Hawks’ McGill places second in 3A state track meet

Warren County sophomore Cor'shauna Cunningham competes in the girls shot put during the Group 3A track and field state championships Saturday in Harrisonburg. Cunningham placed 10th in the event. Brad Fauber/Daily
Skyline sophomore Olivia McGill (center) crosses the finish line just behind Phoebus' Amira Aduba in the girls 100-meter dash during Saturday's Group 3A track and field state championships in Harrisonburg. McGill was second in the race. Brad Fauber/Daily
Skyline's Carrie Hotek runs the final lap of the girls 800-meter run during the Group 3A track and field state championships Saturday in Harrisonburg. Brad Fauber/Daily

HARRISONBURG – It wasn’t quite the end result Skyline High School sophomore Olivia McGill wanted.

Following a standout freshman season that saw her finish as the state runner-up in the girls 100-meter dash last spring, McGill certainly had her sights set on that championship medal in her return to the Group 3A state track and field championships Saturday at Harrisonburg High School. It wasn’t to be.

McGill matched her production from a year ago, as she placed second in the girls 100 with a time of 12.32 seconds. The sophomore finished just behind Phoebus’ Amira Aduma (12.23).

“It didn’t go as expected. … I felt like I could’ve got first,” said McGill, who ran a 12.25 for the top time in the preliminaries on Friday evening. “Prior to states I worked on my start. I thought I had a really good start and I think toward the end I was having some issues with my hamstring. But I think I held my own overall. I guess it didn’t really go as expected, but I really wanted first.”

Skyline head coach Steve Burton called Aduma “a beast.”

“That same girl did well in the 300 hurdles,” Burton said. “I was looking forward to (McGill) actually racing her.”

McGill fully expected another shot at Aduma and a possible state championship medal later Saturday afternoon in the girls 200-meter dash, but that chance was washed away by a series of thunderstorms that forced meet officials to end the meet early. The championships entered a lightning delay following the running of the Group 3A girls 800-meter run and wouldn’t resume, forcing the cancellation of the remaining sections of the 800, the boys and girls 200-meter dashes and the 4×400 relays.

McGill was the only local athlete to earn an all-state medal with a top-eight finish Saturday afternoon, but both Skyline and Warren County had athletes accomplish the feat on day one of the meet on Friday.

Hawks freshman Colette Salyers (girls discus) and Warren County’s Cor’shauna Cunningham (girls discus) and Quay Caison (boys shot put) each earned all-state medals on day one.

Cunningham placed fifth in the discus with a throw 111 feet, 9 inches. Wildcats head coach Joseph Owens said he wasn’t sure if that toss was a personal best for Cunningham, who entered the state meet with a seeded throw of 93-06, but he added that it was one of her longest throws of the season.

“We were really, really excited to see Cor’shauna take fifth place in the discus as a sophomore. And seeing her come out and show that composure and perform that way was really exciting and we can’t wait to see what she’s gonna do these next couple years,” Owens said.

“The experience alone is just gonna be phenomenal for her in coming back next year. I think it’s gonna be very beneficial. She’s gonna be hitting the ground running when she comes back next year.”

Caison, a steady performer in the throws for Warren County over the last three seasons, ended his Wildcat career with an eighth-place finish in the boys shot put with a throw of 46-02.75. Friday’s finish marked his third straight all-state effort.

“I was glad to see Quay grab a place and be able to finish his athletic career with three all-state performances, so that was good for him,” Owens said.

Salyers delivered a strong state meet debut in the girls discus for Skyline, as she placed seventh with a throw of 104-04.

Warren County narrowly had a third all-state performer on Saturday, as senior Colby French placed ninth in the boys high jump. The first-year track athlete cleared the bar at 6 feet, a personal best, after setting a PR at the regional meet last week at 5-08.

“If he had a little bit more time I think there’s some damage he could’ve done,” Owens said. “He got ninth place, jumped the same height as a fifth-place person. If he didn’t have a couple misses, if he could’ve cleaned it up a little bit – I was just impressed at his competitiveness coming out here to a stage he’s never been on and be able to perform like that.”

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com

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