Track Team Starts Strong at Ritchie


This year’s Wirt County High School track team sets off the year with a successful first meet at Ritchie County High School. This year’s team has many new members coming out, with great talent and potential in their future. The returning leaders are excited to see where this season takes them.

Senior runner Stephen Cunningham says, “I feel like this year is going to be a pretty good year. I mean, we lost some really great runners, but our younger guys and girls have a lot of talent. They need to continue to build on that. I can’t wait to see how it goes for everyone.”

The track team has put in lots of hard work and dedication while starting off this season. It takes a lot of intense, hard conditioning to get into track shape, and that is what this year’s team has done.

“I’m excited to see what this year has in store for our team. There is a lot of talent and potential,” says senior thrower Levi McVey.

This year, the team has 8 seniors competing in their last season on the track team. There are many returning athletes that help lead the team, along with the seniors.

“I’m looking forward to this year. We have a lot of new faces on the team. There is so much potential and I can’t wait to see how far we go this year,” says senior thrower, Sarah Cunningham.

There are 32 athletes on the track team, 8 of them are returning athletes that participated in states.

“I believe that we are going to have a fun year. Even though we have lost some strong runners last year, we have many new runners that have great potential. We have a very young team, but I can’t wait to see them get better and become strong leaders in the future for our track team!” says returning runner, Shawna Ashby.

Many of the new members of the team are already showing great signs of potential and success.

“This year is rebuilding year for us. Coach P and Galloway really know how to get us into shape so I think we will be just fine,” says returning athlete, Casey Stanley.

There is 11 track meets scheduled for this season. March 25th is the Ryon Jobes Invitational, hosted by Williamstown High school. Following with the next meet at Tyler Consolidated on March 31st.

This year’s team has great potential to have a successful year. With great coaches helping them improve throughout the season, there could be many athletes competing in the State track meet from Wirt County High School.


A word from Coach P:

Track and Field for the 2017 school year is a brand new year with a brand new team.  I am so honored to coach these kids because they are some of the hardest working athletes in this school.  Already I am thrilled at what I see and anticipate a good season.  Starting with the girls, they are few but mighty.  I look for Zani Villers and Shawna Ashby to be standout runners.  Natya Cochrane shows potential in a number of events as well.  For the throwers, I expect great accomplishments from veteran throwers Alexis Petrovsky and Sarah Cunninghman in both the shot and the discus.  The hardest part for the girls is that we only have 6 runners.  This happened a few years ago, but those girls worked hard and still made states – I truly believe our girls can do that this year too.

The boys are fortunate to have some experienced state participants including Justin Rood, Stephen Cunningham, Damian Alltop, Casey Stanley, and Lance Sims.  These boys should be able to qualify again this year as well.  New upper classmen participants who should have no problem joining them include Tathan Bailey, Blake Batten, Troy Craft, and Joey Schmidt.  Freshmen to watch include Gabe Adams, Eli McMillan, Peyton Richards, and Zac Yoak.  All of these boys work extremely hard and once they learn to get a little uncomfortable and show some grit, they should excel.  The throwers to keep an eye on include Levi McVey, Dakota Booth, Tyler Booth, and Casey Stanley.

Our first meet at Ritchie showed promising potential.  Points were achieved by many athletes and some even placed in the top 4 – Zani Villers, Alexis Petrovsky, Sarah Cunningham, Natya Cochrane, Justin Rood, Casey Stanley, Levi McVey, Dakota Booth, boys 4X800 (Cunningham, Rood, Yoak, Alltop), and boys shuttle hurdles (Stanley, Rood, Cunningham, Schmidt). If they keep working hard, everyone should see numerous PRs (personal records) this season and many should qualify for states, especially after the realignment of the regions.  Best of luck to these kids!