Valley’s best athletes compete at 24th annual Wrangler Invitational

Both Page and Luray had a team finish in the top 5 in Saturday’s supersized annual track meet, the Wrangler Invitational.

Page County’s boy’s team and Luray’s girl’s team both managed fourth-place finishes in Saturday’s meet, which was held at the PCHS track.

Page, which beat out fifth-place Buffalo Gap by one point, totaled 40 points on the day. It didn’t find widespread success at the top of events; instead, the Panthers succeeded on the will of a few of its most talented runners.

Sophomore distance runner Ryan Seal and senior sprinter Kyle Biller accounted for 30 of Page’s 40 points.

Biller actually won two events — the 110-meter hurdles (15.63 seconds) and the 300-meter hurdles (43.57 seconds). His two first-place wins were good for 20 total points.

Seal, who coach Mark Comer has described as one of Page’s “best pure runners” (as opposed to other athletes who also play other sports unrelated to track or cross country), placed in two long distance events. His 5:12.12 in the 1600 was good for fifth place and its corresponding two points. Seal excelled even more at the 3200-meter race, where he finished in second place and earned Page eight more points. His time was 11:14.89.

Page scored another four points in the 4x100 relay. Biller, Caleb Meadows, Clay Seal and Mikey Cash ran a 47.96, good for fourth place.

Meadows added another point with his sixth-place finish in the 800-meter middle-distance race. Freshman Wesley Nicholson also scored a points, finishing behind his teammate Biller in sixth place in the 110-meter hurdles.

Ryan May’s fourth-place finish in the shot put (41-07.50) rounded out Page’s scoring block.

For the Luray girls, who earned their fourth-place finish with 45 total points, the scoring was more scattered. The Bulldogs had seven different athletes score points individually. The girls also scored a combined 16 points off relays.

The Luray girls didn’t win any event — in fact, Biller was the only athlete from any Page County team to win an event — but they recorded points in 11 different competitions.
The closest Luray probably came to winning anything was its 4x800 team of Brianna Drake, Courtney Dudley, Madison Kibler and Julia Printz, which led for much of the two-mile race before Stonewall overtook the Bulldogs in the final 1000 meters.

Stonewall Jackson finished third in both the boy’s and girl’s meets. The girls won with 78 points; the boys only had 53, making the fight for third between the Panthers and Generals much closer.

Luray’s best overall performer was junior Ariana Williams, who registered points in the 200-meter dash (fifth place, 29.49 seconds), in the 400-meter dash (third place, 1:06.74) and as a member of Luray’s 4x100 relay team, which finished second (56.42 seconds).

Julia Printz also had a good day for Luray, finishing third in the 3200-meter race (14:34.07) and running on the 4x8 team.

Briana Drake finished fifth in both the long jump (14-11.75) and triple jump (31-02.00).

Logan Waters, who was the only girl from Luray to compete at the state meet during the Indoor season, registered six points with a third-place finish in the high jump (4-06.00).

The Luray boys and Page girls finished in seventh and eighth place in their respective meets. While the teams’ overall performances weren’t particularly noteworthy, there were some stand-out individual performances. Most notably, a pair of seniors from Luray — Chris Price and Spencer Cornelius — cracked the top 4 of a Discus field that featured 25 athletes.

Luray also got good milage out of its sprinters. Bobby Brill and Jacob Hansen both finished in the top 5 of a deep group of 100-meter dashers, and senior Shaun Campbell finished in third in the 400-meter dash. All three ran at the state meet in Indoor Track.

For the Page girls, Victoria Dinges had a monster day. She finished third in the triple jump and sixth in the 800-meter race. She also ran on the 4x1 relay team that placed third, losing to Luray by 12 hundredths of a second.

Overall, East Rockingham and Central dominated everyone. The Central boys scored the most points (124) of any team; they also scored more points than second-place East Rockingham (70) and Stonewall Jackson (53) combined.

Central’s Coy Jimenez competed on the Falcons’ 4x400 team, as well as in the Discus Throw, the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. He won all four events.
The Central girls finished in second, losing out to East Rockingham 119-95.

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