Lady Tigers land on podium in 2 events on opening day at state meet

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BY Matt Hammond, EXAMINER SPORTS EDITOR

DAYTON — West Liberty-Salem’s girls track and field team got off to a resounding start here on the opening day of the Division III state track and field meet Thursday, earning spots on the podium in two events.

West Liberty-Salem’s Delaney Jones, center, ran the fastest qualifying time in the prelims of the 100-meter dash at the Division III state meet Thursday in Dayton. Jones, who placed fourth in the long jump finals Thursday, also advanced to Friday’s finals in the 200 and with the 400 relay team along with Tori Douthwaite, Gwen McCullough and Chloe Griffith. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MATT HAMMOND)

The Tigers’ 3,200 relay team of Malia Miller, Addison McAuley, Ashley Yoder and Mallory Bostick finished sixth in a time of 9:39.35.

Junior Delaney Jones had a busy first day, competing in four events. She placed fourth in the long jump (18-2), and in the running prelims, she set the stage for what could be an epic final day for the Tigers’ star.

Jones ran the fastest qualifying time in the 100-meter dash with a personal-best of 11.89. 

She had the fourth-best time (24.71) in the prelims of the 200.

In addition, Jones and teammates Tori Douthwaite, Gwen McCullough and Chloe Griffith recorded the quickest qualifying time (49.11) in the 400 relay.

The top eight finishers in each event earn a spot on the podium.

The Division III running finals are set to begin at 6 p.m. Friday.

In a format change this year, all of the fields events (with the exception of the boys pole vault) were conducted on the first day.

In the first finals event of the meet, the Tigers’ foursome of Miller, McAuley, Yoder and Bostick turned in another stellar performance in the 3,200 relay to come away with a podium finish.


West Liberty-Salem’s 3,200 relay team of Malia Miller, Addison McAuley, Ashley Yoder and Mallory Bostick finished sixth on the opening day of the Division III state meet Thursday in Dayton. (Examiner photo | Matt Hammond)

“That team is just so consistent,” said WL-S girls head coach Ann Vogel. “They are such hard workers. They always do the little things and it always pays off. Every one of them did their job today.”

Jones would later make her appearance on the podium with the fourth-place finish in the long jump.

With the schedule change, it made for a hectic day for Jones. 

Having already competed in the prelims of the 100 and the 400 relay, she started the long jump competition before having to leave and run the semifinal race for the 200.

The long jump resumed later in the evening and ended up being one of the last events of the day.

“The schedule was a concern for us with Delaney,” said Vogel. “To have to compete in the long jump at the end of the meet like that is something new. I felt like the scheduling was really poor. I don’t think it was in the best interests of the athletes.

“Delaney still went out there and almost got a PR in the long jump. There were some really good girls in the long jump.”

The Lady Tigers will now turn their focus to finishing what they started when the running finals arrive on Friday. They have positioned themselves to come away with some major hardware.

“We just have to get home, get some good sleep and get rested (for Friday),” said Vogel. “The biggest thing is I just want them to go out there and have fun. So many athletes don’t get to experience this. I want them to enjoy it.”

There were numerous other local athletes in action during the Division III opening day Thursday.

For the WL-S boys, Mark Bair just missed a spot on the podium as he finished ninth in the discus (149-7).

The Tigers’ Jack Bahan competed in the prelims of the 100 but was unable to advance to the finals after finishing 14th in the prelims (11.24).

That was also the case for the Tigers’ 800 relay team of Lincoln Henderson, Troy Bradley, Brevin Louden and Bahan, which placed 16th in the prelims with a time of 1:32.87.

Along with Bahan, Ridgemont’s Clayton Patterson competed in the prelims of the 100. He finished 11th (11.21).

Triad’s Cayla Eaton had a great first day Thursday by turning in the fourth-best time in the 100 hurdles (15.20) to punch her ticket to Friday night’s finals.

Riverside junior Travis Brooks, making his first trip to the state meet, finished 13th in the shot put (50-4.50).