Banks leads Generals to Conference 44 boys track title
QUICKSBURG — Last year Wade Banks didn’t have his best day in the Conference 44 track and field meet. That served as a motivator, and on Monday Banks had his redemption.
The Stonewall Jackson junior earned the Co-Top Male Performer in the Conference 44 track and field meet, and led the Generals to the boys title.
“Last year I false started in the 110’s (hurdles), and I think I got third in the 300’s,” Banks said. “So coming into this year I really wanted to put my name back up there and it feels good.”
Banks won three events and was part of Stonewall Jackson’s winning boys 4×400 relay team in the meet.
Banks swept both boys hurdles events. He won the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.71. He just edged out Riverheads’ Josh Akinwumi at the finish line by .31 of a second.
“He beat me last time (we raced) so it was kind of my goal to get him today. And I did, so that felt real nice,” Banks said. “After that last hurdle, I knew I had him because I just stride it out. And when I lean across that line I really lean.”
Banks won the 300 hurdles (46.69) edging out teammate Omavi Owens (48.48).
He also won the boys high jump with a leap of five feet, six inches.
Banks, along with teammates Mark Keith, Garrick Knauff and Tyler Patton, won the 4×400 relay in a time of 3:44.50.
Not only did Banks win four events, he also placed third in the long jump with a leap of 17-04.50. It was only his second time participating in the long jump in his career.
“I love it,” Banks said of the long jump. “I love landing in the sand — it’s fun.”
Banks was also 10th in the shot put (36-05.50) and 16th in the discus (77-07).
“He’s becoming quite the decathlete,” Stonewall Jackson coach Debbie Ritchie said. “He was in the weight room and got a lot stronger and it really shows. He really has a lot of drive. He really wants to do this. It means a lot to him.”
Stonewall Jackson’s Tyler Patton won the boys triple jump with a leap of 38-10.
Kaelan Sorrells won the boys 200-meter dash (24.10), followed by teammate Ruben Gullate (24.31).
Sorrells led most of the way, and said he’s been battling a pulled muscle. He said that he didn’t participate in any other events due to the injury and the fact that he had already qualified for the state meet.
The senior said that winning was even more special in his last year of high school track.
“I want to take it out with a bang, and I think I just did,” Sorrells said.
Gullate also finished second in the boys 100-meter dash (12.00). Stonewall Jackson’s Mark Keith placed second in the boys 400-meter dash (53.42).
Stonewall Jackson placed third as a team in the girls meet. Junior Destiny Neff played a big role for her squad.
Neff placed second in both the girls 100-meter dash (13.64), and the girls 200-meter dash (28.55). She was also third in both the girls long jump (14-10.75) and the girls triple jump (29-10).
Neff said she qualified for regionals in every event she’s in, including the girls 4×100 relay team which placed second in the conference meet. Neff said she’s already qualified for the state meet in the long jump, and is trying get there in her other events.
She said she’s looking forward to an even better showing at next week’s Region 1A East meet.
“My jumps felt good, but I was just really far behind the boards,” Neff said. “So hopefully at regionals I can get closer to my board and get further.”
Stonewall Jackson senior Angela Misquith won the girls 300-meter hurdles (52.82). She was also third in the girls high jump (4-04) and fifth in the girls 100-meter hurdles (19.48).
She said the 300 hurdles wasn’t her best race, but she was still happy to get a conference title.
“I’m pleased with it,” Misquith said. “It’s usually an average of what I run. I’m looking to drop more time though, because my (personal record) time is 48, but it’s good for conference.”
Misquith along with teammates Carley Bennett, Autumn Smith and Brandy Webb, won the girls 4×400 meter relay (4:28.16).
Stonewall Jackson’s Ella Hervo-Smith placed second in the girls 800-meter run (2:53.69).
Stonewall Jackson won the boys meet with 132 points, followed by Riverheads with 102 and Luray (75).
Riverheads won the girls meet with 190.5 points, followed by Luray (91.5) and Stonewall Jackson (90).
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org