Wood Girls Wins Arrowhead Invitational

Posted: March 30, 2015
By JOSH DORSEY
Special to The Winchester Star

STEPHENS CITY —– There was a consensus among all six teams that competed in the inaugural Arrowhead Invitational at Sherando high school on Saturday.

It was COLD!

Nevertheless, with wind chills roughly 16 degrees, the track and field event kicked off in less than ideal conditions. The auxiliary gym inside Sherando served as a thawing station for the athletes before and after their events.

“So cold, it was so cold, I couldn’t even move,” said Sherando sophomore Davina Lane after winning her second race of the day to sweep the 100- and 300-meter hurdles. “You don’t want to go too explosive when it’s so cold because then you might pull something. Pulling something is a very tough injury to come back from. I warmed up really early. I warmed up in the building to work up a sweat, then I came down and did striders to make sure my muscles were used to the temperature change.”

Regardless of the unseasonably cold temperatures, both Sherando and James Wood performed well in their first big weekend meet. The Colonels took first place in the girls’ meet with 155 points, and the Warrior girls placed third (89 points). In the boys’ competition, Sherando finished second (130 points) and James Wood followed in third (83 points).

“Both teams I’m really proud of just for the simple fact of the weather and they competed as best they possibly could in the conditions,” said James Wood coach Matt Stegmaier. “The guys’ team is doing well. I’m kind of surprised with the 4x100 win [Cody Dahlinger, Chris Vitagliano, Cameron Brown, Donte Henry, 49.64]. That was a nice surprise. On the girls’ side, [our] girls were showing how tough they are going to be throughout the season.”

The Colonel boys got the result they expected out of senior distance runner Andrew Shade, although Shade was initially a bit surprised by his competition.

In the 1,600 meters, Shade was seeded second behind Woodgrove’s Aedan Pettit, but Sherando’s Thomas Powars took the lead from Shade on the last lap.

Coming around the last turn, Shade was able to use his late kick to pull away and win with a time of 4:52.63. Powars followed in second at 4:56.28.

“I just thought that I had to get back around him,” Shade said. “When he went around me I got a little nervous, but I realized I just had to stay with him until the end and then in that last 100 just try to out sprint him. I was seeded second and I was just going to focus on the first guy, but then I just took the lead. I usually try to front run, I like running out front.”

“Andrew had a really good 1,600, I wish he had competed better in the 3,200,” said Stegmaier. “He’s going to be a mainstay and earn us a lot of points. The boys are going to get there and start scoring more and more points.”

Perhaps the Colonels best performance came from a freshman in the field.

Rene Rosso, competing in her first major meet at the high school level, won the high jump when she set a personal best by clearing 5 feet for the win.

“I didn’t expect to do so well because I really don’t like high jump,” Rosso said. “My best ever was 4-8. I was surprised, I was not expecting to make it over but then I got over on my first try.”

While Rosso may have been surprised by her performance, her coach was not and he was elated about her reaction after her winning jump.

“We expected Rene to do some big things even though she’s a freshman so it’s nice to see that she came out in her first meet to perform really well and ended up winning the high jump — which was awesome,” Stegmaier said. “She probably is surprised because that’s the kind of kid she is, but we know her from what she did on the middle school level. We knew she would more than likely contribute from the get go. I’m glad she’s surprised because that might mean she’s expecting to do better and that’s fine with me.”

Rosso also finished second in the triple jump (30-11/2) behind teammate Becca Ferrulli (32-2). Ferrulli also finished second in the 400 meters (1:12.48) and in the long jump (14-1). Both joined Kara Norman and Kayla Shaffer to win the 4x400 relay. The James Wood girls also got second place finishes from Grace Greene in the shot put (32-11) and discus with Sarah Johnson (105-5). Sophia Dorsey won the 1,600 meters with a time of 6:04. Amanda Funk also finished second in the 100 hurdles (18:10).

Jacob Farris jumped 5-4 for the Colonels to finish second in the high jump, and Landon Rutherford won the shot put with a throw of 43-91/2. Trent McCarty won the discus (152-11).

In addition to Lane’s sweep of both hurdles events, Sherando got a first-place finish from Katie Rogers (800 meters, 2:41.84). The Warrior girls also added a second place finish in the 100 meter dash from Ania Summers (13.21), and Sherando freshman Paige Conner finished second in the 3,200 meters (12:38).

The Warrior boys dominated the 800 meters with Trevor Whiteside taking first (2:09.80), and teammate Jahlil Northover following in second (2:10.36). Sherando also won the 4x400 (Restrepo, Northover, Brown, Whiteside) and 4x800 with (Thomas Shea, Justin Hammer, Powars and Whiteside). Trent McCarty finished first in the discus (152-11) and second in the shot put (42-91/2), Jacquari Hayes took second in the triple jump (38-101/4) and Restrepo also finished second in the 400 meters (57:00).

“I thought we did pretty well,” Grim said. “We were third in the girls and second in the boys. Right now we are two weeks behind, and everybody is, so it looked a little rough out here with all the teams. We came out and got great weeks for practicing and then today it’s just as cold as it could be. We want to win conference on both sides this year. Then we take as many people as we can to the regional and then it’s how many can we get on to the state meet.

“Right now our goal will be to evaluate and see where we are at with all our kids and start putting our team in situations where we can really score points.”

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