Strasburg’s Funkhouser places second in Group 2A meet

Strasburg's Ryan Davis runs in front of Central's Mason Lucy-Speidel during the Group 2A boys 4x800 relay. Central finished sixth in 8:40.61. Strasburg was seventh in 8:48.18. Tommy Keeler/Daily

RADFORD – Rachel Funkhouser started the Group 2A state track and field meet off strong on Friday.

The Strasburg senior placed second in the discus (117-00). Funkhouser was seeded second coming in, and also finished second in the event last year.

Central’s Kila Watson was fourth in the discus with a throw of 111-09, and Funkhouser’s teammate Miley Hupp placed seventh in the event.

“Rachel (Funkhouser) and Miley (Hupp) both came in well prepared, really excited,” Strasburg coach Emily Brandon said. “They’ve been here before so they kind of knew the drill.”

Funkhouser and Hupp also had to adjust a little bit as Mother Nature changed and threw a curveball at everyone. There was a 90-minute rain delay in the afternoon. After action had resumed for about an hour there was a 30-minute lightning delay, followed by another short rain delay.

“The lightning delay – we kind of had to deal with that a little bit,” Brandon said. “But they came back and they threw just as perfect as they could. To come home with a second and a seventh was pretty awesome.”

Strasburg junior hurdler Elijah Waters also had to deal with the delays. There were only three races before his 110-meter hurdles preliminary race, before the lightning delay hit.

Once the delays had passed, Waters had no trouble qualifying for today’s finals. He won his heat with a time of 15.40, the top of all the qualifiers. Waters had the top seed going into the meet.

“That rain delay messed me up a little bit,” Waters said. “There’s no real way to prepare for the lightning delay. The rain itself doesn’t bother me, because I’ve got great coaches who coach me right.”

Waters said that the only part of the track that wasn’t great was at the start, so he knew he would start off a little slow.

Waters recently set the school records in both the 100-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles. He said that he’s excited to run in both races today.

“I feel good. I’m not really worried about any of the hurdlers like I was last year,” Waters said. “Last year I was focusing on everyone else, but this year I know I did what I wanted to accomplish this season – setting the records. I know as long as I do the best I can, no one’s going to be disappointed with me. So I don’t feel bad anymore. I was really nervous a couple days ago. Now I know it doesn’t really matter. I’m a junior. As long as I run my best race people are going to be proud of me.”

Central’s Coy Jimenez qualified for the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.20. He had the fifth fastest time in qualifying.

Central’s A.J. Crider, Mason Lucy-Speidel, Sawyer Lucy-Speidel and Wyatt Robinson also placed sixth in the 4×800 relay in a time of 8:40.61.

“I felt pretty good. We were aiming for third – trying to beat Martinsville,” Robinson said. “Maggie Walker ran one of their better runners today, so they did a lot better than what they usually do. … A medal’s a medal, but it’s more about pride when you’re facing such great competition.”

Robinson will be part of Central’s 4×400 relay team, which is seeded second. The Falcons are second to Glenvar by .01.

“I know we can get first in 4×4, which, ending off my season like that, that would be amazing,” Robinson said.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or