Austin leads Virginia High girls to Region 2A West track and field title

George Thwaites • Jun 1, 2014 at 12:53 AM

BEN HUR — A little more than a week since being outrun by Central's Logan Reynolds in the 100-meter dash, Virginia High's Teonna Austin made her rebuttal.

Austin won two events — including a payback victory in the 100 — while leading the Lady Bearcats to the Region 2A West track and field team championship at Lee High's Five Star Stadium on Saturday.

The preceding Conference 40 meet was Austin's first outing since pulling a hamstring in the Big Six. This week, she showed up with a different mind-set.

"Last time I was a little more nervous because it was my first week. This week I think I had a little more confidence. I just gave it my all," said Austin, who beat Reynolds to the tape in the 100 with a time of 12.88.

The Virginia High trackstress also won the triple jump with a 34-11 3/4 and joined teammates Alayah Eccleston, Chelsea Butler and Briana Simpson on the winning 4x100 relay (50.62).

The Lady Bearcats got a big boost from Consuela Franklin's win in the discus (108-9) as well as Simpson's second-place finish in the triple jump. Meta Grayson took a third in the 3,200.

"It's a great pleasure and an honor to coach this group of girls. They just didn't quit," said Virginia High coach Terry Smith, whose girls outpointed Gate City by three points (80 1/2-77 1/2) in the final team standings.

Reynolds, who took the silver in the 100 with her time of 12.92, looked forward to dueling again with Austin in the 200.

Reynolds came out on top in that event, taking the gold with a 26.56 though she was denied a head-to-head rematch with Austin in that event. Because of the meet's six-lane seeding, Austin ran in the third heat instead of in the fourth with Reynolds. Austin was easily first in her heat but ultimately finished tied at for third with Giles' Kiersten Schrader.

"I thought she'd be with us because she's a great runner," said Reynolds, who won the long jump with a bound of 16-1 3/4. "But I'm glad I ran what I did and I'm looking forward to next weekend."

While the heat had a depressive effect on most of Saturday's times, Gate City senior hurdler Morgan Gose may have picked up a step.

Gose won the 100 hurdles in 15.71. She had even more elbow room when she collected the gold in the 300 with a 48.66.

"I've been preparing a lot for it these past several weeks. I felt like I was more explosive than I was before," said Gose, who collected a silver in the high jump ( 5-0) and a bronze in the long jump (16-3 3/4).

Gose hasn't been to the state meet since her sophomore year, when she finished third in the 100s despite tripping hard on the fourth hurdle.

The Lady Blue Devils got off to a strong start in the field events with Jordan Houseright's win in the shot put. She took the gold with a winning throw of 36-1 1/2.

Her best was enough to carry the day Saturday, though it wasn't her best throw. She hopes to be pushing harder in next week's 2A state meet at Radford University's Cupp Stadium.

"I think one girl (upstate) may have popped a 40. I don't know if it was at a qualifying meet or not," said Houseright, who has cluster-bombed the legal sector in the vicinity of 38 feet this season.

She didn't get to practice in the circle at all last week because she was recovering from a concussion sustained while playing travel basketball.

"I guess considering I haven't done anything in a while, I guess I didn't do too bad in the shot today. But I'm going to work this week. I'm not taking any time off," she said.

The runner-up Lady Blue Devils also collected silvers in the 4x800 and 4x400 relays.

In the boys' meet, Marion racked up field events points early and built on it, taking the team title with 80 points — almost 20 better than runner-up Chatham.

The Scarlet Hurricanes' Jordan Propst and Anthony Bowling doubled up 1-2 in the shot put for 18 points, with Bowling and Matthew Mitchem doing likewise for another 18 in the discus. Riley Blevins won the long jump for Marion.

John Battle's Brad Swiney doubled up in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs, with teammate Martin Baxter winning the 800.

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