00. In the girls shot put, Rams junior Katie Dofermire finished second with a throw of 32-11.
The Rams have been known for having strong throwers in the past, and both Speaker and Dofermire said that this year's group is under a lot of pressure to continue to perform well for the team.
"We just want to carry on the tradition on the throwing team," Speaker said. "We're usually known for being good, and even though we've lost some good people over the years, we still want to remain a threat to other teams."
Contact sports writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or email@example.com