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Despite soggy night, WUHS hosts annual Invitational Meet

Dodging the raindrops amongst spectators and judges under umbrellas, West Union’s Cole May makes a long jump attempt during Tuesday’s meet at West Union High School. With its new coverings, the long jump pit was one of the few dry places available.

Strong performance gives Peebles the girls team title – 

Story and photo by Mark Carpenter – 

As the old saying goes, “the show must go on”, and that was definitely the case on Tuesday afternoon at West Union High School, as the Dragon track program hosted the annual WU Invitational, with the hosts welcoming 10 other schools to the county seat. Despite a day of constant precipitation and rain falling through a lot of the meet, all of the events were completed and when the final scores were tabulated, it was the girls from Peebles and the boys from Eastern Brown taking home the team titles.
Joining the host Dragons were teams from Eastern Brown, Whiteoak, Fayetteville, Peebles, Western Latham, Sciotoville East, Green, Ripley, Manchester, and North Adams. Numerous athletes from the Adams County schools battled the elements and turned in fine performances.
The day began with some very soggy field events, with West Union’s Houston Adkins, Peebles’ Jessica Newkirk, North Adams’ Sydney Kendall, and West Union’ Kenzie Simon taking spots four through seven in the Girls Long Jump. In the Boys Long Jump, West Union’s Cole May placed second with a jump of 17′ 02.50”.
Newkirk was third in the Girls High Jump (4’8”), with Adkins placing fourth (4’8”). In the Boys High Jump, Manchester senior Justin Aldridge finished third with a jump of 5’2”.
The Girls Shot Put title went to Eastern Brown’s Mikayla Farris, with Peebles’ Harley Steed placing third with a throw of 26′ 07”. The highest Adams County finishers in the Boys Shot Put were Peebles’ Owen Behr, and Manchester teammates Aldridge and Kris Walters, who placed sixth through eighth. Farris also took the Girls Discus with West Union’s Shannon Runyan second with a toss of 70′ 04”. Peebles’ Amber Renchen and Kimberly Kreal were fourth and fifth.
The focus of the meet then turned to the track where foursomes from Peebles and North Adams took the top two spots in the Girls 4 x 800 Relay. Peebles also took third place in the Boys 4 x800.
In the Girls 100 Meter Hurdles, West Union’s Rebekah McCarty placed second with a time of 19.85, with Peebles’ Kierra Stone third at 20.51. West Union’s Cole May was second in the Boys 110 Meter Hurdles (19.21), with North Adams’ Brandon Figgins third (19.47).
Breauna Shoemaker from Peebles was fourth in the Girls 100 Meter Dash with a time of 14.09, and Manchester’s Brendon Kessler, who earlier this spring set the school record in the event, won the Boys 100 Meter Dash in a time of 10.8.
The quartet from West Union took first place in the Girls 4 x 200 Relay with Peebles placing third, and North Adams and West Union finishing third and fourth respectively in the Boys 4 x 200.
It was “no contest” in the Girls 1600 Meter Run as Peebles’ Jenny Seas picked up right where she left off last year and took first place by nearly a minute with her winning time of 5:19.18. Peebles’ Alisan Behr was fourth (6:35.21), West Union’s Katrina Boldman sixth (6:55.91), and North Adams’ Mackenzie Toole seventh (7:26.72). The Boys 1600 Meter Run was a tight one with Eastern Brown’s Blake Rigdon edging out Peebles Matt Seas (4:46-4:51).
Peebles and West Union claimed the top two spots in the Girls 4 x 100 Relay, with West Union getting second in the Boys 4 x 100.
In the always grueling 400 Meter Dash, West Union teammates Anna Shupert and Houston Adkins placed second and third, with Amber Renchen from Peebles fourth. On the boys’ side, West Union’s Colt Parker finished fourth, Peebles’ Kyle Lightner sixth, and West Union’s Carry Hayslip seventh.
Kierra Stone from Peebles took second place in the Girls 300 Meter Hurdles (54.76), with West Union’s McCarty right behind in third (57.32). Peebles’ George Werner finished fourth in the Boys 300 Meter Hurdles with a time of 55.1.
Jenny Seas continued her winning ways by crossing the finish line first in the Girls 800 Meter Run (2:34.11), topping Fayetteville’s Cecilia Murphy (2:43.48). West Union’s Anna Shupert was third (2:48.49) with Peebles’ Abby Faulkner fourth (2:49.60).
Manchester’s Ethan Pennywitt claimed the first spot across the line in the Boys 800 Meter Run with a time of 2:10.81, just missing a new school record.
Though he finished second in the race, Manchester’s Kessler set another school record in the Boys 200 Meter Dash, clocking in at 23.64. West Union’s Cole May was fifth in the 200 with a time of 25.54.
Making it a perfect three for three was Jenny Seas, as she won the Girls 3200 Meter Run in a time of 13:36.32. Second in the Girls 3200 went to North Adams’ Adison Wright at 13:54.12, third to Peebles’ Abby Faulkner at 14:25.72, and fourth to North Adams’ Katelyn Porter at 17:03.38. The top county finisher in the Boys 3200 was West Union’s Adam Fulton, fifth at 11:31.14.
Finally, the West Union, North Adams, and Peebles girls placed second, third, and fourth in the Girls 4 x 400 Relay, with the Peebles boys taking third in the same event.
Fans of the local track teams can see all four schools in action together on Thursday, May 4 when West Union will host the annual County Track Meet.

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