Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Outdoor Track - April - 2007

The weather was cold and rainy for most high school teams competing around the state, but there were still some great performances to highlight. Some college teams managed to get away from the bad weather and got a chance to heat up the track at the Sea Ray Relays.

High School

Wheeling hosted the Dick Dei Track Classic (I'll skip all the easy jokes pertaining to naming your meet that) which saw Wheeling Park and Cabell Midland going at it. Once again the highlight on the men's side is Ryan Beabout's dominant performance in the 3200 (winning in 9:47) and 1600m ( 2nd in 4:35). But he's not the only one who was kicking butt. Trey Beckett from Cabell Midland had a huge PR in the 3200 with a 9:58 and Stewart Jones from Weir looks to be back in great shape with a 9:54 in the same race. Stewart also came back to run 4:38 for the 1600m. showing he's a real threat for the AA distance titles.

The Harry Green Invite saw Preston and University butting heads in the distance races (which is always a good show). Add to the mix a few of the better distance runners in the state and you come out with a highly competitive field. The rain and cold weather did it's best to slow these guys down but most didn't let the elements bother them and had outstanding races. The guy's saw big names like Frohnapfel, Feathers, Noel, Hampshire and Gray spreading their talents out in the distance events. Winfield's Noel led the way in his races, outkicking Josh Feathers in the 3200m to run 9:54 to Feathers 9:56. All-State Cross runner Corey Hampshire was hanging on tough for a while and ended up with a 10:04 in the same race. The 1600m had the same lineup but with Eric Frohnapfel who looked to break up Noel's dominance. But Noel was too strong and took the win with a 4:39 with Feathers a close 2nd in 4:41 and Frohnapfel finishing off the top pack in 4:42. Josh Gray from Liberty ran away from everyone in the 800 as he cruised to a 2:01 while Andrew Hoover trailed behind in 2:06 which was good enough for 2nd.

College and Professional

Heather Bury took part in the Boston Marathon this weekend and ended up with a time of 2:59:55. Not only did she have to run the grueling 26.2 miles but she also had to battle some of the worst conditions in the history of the Boston Marathon. The women's winner Denna Kastor was 16 min slower than her best times due to the conditions. Heather however was only 14 min off her best making for very solid effort. Congrats to her on a nice run.

The Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville saw some huge performances for those who went down to compete. Good weather for the distance races led to some very fast times. One of the highlight of the meets was Tyler DeVault winning the 1500m in a PR time of 3:43 which ranks him as one of the best in the country and qualifies him for the Regional meet. Ben Lukowski made a strong push to win the 10K after pacer Zach Sabatino dropped off at 4 miles. Ben looked strong as he pulled away from the field only to get chased down by eventual winner Andy Baska. Ben ended up with a solid time of 29:54 . On the women's side WVU's Keri Bland had an amazing race rolling out a 4:23 for 1500m - which is equivalent to about a 4:42 mile. Alison Spiker also ran well with a 4:36. Marian Brooks of Marshall University broke her own school record for the 3K by running 10:01. Former Morgantown star Claire Berryman was not far off Brooks running a solid 10:05 while WVU's Nicole Lemal came in at 10:30. WVU's women's team also broke their school record in the DMR running an impressive 11:24 - Keri Bland spilt 3:23 for the 1200 while Marie-Lousie Asselin got stuck running alone but still managed to run 4:49 for the anchor leg.

** New Interview with Corey Waybright**

Wow this was a loaded week with lots of great performances. I'll try to make sure I highlight all the good stuff but if I miss something let me know. I don't want to leave any of the good performances out.

Most impressive running this week for High School guys has to go to Ryan Beabout of Wheeling Park who went 9:37 in the 3200m this past weekend (going up against some high caliber out of state runners). He has also already run 4:33 and 2:03. He came from nowhere in Cross Country this past year to dominate everyone. I think people were interested to see if his strength would transfer over to the track. It looks like it did.

Most impressive high school girl has to go to Stephanie Caruso by going crazy in her 3200m. and running 11:20. She knocked 20 seconds off her best time and didn't even have anyone to run with. I hope she can get in some fast races with the Morgantown or Preston girls and see how fast she can really go. It sucks that she's not in AAA because she would definitely add a little spice to the mix.

The Teays Valley Meet saw teams like Ripley, Winfield, Parkersburg and Midland going at it, which made for some good distance races. Corey Waybright, fresh off his dominating performance last week, showed he's ready to take on the state's best as he had a decisive victory in the 1600m running 4:30. It's good to see David Bias in good form after rumors of an injury. He was 2nd in the 1600m with a 4:36 followed by stud Zach Noel in 4:38 and Cricket...I mean Trey Beckett of Midland in at 4:41 with a nice new PR (good job). Even more impressive is to know that most of those guys ran the 3200m as well with Zach Noel out-leaning David Bias. They both ran 10:01

Preston hosted a relay meet which saw their runners running in their 9th meet of the week. Morgantown was there too, but it's hard to judge how everyone ran since it was mostly relays and the results don't have splits. I did hear that North Marion star Zach Tennant ran the 4x1600m and split a 4:41 running solo. Kaylyn Christopher decided to test out her high jumping skills. Of course that ended in disaster, when three people almost getting killed in a miscalculated jump. She also jumped 15'6 in the pole vault using a stick she found in the Amazon while rescuing a family of chimpanzees (or so she says).

University Girls dominated the Ryan Jobe's Meet in Williamstown. Amber Riley won everything (earning high point) and Hallie Portner took the win in the 3200 with an 11:52 adding her to the list of lady runners to break 12 minutes in the Morgantown area (that's going to be one tough region to get out of). Ben Wise of Ravenswood was spotted in the 800 running a 2:07 but he was gunned down by Shawn Coe of South who ran 2:05. Eric Fohnapfel ended up 2nd in the 1600m with a 4:41 followed closely by Ben Miller (4:45), Tim Henson (4:46) and Dustin Hall (4:49). That was coming off his win in the 3200 where he broke 10 min for the first time with a 9:55. He was followed by constantly improving Dustin Hall who went 9:56 and Brian Blanc of South who had an impressive run at 10:00. Already these times are starting to overshadow last years top performances in the state.

Bridgeport hosted a mid-week meet that saw Preston's crew competing. I'm sure they just went to this meet to have another excuse to get out of school (they've only had 3 full days since Christmas break). There were tons of snow days a teacher's strike, and one day a bird flew into the school and died so they released the students in fear of the Avian Flu. Anyway, Jordan Hamric won the 1600m with a 5:27 and Kaylyn Christopher beat up on the boys with a very impressive 10:56 3200m. Sam Stalnaker of Buckhannon Upsher finished 2nd in the 800m with a 2:06 coming in behind Josh Gray of Liberty who knocked off the fastest time in state with a 2:02. I almost didn't put Josh on here because I didn't know Liberty was a WV high school. Luckily I've got plenty of people around me to let me know how dumb I am (thanks Ilora Cipolat).

Ritchie Co. hosted a meet which saw the loveable Levi Grandt make his debut on the track. He dominated the distance races with a 4:39 in the 1600m and 9:59 in the 3200m. But even more impressive was the performance by St. Mary's runner Dustin Hall who was right on Levi's heels in the 1600m and 3200m, running 4:42 and 10:01. This could be a new star on the rise.

The WV/OH/KY Challenge in Ashland saw Darby Mullen make a big jump from this past weekend as she won the 1600m with a 5:29 and came back to take the title in the 3200 with an 11:55. She pretty much crushed everyone, showing that she owns everyone in OH and KY.

WV runners Josh Simpson and Rebecca Stallwood flew to California to race in the biggest distance races in the country. Stanford hosts big meets that attract lots of talent looking to run fast times for longer races. Josh took on the 10K and came home with an impressive new PR of 29:23 - check out these splits - 1600m-4:39, 3200m-9:16, 5K-14:30, 8K-23:26. Not bad. Rebecca Stallwood met with similar success in the 5K as she went 16:28 in her race.

Marshall University took their guys and gals and headed to UNC Chapell Hill to compete. Marian Brooks never gets tired of running fast as she led her team with fast times in the 1500m (4:39) and 800m (2:23). Allison Cox did the same double going 5:09 for the 1500m and 2:29 for the 800m. The guys were all loaded into a 5K race where former Pt Pleasant runner Travis Epling leading the pack.WVU's ladies went to George Mason where Karly Hamric got a huge PR in the 1500m running 4:38!! This was a great run for Karly and hopefully lead to more fast times in the future. Kerry Davis who continues her breakout year went won her heat in the 1500m with a 4:54. Unattached runner Jenn Davis ran 2:14 for the 800m. while former NCAA National Champ Megan Metcalfe won the 1500 in 4:19. Also at the meet was former Morgantown High star Claire Berryman who is now running for Penn State. She ran all alone for a 5K going 18:04.

Everyone's favorite runner from the mysterious Webster Springs (anyone know where the heck that is?) Skylar McCoy made his debut at the Roane Co. Meet this past weekend. He took first place in the 800, 1600m, 3200m, 4x800, Long Jump, Shuttle Hurdles, Discuss, and the 3- legged race. Not only is he fast but he also has the coolest name in the state.

The Doddridge Co. Meet had some good results thanks to University's team going there. Eric Frohnapfel gets his first ever outdoor track win with a victory in the 1600m running 4:40. He was followed by North Marion standout and all around evil person Zach Tennant who ran 4:46. Amber Riley rocked the 3200m as she completely lapped the entire field while running a very impressive 11:03. Levi Grandt was noticeably absent from the meet.

Two Powerhouse teams, Preston and Cabell Midland competed at the Kim Nutter Classic in Parkersburg. Preston's Kaylyn Christopher shows she's got some wheels as she ran 2:18 for the 800. Cabell Midland's star mid-distance runner Dee Dee Winningham won the 400 and came back to run the 800. She had a busy day running 4 events (including the 4x400 and 4x800). Preston went on to dominate the distance race for girls as Ari Kasprowicz won the 1600m and the trio of Kaylyn Christopher, Jordan Hamric and Ashley Teets went 1-3 in the 3200. On the guys side Corey Waybright had a very good early season meet. He was 2nd in the 400 and then came back to win the 800 out kicking Preston runner Josh Feathers who was trying out his 800m legs. Most impressive though was Waybrights run in the mile where he was going up against Winfield superstar Zach Noel. It's been reported that Waybright laid the smack down with a 59 sec. last 400m. Zach Noel did get a victory in the 3200 though as he ran 9:50 going up against Josh Feathers who was 10:00. David Bias from Cabell Midland didn't run and Cass Meadows looks to be fully recovered as he was spotted on the 4x800.Although it isn't on any of the official results it has been reported on the message board (which is as solid as fact as far as I'm concerned) that Wheeling Central's Stephanie Caruso kicked off her outdoor campaign with a huge victory in the 1600m running 5:24 to crush the field.

Tennessee runner's Tyler DeVault and Ben "The Guy" Lukowski kicked off their outdoor season at the Alabama Relays. Ben ran 14:43 for the 5K while Tyler ( fresh off his trip to Indoor Nationals) ran 3:50 for the 1500m to finish 2nd.

Lots and lots of good stuff was happening at Wake Forest this weekend where Concord, WV Wesleyan and Wheeling Jesuit all went to compete. I know I usually don't cover sprints but I have to give Wesleyan runner Rico Greenhowe props for breaking 48 in the 400m. (running 47.9 to win his heat). Congrats man! Ryan Johnson from Wesleyan continues his success in the 800 as he blazed to a 1:57. Scott Grose of Wheeling Jesuit took over the lead as top Conference runner in the steeplechase with his 9:52. And Wheeling Jesuit's Erika Rucker had the quickest performance in the 1500m with a 4:55

University of Charleston went to a meet in Bridgewater where Corey Mehl ripped off a 1:57 for the 800m. Former Midland runner Brandon Scarberry took the easy win in the 1500m running 4:12 and winning by over 4 seconds. Former Pocahontas Co. runner Nathan Rittenhouse (now running for Bridgewater) took the win in the 5K with a 15:28. Most surprising was Charleston coach Bruce Cox running a 2:20 for the 800m at the age of 54. Although inside sources say he may have been disqualified for using an electric wheelchair for a portion of the race.

Mountain runnin' fool Andrew Benford ran his first meet of the outdoor season at the Fred Hardy Invite where he won the 3K with a studly 8:38. Although there weren't any steep inclines he still managed to run pretty well.

Results are up for the World Cross Country Championships that took place in Mombasa, Kenya. Zach Sabatino was running for Team USA. He qualified for the race by finishing 6th place at the USA Cross Country Nationals a month ago. Heavy favorite Kenenisa Bekele dropped out of the race as did a number of his teammates, leaving the team title up for the Kenyans to take.

**New Interview with Keri Bland**

Since indoor track is over and outdoor hasn't started yet, Preston's distance squad ended up running in a road race in Grafton this weekend. It was an odd distance so it's hard to judge the times ( 4.7 miles??...I guess they couldn't find an extra .3 of a mile anywhere else in the whole town) it looked as though most of the runner were doing workouts. There's really only one name you need to read in the results, and that's Larry Taylor. The return has begun. This is the beginning of the end for us all.

Looks like the UNC Charlotte meet was the place to be this past weekend seeing as just about everyone in the state went down to run. WVU was there and leading the charge for them was Marie-Lousie who had an outstanding run in the 1500m with a big PR of 4:25 which also qualifies her for the Regional meet later this spring. Nicole Lemal qualified for the Big East in the 5K running 17:52 and constantly improving Kerry Davis ran an impressive 18:24. She was followed closely by Katie Burda who came across the line in 18:36. Alison Spiker nabbed a 6th place finish in the 3K with a 10:05.Marshall University had their men and women's teams at the meet as well. Marian Brooks showed she's off to a fast start for this outdoor season as she rolled out a 4:42 for the 1500m. Her teammate Allison Cox ran the same event and finished in 5:06. But they weren't satisfied with just the 1500m as they came back and ran the 800m the next day (2:25 for Marian and 2:30 for Cox). The men's team looked in good racing form with a strong pack in the 5K led by Travis Epling in 15:29 who has made huge leaps in his running since starting at Marshall. He was followed by former State Cross Champ Jon Nelson in 15:47 and former Scott High runner Chris McGee in 15:53. Andrew Ramell dared to do the double as he went 4:19 for the 1500m and 2:03 for the 800m. West Virginia Wesleyan's Amanda Griffith is once again stealing all the headlines with her impressive double in the 5K and 3K where she ran 18:01 and 10:50. Nicole Teter zipped along in the 1500 running a 5:04 followed by Megan Docherty in 5:14. On the men's side Jimmy Kavaliauskas ( man I wish this guy would stop running well so I wouldn't have to keep tying his's gives my hands cramps) and Justin Coughlin continue to impress as they both had nice performances in the 1500m (running 4:05 and 4:06 respectively). Eric Cooper managed to out kick anything in Green and White in the 5K and ended up running a 15:26. Cooper also came back the next day to run a 9:55 Steeplechase which puts him at the top of the list in his conference. Ryan Johnson seemed to have no problem getting under 2:00 minutes once again as he set a new PR of 1:58.

Some teams decided to go over to the other Carolina and compete in the Coastal Carolina Meet. Concord and West Liberty showed up there ready to run. Kallen Weaver of West Lib (who finished 2nd at the WVIAC Conference meet in Cross Country) has been making her way back from injuries and looks to be in good form with a new PR of 19:41 in the 5K. Jeremy Bartley of Concord smashed the 2 min barrier in the 800 with a 1:59 and Scott Grose went 10:04 for the Steeplechase to highlight the meet.