MORGANTOWN — High school and college athletes from many schools around the state gathered Friday and Saturday for the annual Mountaineer Showcase track and field meet at Mylan Park.
Local high schools Morgantown, University, and Trinity Christian all participated in the meet and each had athletes earn notable results. With the college teams being in attendance, ncluding WVU, some former Mon County athletes had the opportunity to return home and put on strong performances in front of friends and family.
“We’ve been able to build a really strong relationship between us (high schools) and WVU and the state,” MHS coach Steve Blinco said at the meet Saturday. “I think it really does so much for the schools, and we even have elementary and middle school students coming together. To see everybody come together this weekend really means a lot to us.”
Friday saw mostly college events being run as the only prep race held was the Elite 3200 event for both boys and girls. MHS senior and 2022 Hardman Award winner, Irene Riggs, won the girls’ race, taking first overall with a time of 10:10.48. Her teammate Madeline Gump, a junior, followed in second with a time of 11:07.77.
Mohigan senior pole vaulter Morgan Ryan took first overall with an impressive height of 10’6″. She missed the mark of 11 feet, her personal best, but still jumped very well, especially with a change of schedule and weather that moved the event into the WVU shell building.
On the boys’ side of the 3200, University junior Drew Zundell finished first overall with an impressive time of 9:06.78. UHS senior Ryan Blohm followed close behind his teammate posting a 9:12.54. The Hawks claimed four of the top six spots in the race.
“At this point in the season it’s more about competing rather than running fast,” Zundell said on Saturday. “The biggest thing we want to do is compete in every race going into states. I’m not really worried about setting my personal best at regionals or states, I want to go out and go at it with the best runners in the state.”
TCS has seen an uptick in its track and field season this year, and for sophomore Chase Livengood in particular, his progress made in the high jump during the offseason has him eyeing a state championship.
He finished second behind Demonte Martin of Hedgesville on Saturday, clearing 5’10” but failing to make 6’0. TCS head coach John Barnett said the improvement he saw Chase make from last year to now will work wonders for him.
“Chase worked extremely hard in the offseason,” Barnett said. “He’s a great athlete who just needs to stay focused and keep doing what he’s doing and I think the sky is the limit for him.”
“I’ve really improved from last year,” Livengood said on Saturday after taking second place. “I’ve managed to break my personal record by four inches early this year, so some of the goals have come quicker than expected. That just allows me to set new goals and reach newer heights faster.”
TCS senior Levi Teets took second overall in the boys 200 meter dash with a time of 24.21. Fellow senior Sofia Pancoast placed second in the girls 400 meter dash with a time of 1:02.22.