Central boys win Ram Country Invitational

STRASBURG –Central’s Coy Jiminez knew what he had to do as he took the baton for the final lap of the boys 4×400 relay on Saturday — keep the lead.

Jimenez started his lap with a slight lead on James Wood with both Central and James Wood tied for first place entering the race, the final one of the day in the Ram Country Track and Field Invitational at Strasburg. Jimenez was able to hold off James Wood’s Ryan Rupp to give the Falcons the race and team title.

“What’s going through my mind is run my best race,” Jimenez said. “Try not to let the guy behind me catch up. Just even though you’re tired, just give it every single thing you have left.”

The Falcons won the 17-team boys meet with 63 points, while James Wood was second with 61 points. Woodgrove was third (53), followed by Handley (48) and Strasburg (47).

Central’s 4×400 team consisted of Carston Shockey, Wyatt Robinson, Kyle Clanton and Jimenez. The quartet finished with a time of 3:36.91 for Central’s only victory in any event all day.

“They knew that it was probably going to come down to us and James Wood, and they just want to get better,” Central coach Rick Lytton said. “…Every meet that relay wants to run faster all the time. They have a good mental toughness about them, which you need for that relay.”

Strasburg’s Elijah Waters and Sherando’s Trevor Whiteside won two races each on Saturday.

Waters captured the 110-meter hurdles (15.68) and the 300-meter hurdles (42.07). he also placed sixth in the long jump (18-10.75). Waters said he didn’t feel like he ran is best race, but he was happy to get two wins.

“I’m just excited for, I’m not trying to sound cocky but, some bigger meets where there’s some more competition. So there’s somebody really pushing me, because I believe I’m a better hurdler than what I showed today,” Waters said. “Overall I’m happy. I got points for my team, medals — that’s always fun.”

Sherando had only three athletes entered in the meet, but still finished sixth overall in the boys meet with 44 points. Whiteside was a big reason for that as he won the 1,600-meter run (4:22.91) and the 800-meter run (2:00.20). Sherando’s Thomas Powars was second in the 800 (2:08.74).

Whiteside said that they are trying to focus on bigger meets this year to qualify for the state meet and to face better competition.

“We’ve been looking at the schedule and we knew that this weekend was kind of like an off weekend. So my coach said why don’t we just utilize it and go out get a good workout in, maybe even some (personal records),” Whiteside said. “I think we did pretty well. At this point in the season I’m pretty proud of it.”

Whiteside’s teammate Thomas Shea won the 3,200-meter run with a time of 10:03.01.

“I felt pretty good for like a mile and a half, running alone. I thought Handley’s (John Delaney) was going to try to go with me. He did a good job though. I was trying to get a 10 flat,” Shea said. “…I’m capable of like 9:50s, just got to have the right race. I feel good about the win.”

Skyline’s Olivia McGill led the way in the girls meet. The sophomore won the 100-meter dash (12.53) and the 200-meter dash (26.19).

In both races she had strong competition from Riverheads’ Alice Wardy. Going into the 100, Wardy was seeded higher than McGill, and in the 200 she had a slight lead on McGill until the last 100 meters where McGill pulled away.

“I think she pushed me to run faster,” McGill said. “I try to catch anyone who is ahead of me, in front of me. I think I really did well at that. She did a good job though. She had a good lead.”

Strasburg had a big day in the throws on both the boys and girls side. Strasburg’s Rachel Funkhouser won the discus with a throw of 117 feet, 10 inches. She tied with James Wood’s Grace Greene, but Funkhouser was awarded the victory due to having the second best throw between the two (116-02).

“My goal today was 120. I didn’t reach it, but I came in first. It was an improvement so I’m happy with that,” Funkhouser said. “…So far it’s been a progression since earlier this year. I started my first meet with a 115 and I climbed to 117 this meet. I’m hoping to hit 120 next meet.”

Funkhouser was also fourth in the shot put (32-05.50). Strasburg’s Miley Hupp placed fifth in the discus (104-03). Both Funkhouser and Hupp qualified for the state meet with their throws in the discus on Saturday.

Strasburg’s Hunter Riley and Josh Runion also qualfied for states in discus with their performances. Riley won the discus with a throw of 142 feet, 10 inches. Runion was right behind him in second place (140-08).

Riley said he has a little extra motivation this season, as he’s dedicating the year to Chris Saville, a former Strasburg student who recently died in a car wreck.

“He was one of my good friends,” Riley said of Saville. “The whole season I’m doing for him. That’s why I’m going to states and give it all I got for Chris.”

Riley also placed fourth in the shot put (42-01). Warren County’s Quay Caison won the shot put (45-04).

It was the first meet of the year for Caison and the Wildcats.

“A 45-04 is pretty good, but I feel like I can do better than that,” Caison said. “Hopefully with the practices I got coming up next week and in the next meet after this, I can really put it out there. I’m happy with it for right now.”

James Wood won the girls meet with 104 points, followed by Woodgrove (85) and George Mason (55). Skyline and Warren County had the best showing for area teams as they tied for eighth place with 24 points.

Warren County’s Diamond Maldonado was second in the long jump (16-04.25).

Central’s Philip Dysart was second in the boys 110 hurdles (16.92), and Jimenez was second in the 100-meter dash (11.83). Central’s Donovan Armstrong placed second in the boys 300 hurdles (42.97). Skyline’s Landon Holben was second in the boys 400-meter dash (52.78).

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com