CHARLESTON — Clay-Battelle had never earned a state championship in the shuttle hurdles. On May 18, the Cee-Bees ended their drought.
The team of Hailey Carreon, McKenna Kirby, Shannon Statler and Addison Ammons nabbed the gold in the Class A 4×102.5-meter shuttle hurdles, at the state track meet, at Laidley Field, pacing the competition with a time of 1:09.32.
“They were undefeated all year, and we expected this from them,” C-B head coach Ted Cline said. “They really came through.”
According to Carreon, the importance of the victory cannot be overstated.
“It means everything. This was the one event I was for sure in, and the one that I had no doubts in,” she said. “My dreams became a reality.”
The victory comes one year after the same squad earned fifth place at the 2017 state meet.
“It means a lot. All year, we have worked for this. We told ourselves last year we were going to come out on top this time, and we did,” Ammons said.
Ammons stressed the sacrifice she and her teammates made in order to climb to the peak of West Virginia track.
“It was a lot of hard work, and a lot of dedication. We’d be the last ones at practice each day, working on hurdles,” she said.
With all four members of the relay returning to the track for the Cee-Bees next spring, they hope that they can re-break their current school record and even aim for the all-time state mark.
“Earning first has definitely made us want to come back and work even harder,” Statler said.
For now, though, the girls plan to soak in the glory of the title they rightfully earned.
“It’s a high,” Kirby said. “To come out and get first, it’s amazing.”
The Cee-Bees were joined by county foe Trinity Christian in the race, as the Warriors secured a fourth-place finish, with a mark of 1:11.43.
The local Class A contingent also brought home a pair of runner-up finishes on day one, with Ammons taking the silver in pole vault, hitting a height of 9 feet, 6 inches, while Trinity’s Reagan Sharp leapt 16-06 on her way to a second-place finish in the long jump.
“It’s a great experience coming down here. You get to compete against athletes from across the state — everyone is really good, and it’s just a high level of competition,” Sharp said of her second trip to the state meet.
Just having the chance to lace up her spikes and compete in Charleston was special to Sharp, as it provided an opportunity to represent Trinity on a large stage — something that doesn’t always happen for one of the smallest schools in the state.
“I’m proud to represent Trinity. I hope people see us out here this weekend and realize we can compete just as well as anyone else can,” she said.
On the boys’ side, C-B’s Gunner Brummage was the lone competitor to earn points for a Mon County school Friday, as he took third in the high jump with a mark of 5-10.
The action at the state meet will resume May 19 from Laidley Field, in Charleston, with the boys’ shot put kicking off Class A action, at 9 a.m.