Blacksburg- The final Region IV Indoor Track & Field Championships were held Saturday evening on the campus of Virginia Tech University. One week prior to this meet, Pulaski County had dethroned Blacksburg in the River Ridge District Championship. The Cougars were out to prove that they were not a fluke and deserved to advance to the state championships. It didn’t take long for the rest of the field to notice.
Recent Indiana University signee Sydney Anderson dominated the competition with five individual regional championships. Anderson won the high jump (5’5”), long jump (17’10”), triple jump (36’6”), 55 meter dash (7.37 sec) and the 300 meter run (41.13 sec). Sydney also coasted to a third place finish in the 500 meter run (1:22.46) to finish with 56 total points for the Cougar cause.
Tamera Smith continued to impress the recruiters of Marshall University, North Carolina A & T and Radford University with her performances. Smith placed second in the 55 meter dash (7.49 sec), long jump (17’1 ½”) and triple jump (36’3 ½”). Tamera also placed third in the 300 meter run (41.94 sec) and sixth in the high jump (4’8”).
Shot put specialist Sarah Wright earned second place with a throw of 36’10”. Brittany Worrell placed fifth in the long jump (16’ ½”), sixth in the triple jump (32’7 ¼”) and seventh in the high jump (4’8”). Yale University bound Julie Guthrie ran a very tactical race in the 3200 meter run and placed fourth with a personal best time of 12:07. Erin Hamric placed fourth in the 500 meter run (1:24.08).
Pulaski County captured first place in the 4 x 200 meter relay (1:49.60) with team members Tamera Smith, Julia Hager, Brittany Worrell and Ellisa Fink. The 4 x 800 meter relay team placed fifth (10:46.32) with team members Julie Guthrie, Erin Hamric, Emily Llaneras and Anne Kelly Newman.
The Pulaski County Girls were crowned the Region IV Indoor Track & Field Champions at the end of the long evening with a total of 126 points. Blacksburg finished in second place with 97 points followed by Cave Spring (49), Christiansburg (48), Salem (38), Hidden Valley (26), Marion (19), Abingdon (18), Patrick County (6) and Bassett (5).
“It means a lot to us knowing that every member of our team worked hard to get us here” stated a happy captain Sydney Anderson. “We’ve had a great time working together, and once we believed in ourselves that we could do it, great things started happening and we hope to just keep getting better.”
“The women were great tonight!” exclaimed Head Track Coach Jamie McCarty. “We were very dominant in the field events and that helped carry the momentum on to the track. We had some very fast performances. It’s a real statement about the hard work that they put in all fall and all season. Winning both the River Ridge District title and Region IV title is something that they really wanted this year and its great to see them earn it.”
“To be taking 13 athletes is quite an accomplishment for us!” McCarty continued. “We have 16 guys and 16 girls on the track roster… 32 total people and we are taking 13 of them to states! It’s just a statement of how hard that these kids have worked this season. It makes us as a coaching staff very proud to be able to have this many kids with an opportunity to compete at the state championship meet.”
The Virginia State Indoor Track & Field Championships will take place at Liberty University in Lynchburg on Saturday, February 23.