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State Champs

Magnolia Boys Capture State Track &?Field Crown

May 23, 2018
BY ED PARSONS - For the Wetzel Chronicle ( , Wetzel Chronicle

Jumping out to a fast start is always a good thing, and that's exactly what Magnolia's boys track team did in Charleston this past weekend at the state track meet. Senior Brooks Parsons, a Marshall University football recruit, literally jump-started the Blue Eagles' attack as he won the high jump in a jump-off over Calhoun County's Ben Frederick.

Parsons was the first to get 6,' but Frederick soon followed to raise the bar to 6'2." Neither athlete cleared the bar until they decided to go at it again. With the mark set at 6'2," Parsons cleared, and Frederick failed - giving the Blue Eagles the start they were hoping for to get to the title. Parsons earned the gold metal and 10 points for the Blue Eagles.

From there, it continued to look good as Magnolia's shuttle team seemed to have eight more points on their side as they finished in second place, only to find out they were disqualified when an official ruled they had an early start out of the exchange zone. The error brought the Blue Eagles' momentumn down some, but they continued to fight against the odds and got back in the race to the top.

Article Photos

The Magnolia’s boys track team, state champions. Front row includes Coach Trey Meeks, Jack Booth, Patrick Mirandy, Brooks Parsons, Jason Beisel, Coach Travis Emch, and Jordan Ratliff; Back row includes Logan Beegle, Kyler Cecil, Jakob Barrows, Ethan Herrick, Jay Eller, James Stillwagoner, Jared Barrows, and Spencer Shepard (Photo by Teran Malone)

By the end of the day on Friday, the Blue Eagles knew they had to come up big on Saturday to overcome the miscue. "We got it on video; it clearly shows we were legal, but the WVSSAC will not allow video reviews," said Blue Eagle Coach Travis Emch. "I filed an appeal, but it was declined. We got back at the hotel and our morale was down a bit because we started off on such a high note. It kind of took the wind out of our sail."

"I just told them, 'just trust your guy next to you. These are your teammates. If we stick together, we know what we are capable of.' We showed up Saturday and took care of business."

The Blue Eagles added two points on Friday to the total with a great effort from the 4x800 meter relay team. Going into the event, the team was seeded with an 8:53.22 but stepped it up a notch with knocking 19 seconds off their time to get an 8:34.24, claiming fifth place and the much-needed points. The team consists of all underclassmen - freshman Logan Beegle, freshman Jason Beisel, junior Ethan Herrick and junior Spencer Shepard, the anchor. Those points were the kind of addititions Magnolia needed to keep alive in the meet. With only 12 points heading into Saturday, things were not looking good for the Big Blue; however, once again, the field events came to the rescue.

The first events on Saturday morning were highlights to the championship. Starting at 9 a.m. in the morning, Magnolia's big men seemed to be well rested and ready to go. The trio of Jakob Barrows, Jared Barrows and Jay Eller proved to be too much for the fiels of 16, as they teamed together to take three of the top five spots and give Magnolia 16 much-needed points.

Jakob Barrows had a monster throw on his third heave of the shot put as it landed 49-00.25 and set the mark for the day; he also had a throw of 47-07.50, which would have been enough to take the gold. His closest competitior landed a toss of 44-07.75. Barrows brought home the gold in the event.

His twin brother Jared grabbed the fourth spot with a throw of 42-00.50, while Eller got off a 41-06.25 for the fifth place finish. Jared Barrows then added insult to injury for the Eagles, as he got a third place finish in the discus with a toss of 135-02, giving the Blue another six points to build on.

"I was seeded second, so when I got there I was a little nervous," Jakob Barrows said. "I had a rough season last year, and I had enough of it. I went to a throwing camp in Ohio. I worked my tail off all year, whether it was down at the track or at the gym. I knew if I could do what I was capable of, I could come out on top. I executed, and it happened."

That was just the beginning of a great comeback for Magnolia as the 400 meter open run was next up for the Blue Eagles. Magnolia had the top seed in the race in Parsons, who had a 50.88, but right there close by was South Harrison star Freddy Canary with a 50:90. This seemed like it would be the race of the day, and it didn't dissappoint the Blue Eagles. Parsons bettered his seed mark by running a 50:42 but had to settle for second as Canary stepped his up a notch to win with a 49:01. However, the Blue Eagles did one better and grabbed the third spot in 50:87 by junior Pat Mirandy who, along with Parsons, added 14 more points to the Wetzel County school's side. It was now evident that the Blue Eagles could overcome the shuttle setback and perhaps win the meet. Help was still needed; however, but, the confidence builder had been set.

"We started the morning off on fire," said Coach Emch. "We placed three individuals in the shot put, and we placed two in the 400 to start the day. We got momentum, and we never looked back."

Jack Booth added two points to the Blue Eagles' total when he got a fifth place finish in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 42.67.

The Blue Eagles were still trailing Doddridge County, but closing fast. The 4x200 team - an all underclassman team of James Stillwagoner, Ethan Herrick, Beisel, and Mirandy - grabbed six points with a third place finish in 1:34.18. Magnolia used a second place finish in the 4x100 relay- with a team of Parsons, Jack Booth, Stillwagoner, and Beisel to get a 45:08 finish in the event and add eight more points to their total as they edged out a good Tyler Consolidated team who finished third in 45:35.

Spencer Shepard came up big in the 800 meter run for the Blue Eagles, finishing in third place for six points, which gave Magnolia the lead 70-69 over Doddridge County - with one event left to decide the championship.

Unfortunately, for the competition, it was the Blue Eagles' strongest event - the 4x400 meter relay. With everything on the line, the Blue Eagles gave their best effort of the day - setting a new state record in the event with a time of 3:31.22 to pick up 10 points and the title of West Virginia Class A State Champions. The 400 relay team consisted of Beisel, Herrick, Mirandy and Parsons. They won the event by three seconds over second place St. Marys.

"I just knew this was the last thing I was ever going to do at Magnolia High School," Parsons said of his mindset going into the 4?4. "I told myself to put it all on the line and give it all you've got. We came out with the win. I just did what I had to do, and now we're state champs."

"The throwers really put it all out there," Parsons said. "Jay Eller wasn't even predicted to make it down here, and he placed. Jakob Barrows, the amount of time he puts into working to get better is unbelievable. He deserved that win."

"The amount of work we've put into this is unbelievable," Parsons said. "Every single day, we're tired and we just want to go home, but we've got to go run. It all comes together. Everything works out and now we're state champs."

Magnolia Girls:

The Magnolia girls didn't finish as well as they had hoped for, but it wasn't from lack of effort. The Lady Blue Eeagles finished the day with 12 points and in 13 place out of 19 teams scoring at the state meet. The Blue Eagles did well in the shot put with freshman Mady Winters getting six points for the Blue with a toss of 35-04, just fractions behind the first two finishers from Gilmer County and Williamstown. Kyndra Pilant just missed placing in the points as she finished in seventh place with a toss of 32-07.75. In the discus, Pilant added four points to the Blue Eagles' total as the sophomore three sport star got off a throw of 101-04 to claim fourth place. Winters came in 10th with a throw of 90-08.

Junior Kennedy Parsons got in on the medal race as she fininshed the open 400 meter run with a 1:02.72 for sixth place and another point for the team. Also adding a point to the Blue Eagle total was the girls shuttle hurdle team made up of three freshmen and a sophomore - Alyssa Kocher, Mikalyn Renner, Leneica Grimm and Liza Clegg. The girls finished in 1:12.55.

The Blue Eagles' 4x200 meter team also ran on Saturday and finished with a time of 1:58.85. The team consisted of Clegg, Renner, Grimm and Parsons.

Also running at the state meet for the Blue Eagles was Aubrey Hall in the 3200 meter run, finishing in a time of 13:19.50 and Katrina Patel, who also ran the 3200 - fininshing in 13:24. Both girls are sophomores. Magnolia's girls 4x400 team finished ninth in a time of 4:40.19 with a team of Olivia Mensore, Mikalyn Renner, Aubrey Hall and Kennedy Parsons.

In the girls 300 meter hurdles, Magnolia had two girls running as Liza Clegg and Sierra Bennett finished first and third in their heat before falling in the finals ending in eight and 10th. Clegg ran a good 51.62 and Grimm was right behind with a fine 52.25.

Hundred Girls:

Emily Metz and Katherine Henderson of the Hundred Hornets had their sights set on some hardware as they made the trip to Charleston for the state track meet. Being the only two athletes from the school, the girls were hoping to get in the medal race. In the high jump they did just that as Metz finished in fifth place among Class A schools with a jump of 4-10.00, good for two points for the Hornets. Henderson was right behind her with a jump of 4-08.00, which got her a sixth place finish and a point for the two girl team.

Valley High School:

Valley had only one participant in this year's event as Sophie Palmer qualified for the state meet in the high jump, long jump, and the 100 meter hurdles. In the high jump, Palmer gave the Lummberjills five points as she took home the bronze metal with a third place jump of 4-10.00. Palmer failed to make the cut in the long jump and finished in seventh place in the hurdles, just one spot from the metal race. She had a time of 17:29.

Paden City Girls:

The Wildcats got a sparkling performance from sophomore sensation Abbe Stackpole as she accounted for all 10 of the Wildcats' points. Stackpole grabbed the bronze medal in the 100 meter dash as she came from behind, down the stretch, to pass three runners and get the third place spot. She had a 13:21, good for six points. In the 200 meter dash, it was more of the same. She got a slow start, but used her speed to make up for it and got a late kick to pass a couple runners. She finished fourth with a time of 27.11 to get four more points. In both races she was the seventh seed going in.

Paden City also ran in the 4x100 meter relay with an all underclassmen group of Destiny Duncan, Mallory Yeater, Destiny Harrison and Abbe Stackpole. The team has two freshmen and two sophomores. They finished the race in 11th place with a time of 54.78, just fractions of a second separated them from the top six. The same team ran the 4x200 meter relay with a time of 1:57.82, edging out Magnolia for the 12th place.



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