CHARLESTON – The weather not only played havoc at the 2019 West Virginia State High School Track and Field championships but with the Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Bucs as well.
A four-hour weather delay on Friday postponed many events and forced athletes to wait anxiously for hours for their events to be called.
The Lady Bucs were predicted for a top 10 finish based on regular season results but settled for a tie for 21st after scoring five points.
“I am not blaming our performance on the weather but I feel it made our girls more tired due to the lengthy delays on Friday and the sweltering heat on Saturday,” remarked Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jackie Zuliani. “I also think some of our girls let their nerves and size of the event get to them a bit. There is no bigger stage in West Virginia than the state championships at UC Stadium/Laidley Field.”
The Lady Bucs had two athletes score for them.
Kennedi Lewellyn took fourth in the pole vault clearing 9-06 while Cameron Zuliani placed sixth in the discus with a toss of 108-08.
Lewellyn also took 15th in the 300 meters with a time of 51.94.
“Kennedi had some bad luck taking a fall on the second hurdle,” explained Zuliani.
Catherine Oliveto competed in three individual events.
She placed eighth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 27.02, 10th in the 400-meter dash with a clocking of 1:00.71 and 15th in the long jump with a leap of 13-11.
Three relay teams competed at states for the Lady Bucs.
The 4 x 200-meter relay foursome of Zuliani, Makenzi Lewellyn, Yami Cerna and Oliveto placed ninth (1:50.11), the 4 x 400-meter relay team of Zuliani, Makenzi Lewellyn, Cerna and Kennedi Lewellyn finished 11th (4:20.64) and the 4 x 102.5 meter shuttle hurdle relay quartet of McKenzie Reynolds, Zuliani, Kierra Arbogast and Kennedi Lewellyn placed 12th (1:10.89), taking three seconds off their regional time.
“I felt bad for Catherine and Cameron on Friday night,” explained Zuliani. “They had to go through a four-hour weather delay and they were the only two on our team affected. Cameron was scheduled to throw the discus at 6 p.m. and sometime after 10 p.m. they cancelled all the field events after waiting all that time. Catherine ended up running around 10:30 p.m. It was just crazy as the storms just kept coming and delaying everything.”
As bad as Friday’s weather was, Saturday wasn’t much better as temperatures rose to the 90s early in the day.
“Saturday was just the opposite of Friday,” noted Zuliani. “It was so hot and humid. Our team simply had not trained or competed in anything close to those temperatures all year. And I think that made a difference in the meet for everyone.”
Ripley won the team title with 82 points, just ahead of Wheeling Park who took runner-up honors with 80 while Morgantown was a distant third with 63.
High-point honors went to Woodrow Wilson’s Mikah Alleyne who finished with 40.
She won the 200-meter dash, the 400-meter dash, the 100-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles.
“Things didn’t go as well as we had hoped but the girls did their best and that is all I can ever ask of them,” concluded Zuliani. “I am very proud of Cameron and Kennedi for winning all-state honors. Kennedi did a great job in the pole vault. The top three ahead of her are all seniors so she will be a top seed heading into next year. Cameron was the only freshman entered and placed sixth and wasn’t too far off her best throw.
“Overall, we had a fantastic season with a very young team. They know what to expect and you gotta bring it, no matter what the circumstances or conditions are. My one regret is I wish our relays could have placed for our only senior Yami Cerna. She has brought great energy to our team this season and will be missed. But we will be back and ready to go next season.”
1. Ripley 82; 2. Wheeling Park 80; 3. Morgantown 63; 4. Woodrow Wilson 54; 5. University 38; 6. Hurricane 30; 7. Spring Mills 25; 8. Martinsburg 22; 9. (tie) Musselman, Jefferson and Huntington 18; 12. Parkersburg South 17; 13. Cabell Midland 15; 14. Hampshire 12; 15 (tie) South Charleston and Capital 10; 17. Preston 9; 18. Brooke 8; 19. Hedgesville 7; 20. Washington 6; 21. (tie) Buckhannon-Upshur and John Marshall 5; 23. Parkersburg 2.5; 24. St. Albans 2. George Washington 1.5.
LADY BUCS RESULTS
200-meter dash – Catherine Oliveto (8th, 27.02).
400-meter dash – Catherine Oliveto (10th, 1:00.71).
300-meter hurdles – Kennedi Lewellyn (15th, 51.94).
4 x 200-meter relay – Cameron Zuliani, Makenzi Lewellyn, Yami Cerna, Catherine Oliveto (9th, 1:50.11).
4 x 400-meter relay – Cameron Zuliani, Makenzi Lewellyn, Yami Cerna, Kennedi Lewellyn (11th, 4:20.64).
4 x 102.5 shuttle hurdle — McKenzie Reynolds, Cameron Zuliani, Kierra Arbogast, Kennedi Lewellyn (12th, 1:10.89).
Pole Vault – Kennedi Lewellyn (4th, 9-06).
Long Jump – Catherine Oliveto (15th, 13-11.00).
Discus – Cameron Zuliani (6th, 108-08).