BRIDGEPORT—On Friday night, the Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) track team opened their season competing in the Bridgeport Connect, representing well with the boys earning a solid fourth-place finish, while the girls team made the top ten, coming in ninth place out of a possible 13th.
Eighth grade Jaxson Hall led the Knights to a top finish with two second place finishes.
Crossing the finish line in a time of 12.57, just .01 seconds behind the first-place finisher, Hall earned second-place in the 100-meter dash to open the meet.
In another narrow finish, Hall again came in just behind Ritchie County’s Zayden Hardbarger in the 400-meter dash with a time of 25.41.
Cole Runner also represented Taylor County in the 100-meter dash, landing within the top 20 with a finishing time of 14.55, while newcomer Maverick Bartsch came in 35th out of 46 competitors, recording a time of 16.12.
Joining Hall in the 400-meter dash was seasoned runner Colson Annon, who came up shy of the top ten in the event, coming in 11th with a time of 1:07.08.
Annon also collected a top finish for the Knights with a second-place finish in the boys 800-meter run, coming in with a time of 2:36.93.
In addition, Annon also placed within the top five in the 1600-meter run with a finishing time of 5:41.48.
The Knights also earned points on the speed of their relay teams, as the boys 4x100 meter relay team of Tyler Clemm, Cole Runner, Jonathan Maier and Hall as anchor, beating out South Harrison by a narrow margin for a second-place finish, while the 4x200 meter relay team for the Knights came in a respectable fifth place with a time of 2:03.28.
From the track to field events, Hall continued to earn top finishes for his team in the high jump, tying with his teammate Maier, for third place in the event.
In the boy’s long jump, Clemm’s length gave him a solid fifth place with a final of 15-02.00.
Rounding out field events for TCMS, Kaige Andrews broke through the top 20 in the shot put, while Cameron Poling came in 23rd out of a possible 37.
Andrews and Poling also displayed their strength in the discus throw with two top 25 finishes.
The Knights collectively earned 51 points beating out East Fairmont, South Harrison, Tucker Valley, Elkins, Keyser, Tyler Consolidated, Robert L. Bland, Westwood, West Fairmont, Bridgeport Middle, Buckhannon-Uphshur and Washington Irving for a fourth-place team finish.
On the Lady Knights’ side of things, Carly Vandergrift led the team with a fourth-place finish in the girls 100-meter hurdles with a time of 20.29, .08 seconds behind third place.
Maddie Haddix also participated in the event, just slipping out of the top 10, coming in 11th with a time of 21.29.
Liya Clemm, Riley McGuffey and Reese Lambert took to the track in the girls 100-meter dash. Out of 53 competitors in the event, the trio came claimed 33rd, 34th and 35th place.
With a finishing time of 1:22.96, Lady Knight Alizae Runner landed in the top 25 in the 400-meter dash, recording a time of 1:22.96.
Haddix, McGuffey and L. Clemm also participated in the 200-meter run against some stiff competition, but all pushed through for finishes in the top 25 in the event.
In the 800-meter, eighth grader Natalee Cartwright earned 15th with a time of 3:19.90, with fellow Lady Knight Bailey Weaver coming in a few spots behind at 19th with a time of 3:27.55.
Additional top finishes on the night included Sofia Austin in sixth and Addison Sole in 10th in the 3200-meter run, Vandergrift in sixth and Lucky Jones in 15th in the 200-meter hurdles.
In relay events, the girls 4x100 meter relay team of Lambert, Haddix, Jayla Blackhurst and Clemm and the 4x200 team of Stella Sinclair, Markiah Guthrie, Hailey Bailey and Aubrey Roy each took a ninth-place finish.
Additionally, the 4x400 team consisting of Sinclair, Roy, Runner and Bailey came in eighth, while Weaver, Cartwright, Sole and Austin made up the 4x800 meter relay team beat out Bridgeport for a seventh-place finish.
The 4x60 shuttle hurtle team of Jones, Vandergrift, Madelyn Lynch and McGuffey also earned a top 10 finish, coming in sixth, with a time of 52.44.
In field events for the Lady Knights, Lambert had a good showing in the shot put that placed her in eighth, while her ability to throw the discus earned her a second-place finish in the event with a final throw of 65-07.
The Lady Knights finished with a team total of 15, for a ninth-place spot, over Elkins, Keyser, South Harrison and Washington-Irving.
The TCMS track team will participate in the Taylor County Meet at Grafton High School on April 6, at 4:00 p.m.