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Relays, field events boost Cougar boys in track and field; sprinters buoy girls team

By Bob Madison - For the Chronicle | May 21, 2021

SHEPHERDSTOWN — When the spring days bring warmer weather, thoughts can turn to the few seconds that often determine the winners of sprints and relays . . . or the heights and distances soared to or jumped in the field events.

The athletes are no longer huddled under blankets and bundled with long-sleeved hoodies or stocking caps.

It’s finally getting to days here that track and field athletes are getting comfortable and times are coming down and distances and heights are going up.

While readying for the June 4 Regional Meet and subsequent Charleston-based State Meet the next week, Jefferson’s boys team has been proving itself against the other area schools.

Jefferson’s sprint relays have been manned by Keyshawn Robinson, Justin deMoulin, Isaiah Fritts, Caleb Shelton and Carson Masaleski (4×100) and Christian Blowe, Masaleski, Fritts and deMoulin (4×200).

David Fogelsong, Justin Gottlieb, Cameron Jennings, Kyle de Nobel and Harris Kester have logged the most yards in area meets in the 4×800 relay.

Gaining the most points in pre-Regional meets in the shot put and discus has been Jullian Matthews. Fleetwood White has added points in the discus. Pole vaulter Carter Naiman and high jumper Chase Brown have both served the Cougars well. In the longer distances (800, 1,600 and 3,200), points have consistently come from Jennings, Fogelsong, de Nobel, Gottlieb, Connor Ireland and Carter Brubaker.

Doing well to date in two of the most strenuous events (the 400 sprint and the 4×400 relay) have been Gottlieb, Brown, Fritts, de Moulin and Kester. Jefferson’s most productive hurdler has been Chase Brown.

In the larger meets (Regional and State), the relays often decide the team champion because of the high number of points those units that do well can earn.

Both Jefferson’s boys and girls teams won The Journal/Hedgesville Meet held recently. The schools they topped in that meet will comprise the field at the Region 2 event where individuals and relays qualify for the State Meet.

Lorelei Bangit and Hailey Dillow have prospered in the sprints and sprint relays for the girls team. Others on the sprint relay units have been Jordan Carr, Trinity Blue, and Arayia Maiban. Maiban also is a long jumper.

Hope Gestl has been Jefferson’s most effective hurdler. Helena Radford and Jasmine Matthews have been the noteworthy performers in the weights. Briauna Goins has added her points in the long jump.

Faith Hopson, Layla Parker, Emily Cisar and Addie LaBombard have teamed well together in the 4×800 distance relay. Jade Matthews, Jayla Kidrick and Bangit have been doing well in the difficult 400 sprint event.

Getting into the distance races, Parker has scored points in the 3,200 grind and LaBombard has done the same in the 800 run.

As was the case with all spring sports last year, there was no Region 2 Meet and no State Meet held in West Virginia because of the shutdown caused by the COVID-19 virus.

The June 4 Region 2 Meet will be held at Spring Mills High School and the State Meet a week later at Laidley Field in Charleston.

The competition usually steps up a notch or two at the State Meet, but Jefferson seems to have several individuals and relay units that could score well for both its teams this year.