Well-rounded track and field Cougars contenders again
With Phillip Keller winning regularly in the shot put and discus and other successes in relays, hurdles and several sprints, Jefferson’s boys track and field team is back in the limelight and among the contenders for the state’s big-school championship.
After slipping to 18th place and scoring only 10 team points at the 2015 state meet, the Cougars have done enough this season to be considered among the three best teams in West Virginia. Cabell Midland would have to be considered the team favorite if the Class AAA state meet were held today.
Keller was first in both the shot put and discus at the Chuck Zonis Meet held at North Hagerstown High and the Cardinal Classic that took place last weekend at Spring Mills High.
The Jefferson 4×800 relay unit comprised of Colin Hayes, Delmar Hagedorn, Mason Young and Asher Personett has been in winning form late this spring. Personett has also done well in the 800.
In the past successes that Jefferson has accomplished, relays have usually played leading roles.
The 4×200 relay combination of Nick Mazaleski, Trevon Smith, James King and Quenton Porter has already shown enough that if no runner is injured in the late season then it could do well at the state meet.
Jefferey Gaskins placed second in the 200 at the Cardinal Classic and is a likely member of at least one sprint relay team.
Cortez Jenkins has shown well in both hurdles events and won both the 110 and 300 hurdles at the Zonis Meet.
Long jumpers Darnell Gardener and Zabarr Jones have both leaped over 20-feet this season.
Another sprint relay — the 4×400 — has been able to score points in area meets. With Hayes, King, Gaskins and Mazaleski, the Cougars could get points in that event in the Charleston-based state meet.
Hurdler Zach LaRue has been a consistent point producer and he and the shuttle hurdles relay could supply points in Charleston.
The Cougars might need points-help from Hayes, Personett, Young and Dylan Stamper in 1,600 and 3,200 distance events to outpace Cabell Midland.
Kaleeb Jones in the shot put and discus could supply a needed point or two in his specialties.
Jefferson won by over 45 points at the Zonis and again by over 50 points at the Cardinal Classic.
The 2015 state champion was Martinsburg but the Bulldogs were flush with a once-in-a-decade senior class last year.
Prime individual performances and excellent health in all quarters are usually necessary to winning a state title . . . and Jefferson seems to have chances to gain points in many different areas again this season.