Ripley track and field teams compete in AAA Region IV Meet; state meet is next

Mark Martin
Ripley head girls track and field coach Krystle Cunningham will guide Ripley into the state meet today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday). Her Lady Viking program has won the last two Class AAA state titles (2018-19). They were denied a chance at three straight a year ago due to COVID-19.

The end of the season for Ripley’s track and field teams is tonight (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday).

Both the Lady Vikings of head coach Krystle Cunningham and the Viking boys squad of head coach Jason Cunningham qualified several athletes for the West Virginia High School State Track and Field Meet through regional competition.

The state meet takes place at Charleston's University of Charleston Stadium/Laidley Field.

The Lady Vikings and Vikings were a part of the eight-team field in the recent Class AAA Region IV Meet.

The Class AAA portion of the state meet was set to begin tonight with the 400 meters and 3200 meters unfolding. The other 16 events will be tomorrow.

The state meet started on Wednesday with Class A competition, which continued Thursday. The Class AA phase of the state meet was Thursday evening and all day today.

The Lady Vikings were coming off a placing of fourth in the regional by scoring 91.5 points.  

Huntington was the regional champ by accumulating 137.5 points with Parkersburg scoring 95 for second.

The Lady Viking program heads to the state meet as the two-time defending Class AAA state champion, bringing home titles in 2018 and 2019. The two championships were followed by a runner-up finish in 2017.

Ripley was denied a shot at a third consecutive crown a year ago when COVID-19 shut down the entire 2020 West Virginia high school track and field season.

In the Region IV Meet, Ripley had three athletes take first place in the girls division.

Opal Huffman, a freshman, won the 400 meters with a time of 1:01.49.

Jazmin Parsons, a sophomore, was first in the pole vault by going over the bar at 9-06.

Junior Tori Fisher was first in the long jump with a landing of 15-6.50.

Ripley also took first place in the 4x800 meter relay with a time of 10:27.39. Senior Casto, Fisher, Huffman and junior Haleigh McCune made up the unit.

The Lady Viking 4x400 squad, featuring the same four runners, turned in a time of 4:25.22.

Casto was third in the 800 meters with a time of 2:29.01. McCune placed third in the 3200 meter run with a time of 13:16.66. Junior Gwyneth Gandee was third in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 9-0.

Freshman Emma Shockey was fourth in the 3200 with a time of 13:38.11. Aurora Huffman, a senior, was fourth in the 100 hurdles with a time of 17.20. Opal Huffman was clocked at 2:32.44 to place fourth in the 800. Freshman Mya Phalen was fourth in the pole vault by clearing 8-06.

Ripley’s shuttle hurdle relay team placed fourth with a time 1:12.13. The foursome consisted of Aurora Huffman, Phalen, Parsons and sophomore Kaylee Smith.

Junior Mia Casto earned fifth in the shot put with a throw of 31-10 while junior Emily Frashier cleared 4-04 in the high jump for fifth.

Huffman was also sixth in the 300 hurdles with a 51.64 clocking.

The Lady Viking 4x100 squad of junior Kyanah Baldwin, Parsons, freshman Morgan Shanklin and Mia Casto placed sixth in a time of 56.29.

Ripley’s boys finished sixth overall with 42 points. Parkersburg claimed the regional title with 160 points. Cabell Midland was a distant second with 87.

Jacob Banton was the leader for the Vikings. The sophomore won the pole vault by going over the bar at 11-0.

Jake Harvey was also strong in the field, placing second in the high jump. The junior cleared 5-08.

Another top finisher in a field event for Ripley was sophomore Frankie Winter, who was third in the discus with a throw of 132-03.

The 4x400 relay team was third with a time of 3:40.98. Harvey, freshman Max Meadows, senior Daniel Goodreau and junior Noah Kessell made up the foursome.

Also placing third was the 4x8 unit, which consisted of senior Mason Dennis, Kessell, Goodreau and Meadows. They were clocked at 9:19.52.

Sophomore Joey Ramsey was sixth in the 200 meters, crossing the finish line in 23.67.

The 4x400 team, which consisted of Harvey, sophomore Julian Hoss, freshman Aydin Domico and Ramsey, was fourth in a time of 46.66.