Lord Botetourt and James River High Schools will send teams to Roanoke this week for the annual Cosmopolitan Club Track Meet. The three-day meet is held at William Fleming High School.
The middle school field events and running trials will be Thursday. Junior Division athletes, in ninth and 10 grades, will have field events Friday at Fleming along with trials and some senior running trials. Senior field events, for juniors and seniors, will be Saturday morning and all running finals, for all three classes, will begin at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
Both teams warmed up for the big meet with action last week. Lord Botetourt ran at Staunton River on Wednesday of last week and had some good results. Senior Elijah Rose qualified for the state in both the high jump and the 300 hurdles.
“The kid is scoring a pile of points for us every meet,” said LB coach Paul Craft. “He wins just about every field event he does; high jump, long jump, triple jump, and he does 300 and 100 hurdles. If you invented a new field event today, he’d win it tomorrow.”
Last week Rose won the high jump, was second in the long jump, and won the triple jump. He also placed third in the 100 hurdles.
“He’s getting some attention from colleges,” said Craft. “Look out for him running and jumping on the collegiate level next year. Coach (Michelle) Gantzhorn has done a great job with his field events.”
Jillian Harris won the 100 hurdles and placed second in the 300 hurdles. Kendal Howard set a new PR in the 100m with an 11.93. Ten minutes later he set a new PR in shot at 52-09. He’s now leading all of 3A with that throw and closing in on the school record, and an hour after that he set a new PR and shattered the school record in disc with a throw of 170-8. He is leading 3A with that throw and is second in the state across all divisions.
“That’s a college scholarship throw,” said Craft. “I figured he’d hit 170 feet by the end of the season. He’s done it a month early. By the time he’s a senior I suspect he’ll be on over 200 feet.
“Coach Tina VanBuren has been coming by one or two days a week to help with disc. She’s the best disc coach I’ve ever seen. I won’t say her age but her disc records at Alleghany High School still stand and she also threw at Liberty University on scholarship. She doesn’t have any kids here at LB but still comes by and volunteers her time to make our kids better. All our throwers across the board are setting PRs left and right. My hat is off to our athletes and them buying into what Coach VanBuren is teaching.”
James River competed in two meets last week. The first was at Glenvar and included 13 teams. Emma Francis won both the shot and discus and Kaia Binns won the 200 and took second in the 100. Kelsey Firebaugh was second in the 200 and fifth in the 100 and Nevaeh VanBuren placed in four events, taking second in the triple jump, fourth in the high jump and fifth in the long jump and discus.
For the boys, Michael Jorgensen took second in the 1,600 and 3,200 and George Toliver was second in the shot. Brian Moran placed in four events, taking second in the high and long jumps and fifth in the 200 and triple jump.
On Saturday the Knights ran in the Cave Spring Invitational, a meet that included over 20 teams. Francis was first in the discus and second in the shot while VanBuren took third in the discus, fourth in the triple jump and seventh in the 100.
For the boys, Toliver was second in the shot and Conner Church was third in the 100 and eighth in the 200. Moran was fourth in the triple jump and fifth in the long jump and Andrew Fowler was fifth in the discus. Jorgensen state qualified with a sixth place in the 1,600.
The River boys finished sixth and the girls were ninth. The Salem boys and Heritage girls were team champions at the annual meet.