The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
With the high school track season hitting its stride, several athletes are preparing themselves for the opportunity to advance to Charleston.
There are several tune up meets along the way to help these athletes hone their skills. One of the yearly traditions that is used as a measuring stick is the Harry Green Statewide Invitational.
This year’s edition was held this past weekend at Wayne Jamison Field at Bridgeport High School. This event has traditionally provided an opportunity for individuals and teams to get a taste of what the big time events were like. Now that it’s been dubbed a “Statewide” invitational, it’s a seven course meal. With 800 plus performers it brings the best of the best to Harrison County. Events like this tend to bring out the top times and distances in athletes. The cream always seems to rise to the top on days similar to Saturday and that trend continued with the efforts of Bridgeport’s McKenna Smith and South Harrison’s Freddy Canary.
Smith won some events and broke a few records in the near perfect weather conditions. Smith set records in the 200 and 400. In addition, she took home wins in the 100 and 300 hurdles.
Canary, called “Fast Freddy” by South Harrison’s fan base, won the 100, 200, and was an integral part of the winning 4 x 200 relay team. Canary teamed up with Austin Barker-Gresser, Adam Bennett, and Chase Jenkins to earn the gold.
While Smith and Canary earned four and three first place finishes respectively, several other county athletes put their best foot forward during the event.
Robert C. Byrd’s Juwan Jones-Wright was a multiple winner with a pair of first place finishes. Jones-Wright won the shot put and was a member of the top 4 x 100 team. He joined Tariq Bailey, Brandon Cook and Dustin Skiviat to earn the win.
The Indians girls’ squad garnered three wins in relays.
Catie Wilson, Isabella Bowen, Jordan Cole, and Jordyn Bush claimed the 4 x 100. Wilson and Bowen teamed up with Kirstin George and Juliette Hart to garner the victory in the 4 x 200. Wilson, Hart, George, and Kristen Crowder nabbed the 4 x 400.
Bridgeport claimed two more wins as Caroline LLoy won the pole vault and on the boys’ side, Jimmy Lacaria won the 1600.
Robert C. Byrd’s Avery Thrush claimed victory in the 800 to round out the local champions. These standouts and many more county talents will be “back on track” and preparing for when it counts most-the regionals. All of the above mentioned and several more will have a solid chance to advance to the State Track and Field Meet scheduled in May at Laidley Field in Charleston.
Last week I wrote about the Golden State Warriors and their pursuit of the record for the most wins in the regular season. It wasn’t the mark that was the center of attention. The main focus was that there was a question as to whether or not they would attempt to break the record.
Now that they have the prize many question if their regular season accolades will be devalued if they don’t win the championship. It doesn’t matter which side we take in this debate because-you play to win the game! The Warriors cannot change anyone’s perception of them; all they can do is play to win. If they do, then the chips will fall where they may and history shall be written. I’m not saying that they will indeed claim the championship, but if they don’t it won’t be because they didn’t make the effort.
That will do it for now. Until next week…take care and God Bless!