CHARLESTON—The Grafton High School girls and boys track team visited the state capital last weekend as they competed in the 2019 WV AA state track meet at Laidley Field.
The Cats ran and jumped with the best of the best during the two day event with several Bearcats setting personal records and almost setting new school records.
On the boys side of the track the Bearcats were once again led by Blaise Nibert as he competed in three events for GHS. In the long jump he placed ninth with a jump of 19’71/2”. In the 200 he placed 13th in the time trails with a time of 24.00 seconds. Nibert was also a member of the 4X100 team that placed 13th and was only 0.2 seconds from setting a new school record. The other members of the 4X100 team were Luke Nibert, Matt Cather and Braydon McCullough.
Luke Nibert, Blaise’s younger brother, competed in the high jump in which he came home with an 11th place finish with a height of 5’8”.
“After a four hour rain delay Blaise was able stay mentally focused for the 200m trials and ran a great race,” said veteran head coach Wes Norris. “I am so proud of him and the other boys as they gave it their all over the weekend. In the relay event the boys were just 0.2 seconds away from setting a school record. They all experienced something not many athletes do and that is to compete at the state level,” he added.
On the girls side of the track Brylee Knotts finished in 12th place with a jump of 14’91/2”. In the 100 meter hurdle trails Meredith Maier was DQ’ed with a hurdle infraction, be she would come right back and help her 4X400 team record their best time of the year. The other members of the 4X400 team were Jadyn Blackhurst, Jacinda Devart and Alyssa Satterfield.
The 100 meter shuttle team consisting of Brooke Runner, Alison Utter, Knotts and Maier placed seventh as did the 4X100 team of Josie Grass, Blackhurst, Utter and Hannah Moats.
“I can’t say enough about this team,” said former state champion and current GHS coach Becky Lake. “We came to Charleston with the plan to run the best races we have ever run and that’s exactly what we did. Brylee Knotts attacked that long jump PR-ing at 14-9.5. Our shuttle team of Brooke Runner, Alison Utter, Brylee Knotts and Meredith Maier knocked a second off their previous time coming in 7th with a time of 1:11.81. The magic continued on Saturday with our 4x100 team of Jadyn Blackhurst, Josie Grass, Alison Utter and Hannah Moats bettering their previous time by over a second placing 7th with a time of 52.40. And after a long day of dodging the heat, the 4x400 team of Jadyn Blackhurst, Jacinda Devart, Alyssa Satterfield and Meredith Maier sealed the “ALL PR PLAN” by capturing a 9th place finish with their best time of the season at 4:26.32,” she added.
“We laughed together, we strategized, we endured disappointments and we celebrated victories, but one thing we didn’t do was let the plan to continually improve meet after meet be forgotten,” said Coach Lake. “Every girl walked away from the WV State Track Meet with their head held high and a new plan to come back next year even better and stronger and with this group of girls you can bet Charleston hasn’t seen the last of us,” she concluded.