Ram Invitational opens Outdoor Track season for northern Valley teams

It was a beautiful sunny day for both Skyline and Warren County to open the 2017 track and field season at Strasburg High School in the annual Ram Invitational.
Despite not having any individual winners and few medalists, both teams used the opener to assess strengths and weaknesses and prepare for several big meets on the horizon.

In the 18-team boys field, Skyline finished ninth and Warren County came in 16th.

On the girls side, Warren County claimed 10th, while the Hawks came in a tie for 12th.

“Both the girls and boys teams competed well,” Skyline coach Steve Burton said. “All the kids worked hard.”

Landon Holben led the Skyline finishers with a second-place run in the boys 400 meter race. Holben also claimed fourth in the 200-meter dash.

Tucker Fortney finished third in the shot put and Jordan Price fourth in the 800-meter run.

On the girls side, Zaryn Rateb finished fifth in the 400, sixth in the long jump and seventh in the triple jump.

“Zaryn continues to see her hard work pay off,” Burton said. “Landon also is picking up where he left off last year prior to his injury and Tucker is getting stronger in his throws. The surprise would be Jordan, a freshman, who showed he has a kick placing in the 800.”

Senior Cor’shauna Cunningham led the Wildcats with a second in the shot. Her 33’11 toss qualified her for the regional tournament and her fourth place throw in the discus of 107’2 qualified her for the 3A state event.

“It is always exciting to get the first invitational under your belt,” Warren County coach Joseph Owens said. “We as a coaching staff look forward to the season opener every year and the information it provides about the up- coming season.”

Injuries and a school trip left the Wildcats at less than full strength of the opener but Owens admitted the Ram Invitational was still a "great gauge to our upcoming season."

Other top girl performers for the Wildcats were Carlene Viers with a regional qualifyin time in the 3200, and the 4x800 relay team of Jacqui Ris, Rebecca Ranney, Viers and Nichole Rittgers, also qualifying for the regional tournament.

D.J. Staton was a regional qualifier with his performance in the 3200, and Bailey Grant earned a fourth-place finish in the 1600.

“It’s always feels good to see a handful of kids qualify for the postseason early,” Owens said. “It takes some pressure off and lets the athletes focus on setting higher goals for the season."

Sherando won the boys team title and James Wood claimed the girls championship.

Both Warren County and Skyline will be competing in this Saturday's Handley Invitational in Winchester.

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