By Brad Fauber
QUICKSBURG -- Stonewall Jackson senior Ashton Davis did something a little differently with her offseason workouts in preparation for the 2014 track and field season.
"I trained this winter, I ran with the wrestlers a lot, so felt pretty confident coming into this season," Davis said during the Generals' four-team home meet on Wednesday. "I really think it's showing on the track. In my first meet I ran a 60 [seconds in the 400-meter race]. I'd never done that before. I think all the work I did this winter really paid off."
In Wednesday's meet, which featured fellow Shenandoah District schools East Rockingham, Luray and Stuarts Draft, Davis was focused on continuing to improve upon her 400 time. Her goal is to complete the race in less than one minute -- unfortunately, Davis will have to wait a little longer to accomplish that feat.
Davis did set a new personal best on her way to a victory in the 400-meter race on Wednesday evening, but her time of 1:00.02 fell agonizingly short of Davis' personal goal.
"I wanted to get sub-60 -- because it is our home track. I thought I'd have an advantage there," Davis said. "But I did run a faster time than I had previously, so I'm improving. That's something."
Davis' solid day -- which also included first-place finishes in the triple jump and 200-meter dash -- helped Stonewall Jackson to head-to-head wins over all three opponents in the dual-meet style scoring.
But Davis wasn't alone in leading the Generals to victory on Wednesday.
Freshman Brandy Webb turned in a strong outing of her own, as she claimed first place in the 1,600-meter race with a time of 6:06.00, four seconds ahead of second-place Katie Kline of Luray.
Senior Amanda Dotson (300-meter hurdles, 53.48 seconds) and freshman Angela Misquith (100-meter hurdles, 18.84 seconds) each won in the girls hurdles events that were loaded up primarily with fellow Stonewall Jackson teammates.
Sophomore Cheyenne Crigger placed second in the girls long jump (13-06.25) and fourth in the 400, and sophomores Olivia Marshall (81-03) and Cheyanne Green (70-07) finished second and third, respectively, in the discus.
Stonewall's boys team wasn't as fortunate on Wednesday afternoon, as the Generals fell to all three opponents in head-to-head scoring.
The Generals' boys team was highlighted by the efforts of senior Andrew Roy, who placed first in the 800-meter with a time of 2:13.16, just two seconds ahead of East Rockingham's Chance Wright. Roy also finished second in the 400 with a time of 54 seconds in his first time running the race.
"That 800-400 combo with just 300 hurdles [in between], that was tough," Roy said. "That was one of my worst times in the 800, but I'll settle right now and wait until Saturday.
"I was really focused on the 400 just because I've never ran it before. I did all right in that. I feel like it went well, but it would've been a lot better if I wouldn't have had that . That was tough."
Stonewall Jackson, which lacks depth this season, also saw its chances take a hit as senior Derrick Smith wasn't 100-percent healthy following the meet. Smith still competed in the 400 (fourth, 57.19 seconds), the 1,600-meter relay and the long jump (seventh, 15-08.75).
"Today Mr. Derrick Smith pulled up a little lame, which hurts because he's probably our best all-around runner," Generals coach Dick Krol said.
Senior Hunter Smootz placed third in both the 110-meter (18.50 seconds) and 300-meter (48.44 seconds) hurdles, and freshman Cody Baker was second in the discus with a heave of 99 feet.
Stonewall Jackson returns to action on Saturday, as the Generals travel to Luray for the Wrangler Invitational.
"If we're lucky we may be able to do somewhat decently in a big meet where Davis can pull in a lot of points," Krol said. "But in a meet like this, we can't nickel and dime anybody. We'd win some track meets with seconds, thirds and fourths in the past, but we just don't have it."
Contact sports writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or firstname.lastname@example.org