CHARLESTON — The Scott High School boys finished tenth and the girls were thirteenth overall at the state track and field meet held at the University of Charleston’s stadium at Laidley Field.
Coach Nick Bias said he was proud of his teams’ performances and lauded several individual athletes who helped lead Scott to its finest track and field season ever.
Star Will Shaffer, who is headed to Marshall University to continue his career in Conference USA, placed second in the two-mile run with a time of 9:42.03. His time picked up eight points for the Skyhawk squad. In the one-mile run, Shaffer also placed second for eight points, with a time of 4:24.26. Shaffer was state champion, placing first, in the 800-meter run. His time of 2:00.99 earned ten points for the team.
Individually, Shaffer, with 26 points, placed second overall for High Point Champion.
“Will capped off a stellar running career at Scott by dominating the distance events among Double A competition,” said Bias. “We knew this year would prove the ultimate and toughest talent Will would have to compete against at states because of the likes of Bridgeport, Fairmont Senior, East Fairmont and North Marion dropping to AA in classification. I think that fueled Will to train harder and ultimately perform better when it counted at the state meet. He scored more points and got the better of the other talented distance runners, so in my mind he was the best distance runner in the state in Double A.”
Bias noted some career highlights for Shaffer include: 86 points scored at the West Virginia State Track Meet, 2010-13 (school record); 52 sub-five minute miles run; and four state championships in track: 2011, two-mile run; 2012, two-mile and one-mile run; and 2013 (800-meter run, half-mile).
“His last race (the 800 meter run), which is the last race for him, I knew he was dog tired from the two-mile and one-mile events earlier in the weekend, but he didn’t use that as an excuse. Will was in fourth place with 100 meters to go when he unleashed one last fury of a kick to out lean the kid from Berkley Springs by three-one-hundredths of a second. It was the most amazing race I have ever seen. His will and determination got him that state championship. They withheld the results for about 20 minutes because they had to look on the computers because it was so close so that was equally nerve wrecking because we weren’t 100 percent sure he had won. When they did announce it was pure jubilation,” the coach continued.
Shaffer graduates as the school record holder in the two-mile (9:33) and one-mile (4:24). His four state championships and 86 points scored at the state meet are also school records.
Other boys results included Zack Marcum placing sixth and earning one point in the 300-meter hurdles.
“I’m real proud of Zack for his performance at states. He is an extremely hard worker and I think he has an excellent shot of winning a state championship in this event by the time he graduates. We are only starting to see his true potential in track and field,” Bias added.
In the 400-meter run, Nick Weeks placed 16th with a time of 54.71. The team placed ninth in the 4x110-meter shuttle hurdle relay, with a time of 1:04.14. Members of the squad were seniors Thomas Brisky, Zack Marcum, Nick Marcum and Richard Pratt.
400 meter run- Nick Weeks- 54.71- placing 16th
“Super proud of my boys shuttle team. They destroyed the school record. Everyone ran their best when it counted,” the coach said.
In the 4x400-meter relay, the team placed sixth with a time of 3:43.22. Members were Zack Marcum, sophomore Wade McComas, junior Nick Weeks and Shaffer.
Overall, the boys had 27 points, good for the tenth-place finish.
The girls, who came in 13th, picked up a total of 14 points overall.
In the long jump, Haylie Damron placed second, earning eight points, with a leap of 16 feet, seven-and-one-quarter inches. This, too, set a school record.
“Haylie had an outstanding senior campaign and this was definitely her strongest event she competed in. She was jumping with so much confidence the last 3 weeks of season and she brought her best for last at the state meet. She is a true competitor,” according to Bias.
Damron placed sixth in the 300-meter hurdles, gaining one point, with a school record 48.43.
“Pure guts race right here and she out kicked a girl from Webster County to grab that sixth place medal. She just wanted it more- Plain and simple,” the coach explained.
The 4x800-meter relay race also set a school record, with the squad placing fifth with 10:24.14. Members were junior Samantha Graffius (2:32 split); sophomore Sheena Chambers (2:37 split), and seniors Jessy Blankenship (2:38 split) and Brittany Green (2:34 split).
“I am so proud of these girls,” Bias said. “We hadn’t put together a solid time since late March, but we got healthy and clicked at the right time so the time and place does not surprise me at all. Sam does an excellent job of leading us off and getting great position. Sheena came through huge for us and just plain ran her guts out. Jessy made a real nice move on her second lap and passed a girl from Phillip Barbour to put us where we needed to be. Brittany used a solid 2:34 split and an excellent last 200 meter surge to secure fifth place for us. I love my distance girls. They don’t complain, whine or question any of the workouts we do during the course of the season. They are just tough young ladies and it showed out there today at UC Stadium.”
In the 4x102.5 shuttle hurdle relay, the team placed fifth with a school record 1:09.82, earning two points. Members were juniors Julie Conway, Maggie Lester and Maggie Hager and senior Damron.
“I’ll have to give most of the credit here to my wonderful wife and assistant coach Brooke Bias. She handles most of the hurdling duties and she had these girls believing they could compete with anyone in the state. Brooke does an excellent job of incorporating drills and hurdles into workouts that simulates race like conditions. They just ran their hearts out and believed in themselves. That’s the reason they are state medalists and school record holders. We came in ranked 12th and finished 5th so I’m more than estatic for these girls,” said the coach.
Other notable performances included Green placing ninth in the two-mile run with a time of 12:30. Sheena Chambers placed 11th in that run at 13:01. In the one-mile run, and Graffius finished in 5:41; Chambers came in 14th with 6:01. Graffius placed ninth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:32.
Senior Ashley Johnson was tenth in the 100-meter run, with a time of 13.19. In the shot put, senior Cherrikah Mayhorn was tenth at 28 feet, nine inches. In the 4x100-meter relay, tenth place and a school record at 53.53 went to Ashley Johnson, Blankenship, Conway and Damron.
The 4x400-meter relay team earned 13th place with a 4:38.59. Those members were Green, Blankenship, freshman Megan Blankenship and Graffius.