Watson, Ryman each win two C35 track titles for Central girls

STRASBURG – Central High School’s girls track and field team finished well out of the running for a championship at the Conference 35 Track and Field Championships at Strasburg High School on Tuesday afternoon, but a trio of Falcons took home some gold.

Senior Kila Watson (throws) and junior Brooke Ryman (jumps) each snagged a pair of individual conference championship medals at the five-team meet, while sophomore Mikayla Helsley added a winning performance in the 300-meter hurdles.

For Watson, her championship victories in the shot put and discus marked the first conference titles in her track career.

“It was definitely a goal,” Watson said. “Really working on becoming more accurate in disc. I’m getting there. Last week (at the Bull Run District Championships) I had only managed to get one throw in. I still won. But this week I got a couple in and happened to break the meet record, so I was really excited about that.”

Watson’s throw of 120 feet, 4 inches in the discus broke the previous conference meet record by nearly four feet and topped the rest of Tuesday’s field by almost 26 feet.

In the shot put Watson edged out teammate Janiya Brown by eight inches with a winning throw of 33-09. The Falcons swept the top four places in the shot, as the Scott sisters, Tycara and Tamra, placed third and fourth, respectively.

“It’s really cool, especially since we get to have each other through the whole season basically,” Watson said of the competition with her teammates in the shot put. “Even through practice we push each other constantly. It’s a friendly battle all year round.”

Ryman joined Watson as a dual champ for the Falcons by picking up victories in the girls long jump and triple jump. In the long jump she won with a leap of 16-11.00 and added a mark of 33-06.50 in the triple jump.

“It was very nice,” Ryman said. “I actually (set a personal record) in long, better than I usually do. I was so excited about that and so that pushed me to go into a good triple today. It wasn’t my best but I’m still proud of how well I did it today with the weather and everything being kind of hot.

“I expected to do pretty well today. After winning districts I was like OK, now I’ve gotta start winning some of these, trying for it. So I’ve been pushing myself hard, working better, and it’s been coming out pretty good.”

Helsley seized the last championship medal for the Falcons on Tuesday by besting a four-person field in the 300 hurdles with a winning time of 51.79 seconds.

Strasburg failed to claim any championship medals but did claim some silver.

Grace Davis, a junior, placed second in the both the long jump (16-05.50) and triple jump (32-07.00) in addition to a sixth-place finish in the 200, and Jesse Boyce was second in the high jump (4-08).

Megan Clutter was the runner-up in the girls discus (94-10) to lead a group of four Rams – Madison Shell (third), Breanna Randolph (fourth) and Hayley Moore (sixth) – that snagged a spot in the top six for automatic qualification for next week’s regional meet.

“Personal bests, all four of them. That was exciting,” Strasburg head coach Ina Rae Crisman said.

“Two of them I knew had it (a shot to make the top six), the other two surprised me, so I was really pleased about that. And Grace did really well in her long jump today. I don’t think it was her personal best either, but I think she was very pleased with the way she ran.”

Kyierra Ashby was third in the long jump for the Rams, while fellow freshman Olivia Wightman placed third in the 3,200-meter run for Central.

The Falcons’ 4×800 (Wightman, Megan Freiwald, Jennifer Moore, Madison Nichols) and 4×400 (Helsley, Freiwald, Ryman and Nichols) relay teams placed second and third, respectively. Strasburg’s 4×100 relay team (Davis, Ashby, Cassie Cooper, Haley Harley) was third.

George Mason won the girls team championship with 114 points, 37 better than runner-up Clarke County. Central (70 points) placed third, while Strasburg (46) was fourth.

“I think all-in-all there were surprises,” Crisman said. “I was real pleased with that.”

The top six individuals and the top three relays from each event automatically qualified for the Region 2A East meet at East Rockingham High School on May 25.

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