By JP Widner
SWT Sports Writer
Radford- Battling against the weather and thirteen opponents, the Lady Cougars entered the 44th Annual All-American Track & Field Relays at Radford High School last Saturday. The temperatures hovered around 40 degrees, and a chilly 15 mph breeze made harsh conditions for both running and field events.
Tamera Smith showed her athleticism and her senior leadership quickly and often Saturday. Smith beat 23 individuals as she won the long jump with a 16’10” leap. The Radford University bound Cougar then won the triple jump (33’11”) and the 100 meter dash (12.66). Tamera added to her incredible day with a third place tie in the high jump (4’6”). The PCHS senior finished the meet with 36 total earned points for the Lady Cougars.
Sydney Anderson managed to win the high jump despite being bothered by her lingering hamstring strain. Her 4’10” jump was well off her normal performance standard, but the Indiana bound track star managed to finish ahead of all her opponents. Anderson placed sixth in the long jump (14’5.25”) to finish the day. The coaching staff held her out of all the running events for safety precautions.
Brittany Worrell tied teammate Smith in the high jump (4’6”) for third place before injuring her hamstring while warming up for the 4 x 100 meter relay. Freshman Emily Llaneras stepped up to take Worrell’s place and helped Ellisa Fink Erin Hamric and Kelly Duncan placed third in a time of 57.53 seconds. Fink also placed sixth in the 100 meter hurdles (19.53).
Yale University bound Julie Guthrie placed sixth in the 1600 meter (5:51). Guthrie also teamed up with Hamric, Llaneras and Anne Kelly Newman to win the 4 x 800 meter relay (11:09). The foursome blew their closest competitor away by over 45 seconds. In the 1600 meter sprint medley, Julia Hager, Fink, Hamric and Newman placed second as they hung on in a sprint to the finish against Blacksburg. Pulaski County beat their rival by just eight-one hundredths of a second (4:42.32) in the exciting race. Capping off her greatest track day of her short career, Llaneras beat 17 opponents in the 400 meters and placed third in the one lap race (1:07).
James Madison University bound Sarah Wright stepped away from her softball diamond long enough to beat 23 opponents in the shot put as she placed second with a heave of 35’10”. In the discus throw, Wright placed fourth (85’6”). Teammate Dyanne Nipper had her best career showing in the shot put (28’7”) and discus (72’1”).
Pulaski County captured the All-American Relay Team Championship with 96 total points. Blacksburg placed second with 84.5 points followed by James River (79), Salem (79), Radford (48.5), Giles (38), Floyd (26), Christiansburg (22), George Wythe (22) Parry McCluer (20), Carroll County (4), Auburn (4), Fort Chiswell (2) and Grayson County (2).
“It was great to get the victory,” said Head Coach Jamie McCarty. “Tamera had a great day, and Emily really stepped up as a freshman. Dyanne continues to work hard and had a PR today. The relay teams performed well and helped us earn valuable points for the team. We just need to have our injuries to heal as we near the district championships.”
The Lady Cougars will return to action Friday as they compete in the Buffalo Invitational at Floyd.