BRIDGEPORT — Head coach Taylor Stacy’s young Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School Little Buccaneers track teams enjoyed a very successful 2022 season, which recently came to a close with the Harry Green Invitational held on Bridgeport back on Saturday, May 14.
Coach Stacy’s team entered the Harry Green Invitational with plenty of reasons to be confident. The team consistently improved as the 2022 season unfolded, with each meet yielding better and better results for the Little Buccaneer runners than the last. The month of April was especially promising for the B-UMS runners, as two of the team’s best meets of the season came during a one-week span in mid-April. Coach Stacy’s team posted consecutive strong showings in the Dunbar Invitational on Tuesday, April 12 and then at the B-UMS Invitational later that same week on Friday, April 15.
In the Dunbar Invitational, the B-UMS girls took second-place overall, while the boys finished sixth. The boys, saw a trio of athletes take finishes on the podium, with Joey Nolte winning the 1600-meter run, Alex Sappey winning the 3200-meter run, and Kenton Stump taking second in the 3200-meter run, and appearing on the third-place 4x400-meter and 4x800-meter relay teams. While the boys were competitive, coach Stacy’s girls narrowly missed out on winning the entire invitational, falling short by only 10 team points. The Little Lady Bucs second-place overall team finish was highlighted by: Mallory Hughes’ first-place finish in the 400-meter run and high jump events, Angelina Winter’s second-place finish in the 1600-meter run, Elim Eshete’s third-place finish in the 1600-meter run, Haylee Woody second-place finish 3200-meter run, Anya Morehead’s third-place finish in the 3200-meter run, and finally Alivia Cogar’s first-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles.
Coach Stacy’s young teams built upon their strong showing earlier that week with a strong outing in a meet they hosted in Tennerton on Thursday, May 15. In the home meet, the B-UMS boys flipped the script from the last meet, slightly the girls, finishing fifth compared to the girls sixth-place finish.
On the boy’s side, Jacob Frye was the top-finisher with his third-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles leading the way. Meanwhile on the girl’s side, Cogar continued her strong week, earning a repeat win in the 100-meter hurdles to sweep that event in meets for that week.
Coach Stacy spoke on his both of his teams’ respective performances during their home meet saying, “I thought that both the boys and girl’s teams competed very well at our home meet. For some of our younger athletes it was their first time competing. I’m very proud of how everyone went out there and gave it their best. It’s always nice to put on a successful home meet and watch our athletes better themselves.”
Most recently, back on Saturday, May 14, the B-UMS track teams traveled to Bridgeport to take part in the 28-team Harry Green Invitational, which acts as essentially the penultimate and most prestigious event on the middle school track calendar for a majority of North Central West Virginia. Several of coach Stacy’s boys set new personal-bests in their respective events as, Brody Jeran’s time of 28.23 seconds in the 200-meter run, Nolte’s time of 5:39 in the 1600-meter run, Sappey’s time of 12:22 in the 3200-meter run, and Stump’s time of 12:54 in the 3200-meter all setting new personal bests on the evening.
On the girl’s side, Rylen Carlyle’s time of 14.27 seconds in the 100-meter dash, Kennedy Marple’s time of PR 100m 14.29 seconds in the 100-meter, Hughes’ time of 1:05 in the 400-meter run all setting new personal best times. Both Olvia Blonn and Eshete set personal records in 1600-meter run, while Katie Samples and Isabella Bowers shined in in the discus competition. Samples’ set a new personal record with a throw that traveled 62 feet, while Bowers also set a personal best with a throw of 23 feet.
On a day where many of the B-UMS runners posted their best effort of the season, it was Alicia Cogar that was the star among stars on the day. Cogar capped off her season by setting a new B-UMS school record in the 100-meter hurdles, ultimately taking a third-place finish with the record-breaking time of 17.31 seconds.
Coach Stacy took a minute to offer up his thoughts on the final meet on the 2022 schedule, as well look forward to next year, saying, “The boys and girls both fought super hard in their heats to set several season bests for their individual events. We may not have scored a lot of points in the 28 school field, but we competed hard and pushed ourselves. That’s all I can ask! And of course, big congrats to Alivia Cogar on breaking her record once again! As for next year, Mallory Hughes, Joey Nolte, Alex Sappey will be moving onto high school. I believe Alex and Joey will be joining me for Cross-Country on the high school level and I am very excited for the opportunity to keep guiding their running careers. By in large, we had a young team this year and I’m very excited to see how many of them stick with it. We have a bright future ahead if we keep working hard, I think that this last meet was evidence of that.”