Haysi, Marion capture Bearcat track titles

Pat Kenney • Apr 27, 2013 at 6:31 AM

BRISTOL, Va. — The margin of victory was just half a point. But a win is a win any way you count it. For the second time in three days, the up-and-coming Haysi boys track team was the victor. On Thursday, the Tigers won the Food City Invitational at Big Stone Gap. Then Saturday, Haysi came out on top again — by the blink of an eye. The Tigers edged John Battle 88.5 to 88 to win the Bearcat Invitational at Virginia High. Heath Mullins and Tanner O’Quinn led the way for the Tigers with two wins apiece. Mullins captured the triple jump (39-3½) and the 200 (24.01). O’Quinn finished first in the 110 hurdles (16.19) and 300 hurdles (43.51). Haysi’s win was even more satisfying because the Tigers don’t have a home track. “We’ve got 40 boys and girls out for track this season,” said Haysi coach Mike Owens. “They’re working hard and having fun. That’s all I can ask.”

Marion won the girls team title 111-101 over Virginia High.Lebanon's Mary Easton won the 1,600 and 800 meters. Easton, a sophomore, finished second last fall in the VHSL Group A cross country meet. On Saturday, she cruised to a winning time of 5:31.60 in the 1,600 and came back with a 2:32.83 in the 800. “The 800 was a more competitive race,” Easton said. “I liked that because it makes you work harder.”Virginia High’s Nik Huffman, the defending Group A boys champion in both the shot put and discus, won both events Saturday. Huffman put the shot 55-8 and threw the discus 168-0. He scratched on his final throw in the shot, which would have produced a mark of over 59 feet. “I didn’t have the leg drive today,” said Huffman, a senior who has signed with Kentucky for track. “I really went for it on that last throw and my foot got hung up and then touched outside the ring. “That 60-foot barrier is what I’m aiming for,” he added. “It’s the nit-picky things that I need to change that are holding me back. You just have to get everything right at the same time.”Wise Central’s Sidney Jackson was another double winner on the day. Jackson captured the triple jump (30-11) and the 300 hurdles (54.18). “The hurdles are so tough,” she said. “I just try to go out fast and push hard to the finish.”

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