BRIDGEPORT — Morgantown High senior Andrew Christy stepped onto the track at Bridgport on March 23, hoping for a challenge. It was the opening meet of the year for MHS, and the first test for Christy and his teammates on the 4×800 meter relay squad.
“I wasn’t sure what Bridgeport was going to do, because they always put out a strong team,” Christy said after the race. “I was just hoping it would be a good race, and it was.”
Whether or not Christy expected his team to pace the field with a mark of 8:47.26, he didn’t mention. In any case, he was certainly pleased with the results.
“It’s a good way to start out the season, to start out with a strong leg and a strong race from everyone,” he said. “I’m happy with the results.”
The stout performance from the relay was the first in a trio of first-place finishes for the MHS boys on the first day of action during the Bridgeport CVB Invitational.
Senior Kevin Donnelly set the pace in the 3200 meter run, finishing with a mark of 10:26.21. Mohigans sophomore Mikael Virji followed just milliseconds behind his teammate in second, turning in a time of 10:26.73.
Senior Alajuan Robinson led the charge in the field for MHS, earning first in the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 8 inches. Robinson was joined by a pair of bronze medal finishes in the field events, as senior Brendan Jones leaped 18-7 in the long jump, and senior Chase Wisman launched the discus 126-6.
“I expected more from myself, but I still did all right. I got top three, so I can’t complain too much,” said Wisman, whose personal best sits at 129 feet. “The competition was pretty good.”
It wasn’t a personal best for the MHS girls’ 4×800 meter relay team Friday night, but compared to their first competition last spring, there aren’t many complaints.
“They came out today and ran about 15 seconds faster than this time last year, so that’s positive,” MHS assistant coach Mike Ryan said. “We didn’t really have any expectations; we just wanted to see where we are.”
The squad, which returns all four members from its 2017 Class AAA state championship effort, dominated the competition, running 9:54.02; an awe-inspiring 46 seconds faster than the second-place team.
“I think we did really well. It was the first meet back, and I think we have lots to look forward to,” said senior Samantha Hatcher, who anchors the squad.
“I was expecting a good time; we’ve all been training pretty well. Our time today showed all of our hard work has paid off, and we’ll keep ticking away the time as the season goes on.”
The 4×800 team wasn’t the only first-place effort for the Mohigans’ girls, though. Fellow distance runner senior Avigail Radabaugh grabbed the top spot in the 3200 meter run with a mark of 11:37.64. Joining in the on-track success was the 4×102.5 meter shuttle hurdle team, who placed second overall with a 1:14.83.
MHS perhaps had its strongest showing of the evening in the throws, however. The Mohigans flexed their muscles with five top-three finishes between the discus throw and shot put. Sophomore Kylee Gao led the charge in both, finishing first in discus with a toss of 91-8, and second in shot put, with a mark of 28-1.
“The competition was friendly, and my coach was really supportive,” Gao said. “I had a few bad throws, but overall it was a pretty good meet.”
Gao was joined by senior Mikayla Cress and sophomore Jayden Dooley in discus. They finished second (91-2) and third (89-3), respectively. Dooley also earned third place in shot put, with a mark of 28-0.
“There were many encouraging performances on day one,” MHS head coach Steven Blinco said. “We have many things to address and small tweaks to make, but overall, our boys and girls are ready to compete.”
The second day of action at the Bridgeport CVB starts at 9 a.m. today, with boys’ pole vault and girls’ high jump, and will conclude at 4:40 p.m. with the boys’ 4×400 meter relay.