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Lynchburg-Clay, Fairfield, Whiteoak track and field athletes advance to regionals after record-breaking district meet

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The Fairfield Lady Lions pose with their district runner-up trophy. (Photos courtesy of Fairfield Athletics, Lynchburg-Clay Athletic Boosters and Doug Hughes)
Caitlin Forsha, The Highland County Press

Highland County track and field athletes excelled at the Division III Southeast District meet held May 15 and 17 at Nelsonville-York. The meet saw the Fairfield Lady Lions team earn a district runner-up trophy, while Highland County athletes also won district titles and broke records along the way.

For team results, the Fairfield girls led the way with a second-place finish and 89 points, as the meet was won by Coal Grove Dawson-Bryant with 117 points. Lynchburg-Clay girls were 10th, and Whiteoak girls were 21st.

On the boys side, Whiteoak was fourth place overall, as the meet was won by Rock Hill. Fairfield was 23rd, and Lynchburg-Clay finished 28th.

Highland County had two district championships in the 4x800 relay race, with the Fairfield girls 4x800 relay team of Kennedy Zink, Ginny Trent, Aylah Humphreys and Faith Donley winning their race with a time of 10.36.73.

Whiteoak district champions Weston Blair, Landen Eyre, Sawyer Blair and Keegan Eyre.

On the boys side, Whiteoak’s relay team of two sets of brothers — Landen and Keegan Eyre and Weston and Sawyer Blair — won the district championship and set the district meet record with a time of 8:18.78.

“They really went after it,” Whiteoak coach Doug Hughes said. “Our best time on the season was an 8:34, and they somehow cut off 16 seconds. The younger brothers stepped up big. Sawyer ran a great leg and Keegan raced his best leg of the year by more than five seconds, and then the big brothers brought it home."

As an individual, Landen Eyre went on to win the 3200-meter run (9:15.03) and the 1600-meter run (4:24.28). He also reached a new milestone, as Eyre set the new district and regional record of 9:15.03 for the two-mile race.

“Landen led the [1600] race early and never looked back,” Hughes said. “He eased up a bit the last 150 meters to conserve some energy for the loaded-up 3200-meter race about an hour later. He was looking at about a 4:17 but was focused on what was next for him. Sixty minutes later he was back on the track for that 3200-meter race that included three other state-level runners and one being the state runner up last year in this event. 

“Landen was in a pack of four for the first three laps, and the main contender made a move to up the pace, and Landen just stayed calm and stayed just behind him. By lap seven, Landen had the look that he was about to make things happen, and as he crossed the line to start his eighth and final lap, he let the stadium know who was going to win that race."

Fairfield freshman Remi Moon earned an individual district title in the high jump event at 5-2.

The Lady Lions’ relay success continued as the 4x400 relay team, of Avery Teeters, Landry Teeters, Kennedy Zink and Faith Donley, advanced with a second-place finish at 4:24.25. The 4x200 team (Madalyn Combs, Landry Teeters, Avery Teeters, Vivian Henninger) was fourth at 1:53.65, advancing to regionals and setting a new school record.

Fairfield sisters and teammates Avery Teeters (17.41) and Landry Teeters (17.45) advanced to regionals in the 100-meter hurdles event with second- and third-place finishes, respectively. They matched the feat in the 400-meter hurdles, with Avery Teeters placing second (50.07) and Landry Teeters third (50.54).

Lynchburg-Clay also had two athletes finish back to back in the long jump event, with Autumn Wilkin placing second at 15-7.50 and Jade Massey in third at 15-2.

In the boys 800-meter run, Whiteoak had two qualifiers in Weston Blair, who was second at 1:56.90, and Keegan Eyre, who was fourth at 1:59.98. That was another record-setting event, as Hughes said that the top three finishers all broke the district meet record, with the event won by Beau Hesler of North Adams (1:56.39).

“Weston Blair finished runner-up with a personal-best time of 1:56.90 to seal his spot in the regionals, but to everyone's surprise, he wasn't moving on alone,” Hughes said. “His teammate and friend Keegan Eyre bested his career-best time by over five seconds to take the fourth and final qualifying spot with a time of 1:59.98. 

“Weston just keeps going lower and lower, and he's on his way to huge things but to see him run that time, finish second and collapse onto the infield after the grueling test to his body, and then as soon as he realized his younger teammate finished fourth and advanced on too, it was an instant embrace and a perfectly captured moment. Keegan Eyre just sold all out 100 percent. Coming into this meet, he had never ran under a 2:07.9, and he somehow busted out a sub-two-minute in a race where eighth place was 2:02. It was an absolute WOW effort and race."

As an individual, Donley also moved on to regionals in the 400-meter dash, finishing third with a time of 1:00.30.

Two Highland County teams advanced to regionals in the 4x100 relay, with Fairfield (Madalyn Combs, Mya McIntosh, Remi Moon, Vivian Henninger) finishing third with a time of 53.67 and Lynchburg-Clay (Samantha Merry, Macy Etienne, Jade Massey, Autumn Wilkin) coming in fourth at 54.19. The Lady Mustangs set a new school record with their time.

LC's Macy Etienne, Jade Massey, Samantha Merry and Autumn Wilkin

Fairfield’s Henninger qualified for regionals with a third-place finish in the 200-meter dash, with a time of 27.45 that set a new school record. In the 100-meter dash, Henninger also advanced with a fourth-place finish, with a time of 13.07 that broke her own school record. 

In the discus event, Whiteoak’s Matalynn Conrad finished fourth with a personal-best throw of 104-9 to move on to regionals. Hughes said that this was Conrad’s first year competing in throwing events.

“This was extra special,” Hughes said. “Matalynn had never thrown before and spent most of the year throwing 72-84 feet. She's a wonderful kid that just keeps working and working and doing whatever assistant coach Newman says to do. Today she tossed a 94-foot throw that just made everyone so happy for her. 

“It was two throws later though that she launched her perfect throw of 104-9, and all of a sudden this competitor that was likely to finish between 14th and 20th place was now sitting in the fourth position, and in the final three rounds she held on to what I believe was the biggest ‘step up’ moment in the entire meet. The fact that she's one of the easiest kids to root for makes it even better."

The Div. III regional track and field meet will be held Wednesday, May 22 and Friday, May 24 at Heath High School.

The following athletes also competed at districts:


• 100m Hurdles: 13, Savannah Bell, LCHS, 20.51; 27, Willow Smith, LCHS, 27.24.

• 100m Dash: 14, Samantha Merry, LCHS, 14.15; 16, Jade Massey, LCHS, 14.17; 20, Madalyn Combs, FHS, 14.50; 29, Pauline Staufner, WHS, 15.32; 31, Miley Walker, WHS, 15.53.

• 1600m Run: 8, Kennedy Zink, FHS, 5:56.78; 14, Aylah Humphreys, FHS, 6:10.79; 34, Claudia Etienne, LCHS, 7:31.90; 35, Destiny Reynolds, LCHS, 7:40.05.

• 4x100 Relay: 12, WHS (Matalynn Conrad, Miley Walker, Grace Raines, Trulie Lamb), 58.31.

• 400m Dash: 20, Claire Ames, WHS, 1:09.62; 28, Kara DeAtley, WHS, 1:15.56; 29, Emerson Zink, FHS, 1:15.61; 34, Abi Shepherd, LCHS, 1:23.55; 38, Destiny Reynolds, LCHS, 1:29.48.

• 800m Run: 8, Macy Etienne, LCHS, 2:35.27; 10, Claire Ames, WHS, 2:37.82; 11, Ginny Trent, FHS, 2:39.44; 30, Savannah Bell, LCHS, 3:10.98.

• 200m Dash: 19, Madalyn Combs, FHS, 30.25; 33, Savannah Bell, LCHS, 33.68.

• 3200m Run: 6, Aylah Humphreys, FHS, 13:23.41; 17, Madelyn Wiseman, FHS, 14:52.21; 22, Claudia Etienne, LCHS, 16:23.87.

• 4x400 Relay: 13, WHS (Kara DeAtley, Grace Raines, Claire Ames, Pauline Staufner), 4:50.48; 15, LCHS (Macy Etienne, Addi West, Autumn Wilkin, Jade Massey), 4:53.91.

• Discus: 19, Shauna Brown, WHS, 86-0; 21, McKinley Cox, FHS, 76-7; 25, Campbell Anne Friend, FHS, 66-5; 43, Lizzie Shreve, LCHS, 37-4.
• High Jump: 8, Addi West, LCHS, 4-6.

• Long Jump: 8, Adelia Butler, FHS, 14-8.75; 9, Mya McIntosh, FHS, 14-8.75.

• Shot Put: 16, McKinley Cox, FHS, 28-10; 17, Shauna Brown, WHS, 28-3; 39, Campbell Anne Friend, FHS, 21-9; 42, Leila Hughes, LCHS, 20-7; 44, Cloe Williamson, LCHS, 20-6; 45, Meghan Thompson, WHS, 20-5.   

• 4x200 Relay: 7, LCHS (Samantha Merry, Addi West, Macy Etienne, Autumn Wilkin), 1:58.62; 14, WHS (Grace Raines, Trulie Lamb, Miley Walker, Pauline Staufner), 2:04.52.


• 4x800 Relay: 7, FHS (Britton Campbell, Ryan Smith, Connor Ayers, Jordan Bennington), 9:16.00; 10, LCHS (Jayden Hixson ,Austin Manning, Wyatt Osborn, Kyler Fite), 9:42.57.

• 110m Hurdles: 20, Shane Mitchell-Cox, WHS, 20.56; 23, Jayden Hixson, LCHS, 21.53; 25, Xander Hauptman, LCHS, 23.06.

• 100m Dash: 14, Tyler Wessner, WHS, 11.90; 28, Will Holcomb, LCHS, 12.75; 43, Austin Manning, LCHS, 13.04; 55, Austin Russell, WHS, 17.27.

• 4x200 Relay: 10, WHS (Austin Richards, Tre Lamb, Jackson Tedford, Tyler Wessner), 1:38.81; 17, FHS (Layne Burgess, William Rowe, Zachary Morris, Connor Ayers), 1:44.20; 21, LCHS (Xander Hauptman, Will Holcomb, Cairen Goings, Austin Manning), 1:45.42.

• 4x100 Relay: 19, LCHS (Xander Hauptman Cairen Goings Austin Manning Will Holcomb), 50.63; 20, FHS (Layne Burgess, William Rowe, Zachary Morris, Isaac Burns), 50.88; 21, WHS (Shawn Mitchell-Cox, Sawyer Blair, Kenyon Hughes, Tre Lamb), 51.16.

• 400m Dash: 9, Janre Lerio, FHS, 53.93; 13, Austin Richards, WHS, 55.46; 18, Larkin Friend, FHS, 58.07; 37, Cayleb Watson, LCHS, 1:17.93.

• 300m Hurdles: 12, Tre Lamb, WHS, 46.24; 17, Jayden Hixson, LCHS, 47.76; 24, Shawn Mitchell-Cox, 48.62.

• 800m Run: 17, Jordan Bennington, FHS, 2:11.24; 36, Wyatt Osborn, LCHS, 2:29.10; 42, Aiden Bene, LCHS, 2:48.78.

• 200m Dash: 14, Tyler Wessner, WHS, 24.58; 18, Janre Lerio, FHS, 25.12; 28, Will Holcomb, LCHS, 26.28; 31, Zachary Morris, FHS, 26.51; 43, Carson Pfister, LCHS, 29.16.

• 3200m Run: 8, Kyler Fite, LCHS, 10:36.77; 11, Ryan Smith, FHS, 10:51.57; 13, Britton Campbell, FHS, 10:57.57; 16, Wyatt Osborn, LCHS, 11:29.97; 17, Jake Ward, WHS, 11:35.19.

• 4x400 Relay: 8, WHS (Keegan Eyre, Austin Richards, Landen Eyre, Weston Blair), 3:44.54; 14, FHS (Janre Lerio, Connor Ayers, Larkin Friend, Jordan Bennington), 3:52.35.

• Discus: 25, Seth Evans, WHS, 99-2; 35, Issac Burns, FHS, 89-10; 36, Jackson Tedford, WHS, 89-8; 48, Cayleb Watson, LCHS, 66-8; 51, Carson Pfister, 62-9.

• Pole Vault: 6, Larkin Friend, FHS, 9-6.

• Long Jump: 10, Tyler Wessner, WHS, 19-0.75; 34, Aiden Bene, LCHS, 13-2.50.

• Shot Put: 21, Issac Burns, FHS, 36-4; 29, Kaiden Wells, WHS, 34-4; 32, Seth Evans, WHS, 34-0; 46, Cayleb Watson, LCHS, 25-10.

• 1600m Run: 9, Kyler Fite, LCHS, 4:49.04; 17, Britton Campbell, FHS, 5:09.38; 24, Wyatt Osborn, LCHS, 5:21.06; 26, Jake Ward, WHS, 5:27.55; 30, Greg Achterman, FHS, 5:41.44.

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