Williamstown in Class A regional track action today

Although Williamstown head girls track coach Zach Hall would prefer to compete later in the day, that’s not going to be the case for participating teams in the Class A, Region IV, meet.

Beginning 10 a.m. today at Charleston’s Laidley Field the road to next week’s state tournament starts in earnest as both field and running events get underway.

Williamstown, which has won the last three Region IV meets on the girls side and is the three-time defending Class A state champions, is one of 11 schools in the regional.

Doddridge County’s boys, who are also vying for a fourth consecutive single-A state crown, are also coming off a Little Kanawha Conference championship like the ‘Jacket girls.

“In the situation we are in, we decided we are going to go down and stay all night,” said DCHS boys coach Bobby Burnside. “It (the early start) was getting us up early and we were worried about not having our blood flowing.

“This year’s different for us. Last year we were at Parkersburg and we liked that better because it was closer. You know how important the regional meet is. You can’t make it to state if you are not qualified.”

Aside from the Yellowjackets and Bulldogs, other programs competing today include Buffalo, Calhoun County, Charleston Catholic, Gilmer County, Hannan, Parkersburg Catholic, St. Joseph Central, Wahama and Wirt County.

The Williamstown girls had six all-LKC members last week with Madelin Gardner, Cami Mossor, Brooklyn Hammer, Ellie Gardner, Shealee Mossor and Allie Robinson.

Doddridge County’s Sarah Ferguson won four events and captured high-point honors at the LKC meet. Fellow Bulldogs Savanah Ferguson and Haley Stephenson also earned all-LKC accolades.

Williamstown’s girls have been competing without a key member for most of the spring in senior sprinter Andrea Chidester, who will run at Marshall University.

“She’s a go I think. I don’t want to push her too much, but she wants to run. I think she’s going to run the 200 and 400. That’s it,” Hall said.

“It’s been crazy. Hopefully, she’s healed by next year. I want her healed for college.

“The regional is all about qualifying for next weekend. The high jump and pole vault have benchmarks and everything else is the top three go automatic and the next four all-around (from all regionals).”

Williamstown’s Matt Zlatkind, Wirt County’s Logan Kerby, Gilmer County teammates Nathan Stout and Hunter Ashley along with the Doddridge County quartet of Zack Cottrill, Brandon Smith, Isaac Britton and Hunter Riffle also will be competing today as members of the all-LKC squad.

“Williamstown’s boys are coming on strong and Buffalo is good,” Burnside added of the competition. “We’ll be battling them along with Charleston Catholic and some other strong athletes.”