Generals have solid showing at Class 1 state meet

Wade Banks

ELKTON – Wade Banks ended his track and field career with a solid performance in the Class 1 Track and Field Championships on a soggy Saturday at East Rockingham High School.

The Stonewall Jackson senior placed (Top 8) in three of his four events at the state track meet, which was held despite a steady rain all day long.

“It’s a great group of guys out here, we’re all running against each other,” Banks said. “I’d say it’s been a good day.”

Banks placed fourth in the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 16.01. He finished tied for fifth in the high jump with a jump of 5-10.

“It was my first high jump medal,” Banks said. “Medaling is nice, but I felt like I could have done better.”

Destiny Neff

Banks finished 10th in the 300 hurdles with a time of 42.71.

By the time the 300 hurdles race took place the rain was coming down harder and there were puddles of water on the track. Banks said it was difficult to run the hurdles due to the rain.

“It’s a little scary, especially coming around that corner. That corner hurdle you got to get a little sideways,” Banks said. “I was a little worried about slipping out. But East Rock’s a fast track, so it kind of evens out. But I prefer it to be dry.”

Banks, along with teammates Andrew Leon, Nick Pabon and Zach Wine finished sixth in the 4×400-meter relay in a time of 3:43.77.

Leon finished sixth in the 800 in a time of 2:07.76. Zachari Munoz finished ninth in the 3,200 with a time of 10:57.09.

Stonewall Jackson’s 4×100 relay team of Kyle Baker, John Garber, Victor Gonzalez and Brice Whitman finished 15th (49.34). Stonewall Jackson’s 4×800 relay team of Riley Gonzalez, Leon, Pabon, and Wine finished fifth (8:52.50) in a race held on Friday night.

The Generals finished 10th in the boys meet with 18.5 points. Auburn won the state title with 114.5 points, followed by Patrick Henry (88) and Lancaster (52.5).

Stonewall Jackson’s Destiny Neff was able to bring home some hardware in the girls meet. The senior finished sixth in the long jump with a leap of 16-00.50.

“It was definitely a big step up from last year because last year I jumped all 13’s,” Neff said. “So this year I jumped 16-and-a-half. And it felt pretty nice to be able to do that.”

Neff finished 11th in the 100 (13.26) and 10th in the 200 (27.82). During the 200 race the rain was coming down hard, and she said that made it more challenging.

“I can definitely say that was the hardest 200 that I’ve ran at states,” Neff said. “It was difficult to push through, but with all the good competition beside me, I felt more motivated to push harder. And I felt like I was moving pretty quick. It is pretty tricky to run on a wet track because you got to be careful you don’t slide. Fast and the water don’t really mix. Thankfully with the spikes, it helps a little bit to try to avoid that.”

She finished 15th in the triple jump (30-05.00). Neff, along with teammates Desirae Campbell, Autumn Deutsch and Autumn Smith, finished 10th in the 4×100 relay (54.24).

Deutsch placed fifth in the 100 hurdles (17.53). Deutsch said that she was happy with her race and it was an honor just to be at the state meet.

“I think in my mind I was just happy to be here, most likely, and just be around a good group of girls,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been around a nicer group of girls. I’ve never been surrounded by so much positivity and happy thoughts.”

Stonewall Jackson’s Melissa Oczkowski finished 14th in the 1,600 (6:21.75). Stonewall Jackson’s 4×800 relay team of Haley Bennett, Ella Hervo-Smith, Oczkowski and Abbi Simon finished 11th (12:38.37) on Friday night.

The Generals finished tied for 24th in the girls meet with 7 points. Auburn won the girls Class 1 state title with 124 points, followed by Patrick Henry (98) and Rural Retreat (49).

Stonewall Jackson coach Dick Krol said he was pleased with his teams’ effort.

“We did not go into the season thinking we were really strong,” Krol said. “Wade (Banks) did well, and Leon’s coming along. We got a couple of them back next year. It was a good season. I can’t complain.”