MORGANTOWN — If you check enrollment numbers in West Virginia, Clay-Battelle clocks in at just 230 kids total — fewer than some graduating classes at Class AA schools.
That hasn’t stopped the Cee-Bees from solidifying themselves in the upper echelon of state track and field. This season was no different, as the Cee-Bees prepare to send 18 athletes off to the state track and field meet, at Laidley Field, in Charleston, this weekend.
“I’m proud of them. We’re taking 10 girls and eight guys. We almost took the full squad,” coach Ted Cline said. “The work ethic and our venue help. That’s a big plus. It’s nice having state champions, and when the kids see that on the wall, they want to be that.”
The Cee-Bees look to be in the mix for more than one state title, with Cline noting pole vaulter and high jumper Addison Ammons and the girls’ shuttle hurdle relay as top contenders. Hurdler Hailey Carreon will also look for the gold in the 100 meter hurdles and the 100 and 200 dashes, as well as contributing to the hurdle relay with Ammons.
“We’re ranked first in the pole vault and shuttle hurdles for girls. They’ve been undefeated all year. They are some of the hardest working kids I have had since I’ve been in this business,” Cline said. “They’ve proved their times and done it through sheer hard work. I can’t say enough about them. The hard work seems to be paying off.”
Cline said his team’s performance will depend on how they can hold up to the pressure of such an elite stage, but lists the reasons he expects the squad to meet and even exceed expectations.
“It depends how these kids handle the pressure. You know how that goes. One advantage we have is our schedule. We have run all year against Class AA and AAA schools. That allows our athletes to have top line competition,” Cline said. “Running against that and finishing first and second — seeing that you can do it — that means a lot.
“We’re also taking very few kids who haven’t been to a state meet before, and they know how to handle that pressure.”
The Cee-Bees will also send girls’ 4×100 meter relay and 4×800 meter relay squads to compete, as well as Maddie Pennington and Kaitlyn Tennant.
They will be joined by the Trinity Christian contingent, led by top-ranked Shawnee Jenkins in the 100 hurdles as well as sprints. Reagan Sharp and Kaylie Laskody will also compete for the Warriors, as well as a shuttle hurdle squad.
On the boys’ side in Class A, the Cee-Bees will be paced by their 4×100 and 4×200 relay squads. Nathan Swaniger, Logan Forquer, Benjamin Steele, Gunner Brummage, Holden Ammons and Seth Casino will all compete individually for the Cee-Bees.
Morgantown will look to gun for state titles on both the boys’ and girls’ sides this weekend, with the girls looking to defend their 2017 team title.
“This year’s team has a slightly different look, but the core from last year’s team has remained intact,” MHS coach Steven Blinco said. “We believe our girls will deliver another great performance in Charleston. The boys have continued to impress throughout this turbulent season, and after smashing the competition at regionals, they are poised for a big run at Laidley.”
Blinco was sure to mention his pride in the success and progress shown by both Mohigans squads, a credit to the culture that has been built at MHS.
“I am proud of all these athletes, especially our highly decorated senior class,” he said. “They have grown into one of the perennial powers in track and field, and our best days are yet to come.”
The Mohigans will send Alajuan Robinson, John Weihman, Tim Johnson, Gideon Temple, Andrew Christy, Michael Hoefler, Andrew Jones, Mikael Virji, Garrett Mayhew, Gabriel Stover, Aimbek Turakhonov, Brendan Jones, Tre Tarantini, Chase Wisman and Joseph Plevich to compete individually, as well as in 4×100, 4×200, 4×400, 4×800 and shuttle hurdle relays on the boys’ side.
On the girls’ side, the Mohigans will send Justice Washington, Amber Dombrowski, Aleena McDaniel, Sam Hatcher, Avigail Radabaugh, Amelia Haddox, Angela Ejimofor, Mikylah Cress and Kylee Gao individually, as well as the 4×100, 4×200, 4×400, 4×800, and shuttle hurdle relays.
Also in Class AAA, University will send girls’ 4×100, 4×200 and 4×800 relays, and Kendall Ours, Caroline Kirby, Zoe Shetty, Peyton Kekura, Kinsley Boggess and Julia Adkins individually.
Preston will join in on the fun, sending Trey Smith-Tatham, Cole Friend, Ward Ries and Matthew Moats individually on the boys’ side, as well a 4×800 meter relay.
Erin McClelland, Alannah Short and Kirsten Brown will compete for the Knights on the girls’ side, as well as a 4×800 meter relay.
The action will kick off at 2 p.m. May 18 and run until 8:30 p.m., then resume Saturday at 9 a.m. and run through 5:30 p.m.