The goal for second-year head coach Jason Ward was to take a school bus into Charleston for the annual State Track and Field Meet. Mission accomplished.
The Viking program was represented by a pair of relay teams, an individual hurdler and a field specialist inside UC Stadium last month.
“A lot of them got a taste in their mouths (of what the State Meet is all about),” said Ward.
The Vikings were represented at the State Meet by long jumper Jesus Diaz, hurdler Sammy Shaver, the 4x800 relay team and the shuttle hurdle relay unit. Diaz, a foreign exchange student from Mexico, scored for the Vikings by placing fifth in the Class AAA competition.
“Jesus scoring was definitely a highlight to the season,” said Ward.
The 4x800 team was made up of Chad Longanacre, Troy King, Ryan Gregory and Antonio Jones.
The foursome finished eighth (the top six score). The shuttle team – featuring Tyler Jones, Sammy Shaver, Cody Harris and Gregory – also finished eighth. Shaver also competed in the 300 hurdles, placing 13h. With the exception of King, all of those runners will be back next season.
The Vikings won two meets this season, including their own five-team affair and the Lindsey Mann Memorial in Spencer.
Ripley also finished second in the Viking Classic. The Vikings placed third overall in the Ripley Invitational in addition to the prestigious Carlos Akers Meet on the Cabell Midland High School campus and the Kim Nutter Classic at Stadium Field in Parkersburg.
Ripley garnered two titles at the Mountain State Athletic Conference Championship Meet. The 4x800 – consisting of Longanacre, King, Jones and Caleb Casto – was victorious along with Diaz in the long jump.
“We lose guys like Troy King and Matt Farkosh and David Hicks, but we will have a lot of kids back next year,” said Ward.
“We will also be moving to Region 3 and that will definitely help out our distance runners and throwers next season.”