Covering Cross Country and Track & Field in West Virginia

Track & Field Loses a Friend

Track & Field in the State of West Virginia lost a dear friend this week. While Paul Gilmer had his hands in many things unrelated to Track & Field via a genuine spirit of volunteerism and dedication to community, he may be best remembered as someone who was instrumental in providing Track & Field opportunities to thousands of youths in his over 30 years of leadership with the Capital City Striders. He also served as a Track & Field official for many years, acting as West Virginia USATF President for the past 10 years. In addition, he also served as the Governor of the West Virginia AAU. The impact he has had on his community and the kids whose lives he touched will be forever remembered.

Starcher Sets New 800 Mark

Ripley's Tori Starcher set a new State All-Time Best today in the 800 at the New Balance Nationals with a blistering 2:07.42 eclipsing the old mark of Millie Paladino.

Bentley Edgell Update

I hate to bump Tori from the top, but I received an official update on Bentley Edgell, and sice I've gotten e-mails asking about him, here is the rundown. For the last month, Bentley has spent most of his days on the couch or in bed and doing everything the doctors asked him to do (and to "not" do). He met with a Neurologist today and a Neurosurgeon. Both were extremely impressed with his recovery rate. All tests (eye movement, coordination, balance, extremeties, etc.) given by 3 different doctors and assistants were normal. The skull fracture should completely heal within the next 4 to 6 weeks. His back is much better, possibly healed. He's no longer walking like Fred Sanford (a 70's reference for some of you younger readers). He has a follow up EEG next month to test for seizure activity. If it looks good, they will taper him off the seizure meds. As of now, he has been released to return to normal activities (within reason) as long as he feels like it. Jogging, a little running, shooting some basketball, but still NO CONTACT SPORTS for 6 months. If any activity causes a headache or pain, he knows to quit immediately. And get this....he was cleared to vault again next year, unless he becomes sympomatic again. Bentley is greatly excited about this. The rest of the family is a bit more apprehensive as would be expected. Bentley and family would like to thank everyone again for the thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. This is such amazing news.

Madelin Gardner - All-American

Madelin Gardner (WVU, Williamstown) earned All-American Honors in the Pole Vault at the NCAA Division I National Championships with an 8th place finish, clearing 14'1.25.

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State Meet Results Posted

Another State Meet is in the books. Complete results have been posted. Congratulations to the Hurricane, Bridgeport, and Magnolia boys and to the Ripley, Bridgeport, and Doddridge girls for winning the Team Championships. Also, congratulations to our High Point winners: Jalen Snyder (Hurricane), Aaron Withrow (Winfield), Freddy Canary (South Harrison), Tori Starcher (Ripley), Isabella Bowen (Bridgeport), and Jonna Ferrell (Doddridge). And finally, congratulations to our new State Meet Record holders: Jonna Ferrell (Doddridge) 200 Meter Dash (25.61 tied existing record), Jonna Ferrell (Doddridge) 400 Meter Dash (56.55), Wheeling Central 4x200 (Hannah White, Marisa Horan, Irelayn Wayt, Kenadee Wayt) 1:46.89, Sada Wright (Gilmer) Discus (137-09), Shannon Riley (Winfield) Pole Vault (11-01), Mikah Alleyne (Woodrow Wilson) 400 Meter Dash (56.04), Tori Starcher (Ripley) 1600 Meter Run (4:49.14), Magnolia 4x400 (Jason Beisel, Ethan Herrick, Pat Mirandy, Brooks Parsons) 3:31.22, and Sebastian Spencer (Weir) 200 Meter Dash (21.61 tied existing record).

Starcher, Hatcher Compete at New Balance Nationals Indoor

Tori Starcher and Samantha Hatcher each ran the Mile in New York, with Starcher running the Championship and Hatcher running the Emerging Elite. Hatcher had a 7th place finish with a 5:03.67, and Starcher continued her exceptional winter with a 4:46.32 and a 2nd place finish. A video of her race can be found at She spent the first half of the race in 5th place with a pretty substantial gap up to 3rd. Lap 5 of 8 saw her maintain that spot. 2nd and 3rd were completely losing contact with the leader. Lap 6...same thing, and 4th had pulled just slightly away from Starcher. By the middle of lap 7, 4th place and Starcher had pulled up onto the 3rd place runner. By the time they reached the end of lap 7, Starcher had made a move into 3rd place. The leader completely blew up in the last 200, the 2nd place runner and Starcher and the 4th place runner got by her down the stretch, giving Starcher the Runner-Up spot.

Teacher Walkout & The Potential Impact on Track & Field

While I do my best to steer clear of anything even remotely political when it comes to this site, since there is once again an elephant in the room as we approach Track season, I feel the need to address this elephant and its potential impacts. Of course, the elephant in the room is the current teacher walk-out, which is highly likely to become a strike on Monday.

I'm only addressing this from an athletic and coaching standpoint. I have a separate overly long depiction of everything else that I've decided to exclude from the site as people don't come here for political opinions. will this impact track season. I'll have to make some assumptions, which is always dangerous. During the walkout, counties were given the option to continue extracurricular activities or not. Some chose to cancel. Some chose to hold the activities. The first assumption is that the counties will still have that option, and that they will make the same decisions regarding that choice. The second assumption is that the WVSSAC won't make any changes to Regional or State Track Meet dates. I honestly don't remember what happened in 1990. I don't recall any meets being canceled, so the season may have just been delayed, or we practiced through it. I really don't remember. The only change in date I recall for sure was when we had a measles outbreak, which I think was in 1994. The first issue is whether or not the coaches feel like they can coach during a strike as most are teachers as well. Even if the county says they can still hold extracurricular activities, will a teacher/coach feel like he/she is crossing the picket line to coach? Will these coaches feel as though they are turning their backs on their fellow teachers? Will they be able to say "I'm on strike" from 7:00 until 3:00 and then "I'm not on strike" from 3:00 until 7:00? It's not a very fair position to put these people in. I've seen people say "we have a coach that isn't a teacher, so we'll be ok." It's not that simple. If you were striking at your job, how would you feel about someone brought in as a contract worker just walking past your line as though nothing was happening. As one of those people, am I willing to cross that picket line to coach? Likely not without the blessing of the teachers and likely not without the other coaches. I know there were a lot of hard feelings toward those that crossed the line in 1990 that didn't go away for many years (or ever for some). It's not a position I envy for myself and any of the other non-teacher coaches out there. So, now you have a position in which some teachers will go ahead and coach and others will not, some lay-coaches will coach and others will not, and some counties will allow it and some will not. This brings up the second problem. It leaves us with a likelihood of meets being canceled and/or less well attended. This leaves us with some teams getting practices in and others are not. This leaves us with unequal levels of in-season training come State Meet time. Obviously, the level of training isn't equal to begin with across schools, but they do at least have the same amount of time. Suppose that the strike lasts 2 weeks. That would be 10 school days and 2 Saturdays that would have been available for practice. Those teams that got to practice during this time could have their 14 practices in by 3/13 and be able to compete starting on 3/14. Those that weren't able to practice would not have their 14 days in until March 28th. A school that is supposed to host an early season meet may end up canceling the meet if they don't have their practices in. Would Bridgeport still hold the Connect-Bridgeport Invitational or Parkersburg still host the Kim Nutter Classic if they can't participate in it? If an Invitational that normally gets 10 or 12 teams drops to 3 or 4 due to teams not having their practices in, will they still hold the meet? Schedules could get thrown into complete disarray as teams scramble to find meets to replace those that get canceled, or they conceivably go a month without getting to compete. It's too early to tell what the true impact will be. Hopefully, things get resolved quickly, and we can all go about our business. Regardless, if you have a coach that chooses not to cross that picket line or one that does, please understand that they do not do so lightly.

Automatic Qualifying Standards Updated for Pole Vault

Does the WVSSAC hate the Pole Vault? Inexplicably, they have raised the Automatic Qualifying Standard for the Pole Vault in the Class AA and Class A Divisions. For Class AA Boys, it has raised from 11'6 to 12'0. For Class A Boys, it has raised from 11'0 to 11'6. For Class AA Girls it has raised from 8'0 to 9'0. For Class A Girls, it has raised from 8'0 to 8'6. Meanwhile, High Jump standards remain unchanged. Let's look at the numbers. Using 2017 performances, the number of Class AA boys who met the standard at any point during the season drops from 6 to 3. In Class A Boys, it actually doesn't change with 9 meeting both the old and new standard (but with the top 4 graduating). In Class AA Girls, it drops from 13 to 6. In Class A Girls, it drops from 11 to 8. Just for the sake of comparison, 9 Class AAA Boys met the automatic standard at some point last season, while only 5 Class AAA Girls met the standard. Meanwhile in the High Jump, 12 Class AAA Boys, 12 Class AA Boys, 16 Class A Boys, 8 Class AAA Girls, 18 Class AA Girls, and 11 Class A Girls met the High Jump Automatic Standard. So, in the divisions in which the standard changed, the number of people who met the automatic standard at any point during the season was reduced by 33% from 39 to 26. The same pool of High Jumpers shows 57 that met the standard. This begs the question, why would we have a setup that has a pool of 57 for one event and a pool of 26 for another? Granted, it's just one season's data that I've reviewed, but it certainly seems to be an unnecessary move, particularly if you start looking at the underlying regional data, which shows that there are routinely a couple regions who don't fill their 4 vaulting spots. If the goal is to only advance 6 or 7 vaulters to the State Meet, they're right on target.

A Team Manager Plea

Coaches - In your Team Manager setup, please use your school as your Short Name rather than your mascot or your school abbreviation. For example - I'll use Doddridge County High School - the short name should be Doddridge, not Bulldogs or DCHS. Hy-Tek uses the Short Name in the results listing. If you use mascots, a tri-meet between George Washington, Parkersburg South, and Wheeling Park would have a results listing of nothing but Patriots. If you use abbreviations, a meet between Hampshire, Hurricane, and Huntington would have a results listing of nothing but HHS. So, please, for my sanity, use your school name.

Also, please make sure the names of your athletes are spelled correctly and that their grade levels are correct. .

Hy-Tek Team Manager Tips

This information is also in the top section of the News & Notes Section in the Track Pages, but I thought I'd put it here as well. When setting up Team Manager, please follow these guidelines to make results easy to read.

Team Abbr: Use the 4 digit code assigned by the WVSSAC. i.e. 0026. You have to have it this way for the Regional anyway.

Full Team Name: The full name of your school: i.e. Doddridge County High School

Short Team Name: A shorter name that still makes it obvious: i.e. Doddridge. The only teams I can think of that need to do something slightly different would Lincoln County (can't use "Lincoln" because there is also a Lincoln High that should use Lincoln), and Valley Fayette, Valley Wetzel, Liberty Harrison, and Liberty Raleigh who need to add just a little to differentiate themselves. Do not use an abbreviation like DCHS or a mascot like Bulldogs.

Alternate Abbr: The school abbreviation: i.e. DCHS.

Athlete Grade Levels: Please make sure you have updated your grade levels from last year.

Contribution Season

As always, I'm accepting donations. Please view the Wall of Support for details. Every little bit helps pay for the site expenses. What I'd ideally like to see happen is for each team to send $1 per athlete per season ($1 for Track and $1 for Cross Country). That way no one is emptying their pockets much, but the site is still well-supported.

Submitting Meet Results

I thought I'd put up a reminder about how to submit meet results. Our preferred method to received results is via E-Mail. The best method is to send me a backup copy of the meet if you're using Hy-Tek software. Then I can extract all the information we want. Otherwise, you can E-Mail a text file, a Microsoft Word File, a Microsoft Excel File, or an HTML file.