CHARLESTON — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School Buc Track and Field team traveled to Laidley Field in Charleston last Friday, April 22 for the 2022 edition of the Patriot Classic track meet. The Bucs collected seven total wins, four coming in individual events and the other three coming in relay races.
The seven wins, in addition to the countless other high-placements by the Buccaneers, culminated in the Bucs claiming a dominate team win, collecting an astounding 171 team points. Riverside and George Washington tied second with 84 team points apiece, Oak Hill took fourth with 71 points, South Charleston rounded out the top five with 53 points. Capitol with 52 points, Greenbriar East with 14 points, Charleston Catholic with 9 points and Summers County with 5 points rounded out the field of participating teams in the 2022 Patriot Classic.
On the boy’s side, juniors Shawn Blandino and Taiwo Babawale-Thropp got things started in terms of individual events for the Bucs by taking second and third finishes, respectively, in the 100-meter dash. Blandino narrowly edged out Babawale-Thropp, with his time of 11.32 seconds just a shade faster than Babawale-Thropp’s time of 11.34.
Senior Sterlin Thropp took home the win in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.81 seconds, while Babawale-Thropp took third with a time of 23.09 seconds, giving the Bucs another pair of top finishes. In the 400-meter dash, yet another pair of Bucs sat atop the leaderboards, as Sterlin Thropp collected his second win of the day with a blazing fast time of 51.08. while Blandino took second-place honors with a time of 51.68.
The Bucs stayed hot in the 800-meter run, with Jordan Gillum capturing the team’s third win of the meet with a time of 2:06.96, nearly a full four seconds ahead of second-place finisher, Jack Waggy, who turned in a time of 2:10.87. The tandem of Gillum and Waggy also competed in the 1600-meter run, with Gillum again coming out on top, finishing with a time of 4:42.78, while Waggy took a third-place finish with a time of 4:53.49.
Reis Leonard and Chase Hackett delivered the Bucs another pair of top-placements in the 300-meter hurdles, taking second and third-place finishes with times of 44.23 and 45.21 seconds, respectively. Ian Strader paced the Bucs in the high jump, taking ninth with a successful attempt of 5’, 2”. Freshman Carter Zuliani narrowly missed out on a top-three finish in the 110-meter hurdles, with a time of 18.32 seconds.
The Bucs placed three competitors in the top five in the pole vault, with Landon Zirkle taking third clearing 9’ successfully, Julien Larcher taking fourth after a successful attempt of 8’ 6” and Owen Caynor taking fifth with a successful attempt at clearing 7’, 6 inches. Camden Snyder and Chase Hackett captured fourth and fifth in the long jump. There was not much separation between the two as Snyder jumped 18’ 9.75” while Hackett jumped 18’ 5.75”.
Dalton Crites and Jesse Hackett led the pack for the Bucs in the shotput toss. Crites took a seventh-place finish with a toss traveling 40’, 5”, while Hackett finished back in eleventh with a throw that traveled 33’ 2”. The Bucs’ Dirk Riley took second in the discus toss, with a throw of 122’ 8”, while Carter Zuliani took sixth with a toss of 112’ 10” to round out the list of top individual event finishes the team.
In boy’s relay action, the Bucs’ 4x100-meter relay team, consisting of: Taiwo Babawale-Thropp, Camden Snyder, Shawn Blandino, and Chase Hackett barely missed out on the win, taking second with a combined time of 45.20. The Bucs team of: Sterlin Thropp, Babawale-Thropp, Larcher, and Gillum took third-place in the 4x200 with a time of 3:32.41. Then in the 4x400-meter relay, the Bucs team of: Thropp, Blandino, Larcher, and Gillum won the day with a time of 8:32.78. The 4x800-meter relay team of: Gillum, Larcher, Leonard and Waggy cruised to an easy victory with a time of 8:32.78. After two straight relay wins, the Bucs did not ease up, as the team of: Zade Woody, Carter Zuliani, Chase Hackett, and Reis Leonard won the 4x110-meter shuttle hurdle relay with a combined time of 1:04.99 to wrap a dominate showing for Coach Wager’s relay pairings.