That did not stop Blair-James from excelling at Saturday’s Cumberland District championships at Alumni Stadium.
Blair-James won five events and qualified for the VHSL Class 1 championships in all of them.
She had wins in the 100 hurdles (16.87), the 300 hurdles (51.26), the long jump (15-03) and the triple jump (32-08) and joined Cheyenne Shepherd, Mazzy Tomko and Kacie Culbertson on the victorious 4x400 relay team (4:35.74).
Blair-James ranks first in the state in Class 1 in the 100 hurdles, and her dominating day was part of her team’s championship performance.
Burton’s girls won eight of 16 events and finished with 177 points, far ahead of second-place Castlewood (80 points).
Eastside finished third with 70 points, followed by Rye Cove (48), Thomas Walker (33) and Twin Springs (28).
Blair-James’ performance came on the hottest day thus far this year — the temperature reached the high 80s — and she said she preferred cooler days.
“I like it around 65,” she said.
She said the team has been focused on winning the district and doing its best in regional and state competition.
“We’ve worked really, really hard,” Blair-James said.
INDIVIDUAL GIRLS WINNERS
Burton also got wins from Akyssa Hollinger in the 100 (13.69), Shepherd in the 400 (1:04.23) and Culbertson in the high jump (5-03).
“The core of these girls have been working since the ninth grade. I’m happy to see that this is the way they’re going to go out,” said Burton coach Donnie Potter.
Castlewood freshman Anneliese White picked up wins in the 800 (2:52.52) and the 1,600 (6:40.08). The Lady Blue Devils also got victories from Skyler Roberson in the 200 (30.24) and Kailey Wright in the 3,200 (16:22.06).
Thomas Walker’s Kim Lee won the shot put (32-00) and Rye Cove’s Reagan Kerns took the discus title (99-04).
Eastside’s Marshara Thompson, Anna Whited, Emily Moore and Hannah Wyrick won the 4x100 relay (55.82), and the Rye Cove team of Grace Rhoton, Abigail Roller, Katy Roller and Lexie Rhoton took the 4x800 relay title.
WALKER BOYS PREVAIL
Thomas Walker used a total team effort to win the boys’ team championship. The Pioneers had top finishers in multiple events to rack up points on the way to gaining 140 on the day.
“We just wanted to make sure we had as many kids in each event. Trying to stack points as much as we could,” said Pioneers coach Nick Johnson. “Basically, all of our kids were in it all year, came to every meet, so they were prepared for it.”
Thomas Walker outdistanced second-place Castlewood (106 points). Defending champion J.I. Burton finished third with 100 points, followed by Eastside (61), Twin Springs (55) and Rye Cove (18).
INDIVIDUAL BOYS WINNERS
Thomas Walker’s Logan Hounshell won both the shot put (42-06.5) and the discus (121-11). The Pioneers also got victories from Jake Davis in the 100 (11.25) and long jump (21-09.5) and Chris Britton in the 3,200 (11:56.32).
Austin Lane and Najee Steele were multiple-event winners for the Raiders. Lane won the 110 hurdles (17.47) and the 300 hurdles (42.15), and Steele took home gold in the 400 (53.08) and the triple jump (41-05). The two were part of the winning team, along with Isaiah Kinser and Ethan Cates, in the 4x100 relay (47.66).
Burton also got a win from Owen Lindsey in the 1,600 (4:59.26).
Other event champions included Twin Springs’ Ethan Hillman in the 200 (23.58) and Jarvis Pennington in the 800 (2:07.79); Eastside’s Luke Lawson in the high jump (6-04) and the Spartans’ 4x400 relay team of Lawson, Adam Ketron, Seth Boles and Hunter Lunsford (3:51.58); and Castlewood’s 4x800 relay team (9:44.39).