Union boys repeat, Lady ‘Pack finish second in Region 2D meet

by Kelley Pearson, Sports Editor

NORTON — The Union boys’ team continued their dominance of the Region 2D track meet with their eighth win in a row Wednesday at Central High School.

Senior Peyton Honeycutt decided to give track a go in his final year and what a mark he has made. He now has regional gold in the 100m and 200m dashes as well as the anchor leg in the victorious 4x100 relay team.

“It feels good. I’ve always wanted to do track, but I have been hurt every year,” Honeycutt said. “I’m glad I was able to come out here and take a couple of first place victories.”

Honeycutt has always been a strong support player for the football and basketball teams, but injuries have kept him sidelined for a lot of his sports career. This year’s track season has been his time to shine.

“I’m just glad I’ve been able to come out here and show people what I can do. I have been working hard even through my injuries. I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” Honeycutt said.

Chad Douglas has a lot of district, regional and even state hardware as part of the Bears’ cross country team. In his senior season, he has also learned some regional decoration on the track team with victories in the 800m, 1600m and as the anchor leg of the 4x400 relay team.

“[The 800m and 1600m] were both pretty good races for me,” Douglas said. “I wasn’t sure I had them until the end. But I knew if I could be close through the last lap, I’d have a good chance.”

Douglas has improved his times by leaps in bounds in both sports this year. Last week he finished fifth in both the 800m and 1600m at the district meet, but was able to shave off over five seconds off both times in his victories.

“I knew I had a chance to win today, I just had to stay close to [Eli Penix of Lee, who led both races] and make my move at the end. I knew I could out-sprint him if I could stay close,” Douglas said.

The Bears had several other victories on the day. Fellow cross-country champion Dorian Almer won the 3200m run with a time of 10:50.57. Kam Bostic capped off an amazing freshman season with a victory in the 300m hurdles. Gabe Sneed was victorious in the discus with a throw of 142-06. Sophomore Harper Potter took the girls’ shot put title with a throw of 34-07.

Central sophomore Luke Collie continued his victory streak in the 400m dash with a personal best 51.35 Wednesday. This was after what he described as a ‘horrible’ start.

“I set a PR last week with a 51.51 to win district,” Collie said. “I knew my start was bad, but I can’t complain about the finish.”

Collie’s philosophy in the event is to go as hard as he can while always making sure to stay at the front of the pack. This paid off in spades Wednesday as he had to quickly make up some ground in the single-lap race.

“I knew I had to keep the guy in front of me close. But, I knew if I could catch him by the last turn, I was hoping I could kick at the end and get the win. It worked pretty well,” Collie said.

Collie knows there’s some stiff competition at the state level if he wants to win gold, but after bringing home the bronze in the 500m at the VHSL Class 1/2 track meet this winter, he’s ready to meet the challenge.

“I upset some guys in the indoor meet this year. There’s definitely some high-class talent out there. I’m just hoping to repeat that level of performance,” Collie said.
Alec Gent repeated as the Region 2D champion in the triple jump with a leap of 42 feet even.

The Ridgeview girls were solidly in second place with 92 points. Forty of those points came from workhorse Braelynn Strouth. The junior was victorious in the triple jump while placing third in the high jump, fourth in the long jump, second in the 100m hurdles and third in the 300m hurdles, earning her state berths in five events. She also placed sixth in discus, eighth in shot put and eighth in 100m dash to earn additional points for her team.

“I really like the triple jump and the hurdle events. This is my first year doing those,” Strouth said.

Strouth is known for her leaping abilities, posting a 24-inch vertical as a sophomore. At 5-foot-4, the all-around team player is a multi-sport standout for the Lady Wolfpack.

“I like keeping myself busy and doing whatever I can to help out my team, no matter which sport I’m doing,” Strouth said.

Wolfpack sophomore Ryan O’Quinn set new school records in the hurdle events with a gold in the 100m hurdles and a silver in the 300m hurdles. The star quarterback began the events to stay in shape and improve for the football season, but intends to make a run for gold at state.

“I’m doing this for my hip flexors and to gain more flexibility,” O’Quinn said. “My competitiveness will always take over. I always want to win. There are some crazy times at state. But, if I can place as a sophomore, I’ll be really excited.”

Boys’ team results:

1 Union 164

2 Virginia High 101

3 Lee High 86

4 Ridgeview 60

5 Richlands 49

6 John Battle 49

7 Marion 47

8 Central 21

9 Gate City 21

10 Tazewell 8

Boys’ 4x800 relay

1 Marion, 9:21.35

4 Union, 10:23.72

Boys’ 110m hurdles

1 Ryan O’Quinn, Ridgeview, 16.74

4 Keonte Orsby, Union, 17.93

Boys’ 100m dash

1 Peyton Honeycutt, Union, 11.30

Boys’ 1600m run

1 Chad Douglas, Union, 4:47.68

3 Dorian Almer, Union, 4:53.09

Boys’ 4x100m relay

1 Union, 44.34

4 Ridgeview, 46.92

Boys’ 400m dash

1 Luke Collie, Central, 51.35

3 Jace Cochran, Union, 53.71

Boys’ 300m hurdles

1 Kam Bostic, Union, 42.75

2 Ryan O’Quinn, Ridgeview, 42.77

Boys’ 800m run

1 Chad Douglas, Union, 2:11.38

Boys’ 200m dash

1 Peyton Honeycutt, Union, 23.53

Boys’ 3200m run

1 Dorian Almer, Union, 10:50.57

3 Gavin Bolling, Union, 10:55.07

Boys’ 4x400m relay

1 Union, 3:45.55

4 Ridgeview, 4:03.37

Boys’ high jump

1 Brendon Gibson, John Battle, 5-10

2 Connor Smith, Ridgeview, 5-10

Boys’ long jump

1 Kenaz Davis, Virginia High, 20-7.75

3 Kam Bostic, Union, 19-5.5

Boys’ triple jump

1 Alec Gent, Central, 42-0

2 Connor Smith, Ridgeview, 40-1.5

4 Koda Counts, Ridgeview, 38-5

Boys’ shot put

1 Brody Jones, Virginia High, 48-8

2 Gabe Sneed, Union, 47-2

Boys’ discus

1 Gabe Sneed, Union, 142-6

Girls’ team scores

1 Lee High 118.5

2 Ridgeview 92

3 John Battle 91

4 Marion 66

5 Tazewell 63

6 Virginia High 54.5

7 Central 33

8 Union 27

9 Gate City 26

10 Richlands 21

Girls’ 4x800 relay

1 John Battle, 11:34.63

3 Ridgeview, 11:53.10

Girls’ 100m hurdles

1 Cassidy Hammonds, Lee High, 16.00

2 Braelynn Strouth, Ridgeview, 17.84

3 Kenzie Ramie, Ridgeview, 18.42

Girls’ 100m dash

1 Cassidy Hammonds, Lee High, 12.77

4 Essie Henderson, Union, 13.53

Girls’ 1600m run

1 Lauren Keene, Tazewell, 5:37.07

3 Rebekah Slemp, Central, 6:17.28

Girls’ 4x100m relay

1 Marion, 54.47

2 Ridgeview, 54.50

Girls’ 400m dash

1 Ellie Cobb, Virginia High, 1:06.09

Girls’ 300m hurdles

1 Cassidy Hammonds, Lee High, 47.18

2 Kenzie Ramie, Ridgeview, 51.22

3 Braelynn Strouth, Ridgeview, 53.29

Girls’ 800m run

1 Lauren Keene, Tazewell, 2:30.73

2 Lydia Slemp, Central, 2:35.77

3 Natalie Dingus, 2:40.51

Girls’ 200m dash

1 Olivia Stevens, John Battle, 27.05

Girls’ 3200m run

1 Jayden Sisk, John Battle, 13:42.29

4 Amelia Hamilton, Union, 14:26.91

Girls’ 4x400m relay

1 John Battle, 4:41.62

4 Ridgeview, 4:47.21

Girls’ high jump

1 Reagan Cox, Marion, 5-0

3 Braelynn Strouth, Ridgeview, 4-10

Girls’ long jump

1 Cassidy Hammonds, Lee High, 16-7.5

Girls’ triple jump

1 Braelynn Strouth, Ridgeview, 34-0

Girls’ shot put

1 Harper Potter, Union, 34-7

3 Hadaya Abshire, Ridgeview, 32-10.5

4 Madison Looney, Central, 32-2

Girls’ discus

1 Landri Lallande, Tazewell, 131-10

3 Madison Looney, Central, 100-2

4 Harper Potter, 90-10