Local Athletes Excel at VHSL Track Championships

By: Nate Sulham Email
By: Nate Sulham Email

A number of area track and field athletes fared well at VHSL Track Championships in Harrisonburg and Newport News Saturday.

The Group 3A/4A meet was held at Harrisonburg High School and featured athletes from area schools including Western Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna County, Monticello, Louisa County and William Monroe.

Western junior runner Annie Taylor used a strong final 200 meters to win the 3A state title in the girls 1600 meter run.

"It means a lot," Taylor said of winning the 1600. "I've kind of been going after it for a while. It's kind of eluded me for a while. It was good to just finally win it and I was definitely giving it my all 200 meters to go. I didn't hold anything back."

Fellow Western runner Gannon Willcutts finished third in the boys 3200 meter race. The sophomore is planning to use that finish as a springboard going into next year.

"Third place is fine. I look to be back here in the next few years and pick up a couple state titles. So third is fine for now," Willcutts said. "I've never run an outdoor track two-mile so this is my first one; (I'm) getting used to it. The more I keep running this event the better I'll get I think."

Fluvanna County senior pole vaulter Hannah Meador made it four outdoor titles in a row. Meador missed on clearing the bar at 12'6" but her seed mark was plenty good enough to give her another state title in her final meet as a Fluco.

"It was great; I had a pretty good day," Meador said. "I was hoping to jump 13 (feet) but we jumped 12 so it was pretty good. It's exciting, I'm looking forward to the future but I've had a great four years in high school and great support of coaches."

The Group 5A/6A meet was held at Todd Stadium in Newport News and several Albemarle Patriots won big.

It started Friday night when the Patriot boys 4x800 team of Noah Smith, Zach Gentry, Ben Gersbach and Ryan Thomas took home 5A gold with a time of 7:53.11.

Gentry then followed that up today with a solid fourth-place showing in the 3200 and Thomas added a second-place finish in the 1600.

Albemarle freshman Kathryn Mayo continued to impress in her first season in a Patriots uniform. Mayo outran the competition in the 800 meter run to win first place with a time of 2:15.65.

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