Darr, Keller shine at county meet
QUICKSBURG – Athletes and coaches had to wait to learn who would be crowned team champions at the annual Shenandoah County track and field meet at Stonewall Jackson High School Wednesday night.
With complications arising regarding the team scores due to Warren County’s participation in the meet alongside county rivals Central, Stonewall, Strasburg and Massanutten Military Academy, final team scores among the four Shenandoah County schools were not immediately available following the meet.
But coaches were still able to crown individual award winners on Wednesday night.
Central junior Lexi Keller (14.5 points) took home the title of girls High Point Scorer, while Strasburg senior Cody Darr (13 points) seized the honor for the boys.
Darr won the 200-meter dash (22.56) and ran the opening leg of the Rams’ 4×100 relay team that placed first with a time of 45.53 seconds, and he also placed second in the long jump. Darr said his time in the 200 tied the school record that he set earlier this year.
“He got his points in the field, that’s the big thing,” Rams coach Jeff Rudolph said. “We were thinking of the high point award so we put him in some extra field events. That came through in the long jump. And then once he gets on the track, he’s flying. He’s awesome to watch.”
Keller had a stellar day of her own, as she placed first in the girls high jump (4-10) and the 800-meter run (2:33.27) while also competing on a pair of Central’s relay teams.
“She’s at the point in the season where it’s time to pick up the pace a little bit and she’s starting to do well,” Falcons coach Rick Lytton said. “She has a pretty good idea of what we want her to do in the district and beyond and she’s starting to come around. She was slowed by injuries early in the season, but I think she’s over that and she had a very good day.”
In the final team standings that included Warren County – which was competing against fellow Bull Run District teams Central and Strasburg – the Falcons topped the girls event with a total of 94 points. Strasburg (90) was second, followed by the Wildcats (62), Stonewall Jackson (46) and MMA (19).
Strasburg and Central – which shared the Shenandoah County boys championship last season after an initial scoring error – ironically finished Wednesday night tied again with 99 points each without factoring out the scoring from Warren County’s athletes. The Generals (42) were third in the boys standings, followed by the Wildcats (40) and MMA (28).
In addition to Keller, Kila Watson earned an individual victory for Central’s girls in the shot put (31 feet, 9 inches). The Falcons’ 4×800 relay (11:28.45) was the only team to compete in the event.
Individual winners for the Falcons’ boys included Harold Wakeman in the shot put (42-11.50), Wyatt Robinson in the 800 (2:10.23) and Tristan Lucy-Speidel in the 1,600 (4:50.37) and 3,200 (10:49.48).
“We told them yesterday we needed kids to step up,” Lytton said. “The key to this meet is always thirds, fourths, fifths. Get those points right there because they add up quickly. We’ll see how it comes out.”
Individual winners for Strasburg’s girls included Grace Davis in the triple jump (31-02.50) – who also placed second to Warren County’s Diamond Maldonado in the long jump and 100 – Rachel Funkhouser in the discus (112-01), Brooklyn Amrich in the 400 (1:05.00) and Rachel Tischler in the 1,600 (5:29.82) and the 3,200 (11:45.99). The Rams’ 4×100 relay also placed first.
On the boys side, the Rams had winning performances from Hunter Riley in the discus (126-06) and Elijah Waters in the 110 hurdles (15.84) and 300 hurdles (43.35). Strasburg’s 4×100 and 4×400 relays also placed first.
For Stonewall Jackson’s girls, Destiny Neff was the lone General to win an individual event with her victory in the 200 (28.94). Stonewall also claimed a win in the 4×400 relay (4:29.09).
On the boys side, Wade Banks won the high jump (5-06) for the Generals’ lone individual win.
“I think they did phenomenal,” Generals assistant coach Mary Clanahan said. “They had a meet on Friday and had some state qualifying stuff going on then. … It’s just a young team and inexperienced. They’re giving it everything they have every single day.”
MMA got some strong individual performances on Wednesday, particularly on the boys’ side, where Thomas Lloyd won the long jump (21-11.00), triple jump (41-00.00) and the 100 (11.13). Chelsea Reid produced good results for the Colonels’ girls, as she won the 100 hurdles (16.94) and the 300 hurdles (51.72).