Wise Central's Logan Reynolds, left, and Gate City's Morgan Gose shade themselves during Friday's long jump competition in the VHSL 2A state track meet at Radford University.
RADFORD — Four months ago, it would have seemed strange to picture Gate City's Morgan Gose and Wise Central's Logan Reynolds sheltering themselves from the afternoon sun under the same golf umbrella beside a long jump runway.
But then, track and field draws on competitive impulses that aren't quite as combative as those evoked by basketball.
"We want each other to do our best. It's different. It's not like we're out here trying to beat each other. We try to help each other out here. It's more relaxed. I'm trying to do my best ... and so is she," Gose said on the first day of the VHSL 1A/2A track and field championships at Radford University's Cupp Stadium.
Gose had a personal-best leap of 16-11 to finish second in the 2A long jump. She was bested by Brunswick's Desiray Bennett, who marked a 17-2. Otherwise, the margins were razor thin between the Gose and her next-closest competitors. Dasha Hill of Bruton jumped a 16-11 but was demoted to third on attempts. Buffalo Gap's Kristy Verbeek jumped a 16-10 1/2 for fourth and Reynolds was fifth at 16-10 1/4.
"I think she gets really disappointed when she doesn't do her best," Gose said Reynolds. "I could tell just then. She can jump farther than that. But she has another year to do it."
Reynolds has jumped better. Last year, she won the Group A long jump title with an 18-7 3/4. But the versatile Lady Warriors athlete immediately turned her attention to the 200 dash, getting herself into Saturday's finals with a qualifying time of 26.45.
"I came out here to compete with the best of the best and I look forward to coming out tomorrow to redeem myself," Reynolds said. "I need to stretch and get hydrated for tomorrow. I don't really like prelims because usually I'm sore the day after I run. I'll just grin and bear it, I guess."
Gose qualified for the finals of the 2A 100 hurdles with a time of 15.67.
The Gate City girls 4x800 relay — sisters Hannah, Sarah and Rachel Kilgore along with Chloe Lane — took fourth in the event with a personal-best performance of 10:23.82.
"We're going out with a bang. We were running with some really competitive people. So it was really good to go out on our best time today," said Hannah Kilgore, a senior.
J.I. Burton's Ervin Beaty blasted off for an 11.06 in the 1A boys 100 dash that bought him the top seed in that event for Saturday's finals. The 200 was a bit more of a struggle. He clocked a 23.19 for the sixth seed.
But what matters most is that he'll have another shot at the curve Saturday.
"Everyone out here is good. This is good competition," said a breathless Beaty, who also will run a leg on Burton's 4x100 relay.
Thomas Walker's Justin Greer collected a fourth in the 1A boys long jump at 21-1 1/4. He went into the meet with a field-leading 21-11, so there wasn't much bang to Friday's jump.
"It's kind of disheartening not to jump my best. I jumped 10 inches better than that at region," Greer said. "But it happens. You've got to go day to day and meet to meet. I've just got to look forward to tomorrow and try to do better."
Immediately following the conclusion of field events, Greer and high-jumping teammate Justin Catron left Radford to return for Friday's graduation ceremonies in Ewing. After graduating, they were slated to drive back to Radford to prepare for Saturday's triple jump (Greer) and 400 (Catron).
It was a good day for Twin Springs' Kennede Matthews, who took sixth in the 1A girls long jump (15-11) and squeaked into Saturday's 100 dash finals field with a qualifying time of 12.83. Teammate Lenora Dingus made the cut for the 100 hurdles finals, qualifying with an 18.53.
The monster of Friday's 1A girls meet was George Wythe's Meredith Willis. She won the high jump (17-8) and led the qualifying fields for both the 100 (12.19) and 200 (25.25) meters.comments powered by Disqus