CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Some crazy eights.
The Point Pleasant boys and girls each came away with eight podium finishes on Friday and Saturday at the 2019 WVSSAC Class AA Track and Field Championships held at Laidley Field on the campus of the University of Charleston.
The Lady Knights landed the program’s only two state titles this weekend and placed third overall in the girls competition with 44 points, while the Black Knights had a trio of runner-up efforts en route to a ninth place finish of 30 points on the boys’ side.
Winfield won the girls Class AA crown with 124 points, while Bridgeport was second out of 23 scoring teams with 121 points.
The Point girls had a dozen competitors in 10 different events, including a quartet of relays and three other events with multiple entrants.
The final results were, well, rather remarkable given the performances in two days of down-pouring rain and scorching heat.
The Lady Knights landed their first state championship on Saturday as freshman Addy Cottrill pulled off a bit of shocker by upending favorite Brooke Burns in the shot put final. Cottrill’s winning throw of 36 feet, 2.75 inches was less than three inches better the Scott senior’s best effort.
Burns ended up winning the discus event on Friday, with Cottrill placing third in that final with a throw of 121 feet, 4 inches.
Given that Cottrill was a Region IV runner-up in both events at Winfield High School a week prior, the freshman was both humble and awe-struck with how her first state meet ended up turning out.
“This is very overwhelming and really exciting because I have worked really hard for this, but I didn’t really know what to expect coming into the weekend,” Cottrill said. “It’s a great way to start my high school career at the state meet and I’ll have more time to get even better over the next few years. For now though, I’m just going to take in the moment and enjoy this great weekend for what it is.”
Cottrill joined Alea Hipes as the only freshmen to ever win a state title in Point Pleasant girls’ track and field history. Hipes also won the shot put in 2007 with a winning throw of 34 feet, 1 inch.
Cottrill also became the first PPHS state champion since Aislyn Hayman won both the shot put and discus titles in 2017 at the Class AA tournament.
Point’s second state championship also took a bit of an odd turn as junior Samantha Saunders claimed gold in the high jump with a winning height of 5 feet, 4 inches.
The double-AA high jump final was originally scheduled for Friday evening, but rain and lightning forced the event to be delayed until Saturday afternoon.
The difference, as Saunders noted afterwards, was huge, mainly given how much better she felt competing in the second go-around.
“Yesterday was pretty rough because I was messing up in warmups and couldn’t get any of my timing down. Luckily, the weather came and moved the event to today,” Saunders said. “For some reason, I just felt good about them postponing the event last night because of the weather. I had more energy and more bounce today, and my timing was great. I knew when I was clearing all of my first attempts that I had a good shot at winning, and that was the biggest thing for me.
“Everything worked out for me in the end, and this is truly a remarkable feeling. After all the work and everything that I have accomplished here so far, this is definitely a great way to close out my junior year.”
Along with her first state championship, Saunders was also the pole vault runner-up (10-0) and placed fifth in the long jump with a distance of 16 feet, 6.75 inches. It was the third time in her career that Saunders earned top-six finishes in both the high jump and pole vault events, as well as her second podium finish in the long jump.
Saunders had the third-highest point total of any Class AA girls competitor with 20 points. Saunders has finished on the podium in eight of her nine career event appearances and has accumulated 39.5 points at the state level through three seasons.
Both Cottrill and Saunders accounted for 36 points combined, but the remaining eight Lady Knight points also came from the shot put and high jump finals.
Freshman Elicia Wood made a solid state debut by tying for third place in the high jump with a cleared height of five feet even.
Freshman Kayla Butler was fifth in the shot put (32-9.75) and sophomore Tristan Wilson was sixth in the same event with a heave of 33 feet, 4 inches. Wilson was also 10th overall in the discus final (92-7).
The quartet of seniors Madison Hatfield, Allison Henderson and Sydnee Moore, as well as freshman Kady Hughes, just missed the podium after placing seventh in both the 4x400m relay (4:20.14) and 4x800m relay (10:26.81) events.
Moore, Hatfield, senior Teagan Hay and junior Ashley Staats collectively finished eighth in the 4x200m relay (1:52.47) and were also 11th overall in the 4x100m relay with a mark of 53.37 seconds.
Henderson was 10th in the 800m run (2:34.26) and Hay did not have a qualifying distance in the long jump final. Junior Hannah Gleason was also 14th in the discus final with a heave of 85 feet, 10 inches.
The Lady Knights have scored at least one point at the state tournament for 16 consecutive postseasons.
Allie Germann of Winfield was the top individual scorer in the Class AA girls meet with 28 points.
Winfield won the boys Class AA title with 80 points, while Fairmont Senior (62) and Weir (52.33) rounded out the top three spots of 26 scoring teams.
The Point boys had 16 competitors in a dozen different events, including a quintet of relays and three other events with multiple entrants.
The Black Knights received a career-best effort from senior Luke Wilson, who finished as the runner-up in both the 1600m run (4:24.95) and 3200m run (9:37.41) finals. Wilson — who scored 17 of his 25 career points at state this weekend — was also sixth in the 800m run (2:03.30).
The junior quartet of Kaydean Eta, Brady Adkins, Logan Southall and Nick Leport finished as the runners-up in the 4x110m shuttle hurdles relay with a time of 58.31 seconds.
Eta was fifth in the 110m hurdles (15.62) and Adkins was sixth in the 300m hurdles (42.01), while junior Steven Trent placed sixth in the pole vault with a height of 11 feet, 6 inches.
Senior Trevon Franklin was sixth in the shot put with a heave of 47 feet even, while junior Gabe Hall was eighth in the same event with a throw of 44 feet, three-quarters of an inch.
Due to tiebreakers, junior Logan Southall tied for eighth and freshman Luke Derenberger was 10th in the high jump finals with identical clearing marks of 5 feet, 8 inches. Southall was also 12th in the 110m hurdles with a time of 16.41 seconds.
Juniors Jovone Johnson, Nick Leport and Garrett Hatten, as well as freshman Preston Taylor, combined to place 10th in the 4x100m relay with a time of 45.31 seconds. Johnson, Taylor, Hatten and Adkins were also 15th in the 4x200m relay with a mark of 1:41.13.
The 4x400m squad of Wilson, Leport, Hatten and Adkins were 14th overall with a time of 3:54.34. Leport was also 14th in the 400m dash with a time of 57.47 seconds.
Johnson was 15th overall in the 200m dash with a time of 24.54 seconds. Taylor committed a false start in the 100m dash semifinals and was therefore disqualified.
Juniors Alberto Castillo, Peyton Hughes and Ethan Scott, as well as freshman Hector Castillo, collectively finished 15th in the 4x800m relay with a mark of 9:13.62.
Aaron Withrow of Winfield was the top individual scorer in the Class AA boys meet with 32.5 points.
Visit runwv.com for complete results of the 2019 WVSSAC Track and Field Championships held Friday and Saturday at Laidley Field.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.