Ridgeview’s Nikole Counts was named the regional Athlete of the Year, tallying 42 points. She won the 200 meter dash, 400 meters, took second in the 100 and high jump and placed third in the long jump.
Avery Jenkins accounted for 40.5 points in the win for the Bears, nabbing gold in the 300 hurdles, 100 dash and high jump. He was also a part of the 4x100 meter relay for Union that ran 43.62 seconds, which set a new school record, besting a 43.79 from earlier in the year. The time is the state leader for Class 2 and one of the fastest times in all of the commonwealth.
Like it has most of the year, Union got an early advantage on the rest of the teams by racking up points in the field events.
Justin Barnett again swept the shot put (50-8.5) and discus (127-11) golds for the Bears and scored 20 quick points. The Bears also got big points from Trevor Wagner in the shot put (4th; 41-9). Wagner came back later and was able to pull off the win in the 110 meter hurdles.
Also in the high hurdles, Jered Bartone and Zion Mitchell nabbed third and fourth, respectively.
Dakota Owens, who is one the best 200 meter runners in Class 2 by time, scorched the field by more than a half-second in his premier event, crossing the line in 22.47. He was also the winner in the 400, blazing a 51.23 in the one lap race.
The Bears tallied 146 points on the day and beat runner-up John Battle by 80 points.
Other notable performances included Andrew Deel winning the 3200 (10:25) and Cameron White of Lee edging Lebanon’s John Easton at the line in the 800 for the win in 2:07.17 by one one-hundredth of a second.
The Ridgeview girls were not just a one-trick pony. They got wins from the 4x800 relay team and Madison Yates in the 300 hurdles. Yates also earned a silver medal in the 100 hurdles. A lot of the points for Ridgeview came on the back ends of distance races that accumulated over the entirety of the meet.
Ridgeview out-distanced runner up Virginia High in the team race 120 to 86 and will have a lot of momentum going into the state meet next week.
Gate City’s Samantha Jerrell accounted for 32.5 points and stood out for the Lady Blue Devils. She won everything she entered, including the long jump, triple jump, 100 dash and was a leg on the winning 4x100 relay team.
Other notable winners included Wise Central’s Stephanie Whitfield in the shot put (35-2) and Carlee Salyers in the 800 (2:36.62). Leah Baker of Gate City got the gold in the 3200, crossing the line in 13:22.20.
The Class 2 state meet will be on Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2 at East Rockingham High School in Elkton, Virginia.
Both the Class 1 and Class 2 championships will be held simultaneously at the location.