Kettle Run boys 2nd at Region II track meet, Fauquier girls 3rd
Melvina Brown placed second in two events and thrid in three events at the Region II track meet Wednesday. --Times-Democrat Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
The Kettle Run Cougars had to settle for surprising their coach rather than completely shocking her.
The Cougars finished second in the boys standings of the Region II track meet Wednesday at Fork Union Military Academy, but they actually flirted with winning.
The Kettle Run boys led by as many as 20 points, but then Louisa County picked up 23 points when results of the triple jump and meet-ending 1,600 relay were tabulated. The Cougars ended up with 74 points, while Louisa won with 84.
“They kicked our butts in the triple jump,” Kettle Run coach Nikki Jenkins said of Louisa’s first-, third- and sixth-place finishes in that event.
Regardless, the Cougars’ runner-up team finish was the best in program history.
“I knew that we would do well, I just didn’t know that we do that well,” Jenkins said. “We didn’t have the depth in the distance [events]. If we did, I think we could have won.”
The Fauquier boys placed fourth with 47 points, while Liberty scored six to finish 11th. Western Albemarle won the girls championship with 100 points, while Fauquier finished third with 52, Kettle Run placed sixth with 41 and Liberty took ninth with 17.
Kettle Run advanced to the Group AA state indoor championships Feb. 23 at Tolsma Track Center in Lynchburg with 10 automatic boys entries and eight automatic girls entries thanks to top-six individual finishes and top-two relay finishes. Fauquier claimed seven boys bids and seven girls bids, while the Liberty had five girls berths and one boys berth.
“It was an exciting day for us,” said Jenkins, who had a program-best 34 entries in the Region II meet. “Almost all of them placed.”
Fauquier also qualified in two events for the New Balance Indoor Nationals, March 8-10.
“It was a big day for us,” Falcons coach Quentin Jones said. “With the number of people we had, we were looking for a top-five [team] finish … and they both exceeded it.”
The Kettle Run boys won two events, but their four runner-up finishes fueled their team success.
“It was very significant,” Jenkins said. “That really added up to the points we needed. … All these athletes have so much heart. They just push and push.”
The Cougars’ Carlos Vegerano won the high jump, placed second in the long jump and combined with Austin Lewis, Austin Rodgers and Josh Tapscott to take third in the 800-meter relay.
“He had a very good day,” Jenkins said of Vegerano. “I told him I had my old Carlos back, where he’s more consistent. … He got a fire under his tush and it really kick in for regionals.”
Matt Eggers added a victory in the shot put, while Tapscott took second in the 55 dash, Connery Ryon placed second in the 500 and R.J. Johnson was the runner-up in the 55 hurdles. The Cougars’ 3,200 relay team of Marshall Adzima, Lucas Farmer, Brad Houska and Ryon placed fourth, Riley Perrin finished fourth in the 55 hurdles, Lewis took fourth in the 55 dash, Rollin Buffington finished fifth in the triple jump, Rodgers placed sixth in the 300 and the 1,600 relay team of Adzima, Adam Donaldson, Ryon and Houska took sixth.
Raul Chavez led the Fauquier boys with a victory in the 500 and the 1,600 relay with Tyler Benson, Ed Delavergne and Frank Delavergne.
“He got out there in front and no one challenged him after a while,” Jones said of Chavez in the 500. “Winning with no one pushing him at the wire was big.”
The Fauquier girls relay of Sarah Thorton, Briana Hill and Morgan Ryan also won the 1,600, the final girls event of the region meet. Paired with the boys 1,600 relay win, the Falcons ended the day on a high note.
“It was nice for both,” Jones said. “It’s one of the last things everybody remembers walking out of the meet.”
Ed Delavergne brought the Fauquier boys from behind when he ran the last leg of the 1,600 and passed Western Albemarle.
Also for the Fauquier boys, the 3,200 relay team of Connor Dorman, Curtis Grady, Andy Page and Matthew Page finished fifth, Ed Delavergne took fifth in the 500, Grady finished sixth in the 1,000, Grant Holmes won the pole vault to qualify for nationals, Benson took third in the 300 and Ryan Enos placed third in the pole vault.
“Grant and Ryan Enos, those two guys are a nice tag team at pole vault. I’m hoping that they develop into my Kyle-and-Jon act that I had with the discus throwers, finishing one and two in the state,” Jones said.
Fauquier’s Kyle Fortney won the discus title at the 2010 outdoor state meet and John Billings placed second.
Elsewhere Wednesday, Liberty’s Eric Stiggle placed third in the boys 55 hurdles, while the Fauquier girls’ Claire Burke won the 500 to qualify for nationals and the 1,600 relay with Sarah Thorton, Briana Hill and Morgan Ryan.
“Claire is an aggressive young lady and she’s strong. I think she was as little unsure of herself and now realizes, ‘Wow I’m a pretty good runner,” Jones said of Burke. “She’s starting to run with more assurance.”
Hill added a runner-up finish for Fauquier in the 55 dash and a third-place finish in the 300, while Dominique Johnson took second in the shot put, Marissa McGinty placed fourth in the pole vault and fifth in the long jump, and the 800 relay team of Samantha Donohue, Ryan, Tiana Yates and Emma Spector finished fourth.
Melvina Brown led the Kettle Run girls with runner-up finishes in the long jump and 800 relay with Rose Wilkers, Aberle Rodgers and Cara Phillips. She also placed third in the triple jump, high jump and 55 hurdles, and took fourth in the 55 dash. Also for the Cougars, Geneva Doores placed sixth in the shot put, Lauren Schlenker finished fifth in the 1,000, and the 1,600 relay team of Rachel Pack, Phillips, Schlenker and Aberle Rodgers placed sixth.
All those state-qualifiers gives Kettle Run a pretty deep roster this weekend.
“Almost all of my kids could medal,” Jenkins said of state. “The majority should come home with something, at least top-10.”
Taylor Brown led the Liberty girls at regionals by placing second in the 500, while Erin Morant tied for third in the high jump and took sixth in the triple jump. Mackenzie Earl finished fifth in the 500 and Jaquala Smith placed sixth in the 55 dash.
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