Darr sets school record in meet

Strasburg's Papoose Steed takes the baton after a handoff from Cody Darr during the 400-meter relay during the Central Invitational track and field meet held Thursday in Woodstock. Strasburg won the race. Rich Cooley/Daily

WOODSTOCK — Cody Darr didn’t waste much time in accomplishing one of his big goals for the season.

The Strasburg senior sprinter broke the school record for the 200 meters in the Rams’ first meet of the year at the Central Invitational on Wednesday.

“I tried to get it last year, came close a couple times,” Darr said of the record. “That was one of my main focuses to get better at the 200, be able to break the record. It feels good to be able to do it.”

Darr broke Strasburg graduate Troy Gordon’s mark with his winning time of 22.55 seconds in the 200. It was the top highlight in a banner day for Darr, who also helped Strasburg win the 4×100 and the 4×400 relays.

Strasburg sprints coach Emily Brandon said that Darr begged her to run in the 200 this season, and she gave him a message.

Warren County' s Clyde Ritchie cruises in to finish the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5 minutes, 28 seconds during the Central Invitational on Thursday in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

“I said I’m going to put you in the first [meet], and you’re going to break it and then we’re going to move on and you’re going to qualify in everything else,” Brandon said with a smile. “I’m looking forward to seeing what else he does this season.”

Skyline won the boys meet with 87 points, led by several first-place finishes. Landon Holben won the 400 in a time of 54.10.

“I felt good for the first meet. It was a good start to the season,” Holben said.

Demetri Arnold won the 800 in a time of 2:12.00. Arnold was in third going into the last 100 meters, but then made a strong move to slingshot into first.

“The last 100 is basically just give everything I got,” Arnold said. “It was a good race.”

Strasburg's Elijah Waters, right, edged out William Monroe's Joshua King with a time of 16:06 in the high hurdles during the Central Invitational on Thursday. Rich Cooley/Daily

Ronnie Clifton won the discus with a throw of 126-03, and Skyline coach Steve Burton said that Clifton just powered his way to the throw and is still working on getting his swing down. Skyline also won the boys 4×800 relay.

Central finished second in the boys meet with 80 points, and also finished fifth in the girls with 49 points.

On the boys side, Saxon Franklin won the triple jump with a leap of 39-06, and in the girls meet Central’s Tamra Scott won the shot put with a throw of 31-04.

“I was very satisfied with the way they did,” Central coach Rick Lytton said. “We’re coming along. We have a more than a week off to work and get healed up a little bit and work on things.”

Strasburg finished fourth in both the boys and girls meets. Strasburg’s Elijah Waters won the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.10.

Strasburg's Grace States leaps in the triple jump during the Central Invitational on Thursday in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

In the girls meet, Strasburg’s Rachel Funkhouser won the discus with a throw of 96-03. Strasburg’s Rachel Tischler won the 1,600 in a time of 5:42, and placed third in the 3,200 (12:30).

“I was really surprised with what happened,” Tischler said. “Typically I’m not as good at the mile, so I’m excited with how I did.”

Warren County finished sixth in the boys meet and eighth in the girls meet. Warren County’s Quay Caison won the shot put with a throw of 45-10.25.

Massanutten Military Academy placed eighth in the girls meet and seventh in the boys meet.

Darr capped his day off by running the last leg of the 4×400 relay, and rallying the Rams to the victory. Strasburg was in second as Darr took the baton from teammate Austin Schlentner, but he passed Central about 200 meters in and held on for the win.

Strasburg's Rachel Tischler prepares to pass Central's Bethany Neri during the 1,600-meter run at the Central Invitational track and field meet in Woodstock on Thursday. Rich Cooley/Daily

“I’ve got to give it up to the other guys, Nic Campbell, Cody Price and Austin Schlenter they helped out a lot, got us up there. Kept it close so they didn’t get too far ahead of us,” Darr said. “One of my main keys in a 400 is to pace off the kids in front of me, if there’s somebody ahead of me. Then I get about 200, and then I can go around them, keep passing them and use my kick at the end. Everything you got left. Just go all out.

“It’s really good to go out in three running events and come out on top in all of them.”

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