By John Widner/SWT Sports Writer
Blacksburg- The River Ridge District held their last indoor track championship in its 10 year history Monday night on the campus of Virginia Tech. After Cave Springs won the inaugural girl’s championship in 2004, the defending state champion Blacksburg High has dominated the contest with 8 consecutive district titles. Head Coach Jamie McCarty and his Pulaski Cougars had upset on their mind as they entered the competition Monday evening.
Pulaski senior standout Sydney Anderson continued to make college coaches send scholarship offers Monday night. With LSU and Indiana among the many universities seeking her talents, Anderson won the high jump with a mark of 5’6”. Her closest competitor was 6 inches away. She took second in the long jump (16’5 3/4”), triple jump (35’ 4 ½”), 55 meter dash (7.51 sec) and the 300 meter run (41.17 sec). Anderson also placed third in the 500 meter run with a time of 1:16.12. Sydney tallied 48 of the team’s 120 points at districts.
Tamera Smith is also a senior and attracting attention from colleges. Smith won the triple jump with a 35” 10 ¼” leap. Tamera earned third place in the 55 meter dash (7.62 sec) and the 300 meter run (43.37). In the high jump, Smith placed fourth with a 4’ 10” jump. The Pulaski County native also ran a leg in the girl’s 4 x 200 meter relay with junior teammates Julia Hager, Erin Hamric and Brittany Worrell for first place and a huge upset of the field. These four girls won the event with a 1:50.02 time.
Sarah Wright had a tremendous night has she recorded a personal best in the shot put by an incredible three feet. The Pulaski senior’s throw of 39’ 3” earned her the district championship and the Pulaski County High School indoor record. Freshman Cynthia Hager finished in 15th place with a 15’ 4 ¾” throw.
Brittany Worrell was edged out for the 55 meter hurdle title by Salem’s Sadee Hooper by just five-one hundredths of a second. Her second place finish (9.1 sec) still earned Pulaski eight valuable points. The junior trackster placed fifth in the long jump (15’ 4”), sixth in the high jump (4’ 6”) and eighth in the triple jump (32’ ¼”)
Ellisa Fink placed 11th in the 55 meter hurdles with a respectable 10.73 time. Hager placed fifth in the 55 meter dash (8.01 sec). Hamric and Worrell teamed up with freshman Emily Llaneras and sophomore Anne Kelly Newman to place fourth in the 4 x 400 meter relay (4:30.76). Senior Julie Guthrie along with teammates Hamric, Llaneras and Newman captured second place in the 4 x 800 meter relay (10:20.75). The relay team’s time in this event was 38 seconds better than their previous best mark of the season. Llaneras (1:27.61) and Newman (1:30.31) placed ninth and tenth in the 500 meter run. Guthrie showed her endurance by placing sixth in the 3200 meter run (12:43.56).
When all the sweat, straining and heavy breathing was over Monday night, the Pulaski Cougar girls were able to raise the championship trophy and be proclaimed the River Ridge Girl’s Indoor Track & Field District Champions! With a total of 120 points, Pulaski upset Blacksburg, the defending state champions. Blacksburg finished second with 106 points followed by Cave Spring (78), Christiansburg (48), Salem (44) and Hidden Valley (33).
“We’re excited and honored to win the last River Ridge District Indoor title!” said Head Coach Jamie McCarty. “At regionals on Saturday, it will be a battle between us and Blacksburg.” The Region IV Indoor Track & Field Championship will be held at Virginia Tech on February 9.