MANCHESTER – The Eastern Brown girls’ track and field team finished second to Fairfield at last year’s Southern Hills Athletic Conference meet at Lynchburg-Clay.
They came into the 2018 conference meet in Manchester on Friday hungry for the title, and the Lady Warriors got it behind a 40 point performance from Madison Hopkins.
“Especially with the lower numbers we have – we don’t have a very large team – just being able to compete is awesome,” said Hopkins.
The Eastern senior got her afternoon started on the high jump, which she only started a few weeks ago at a meet in Hillsboro.
“It [Hillsboro] was going to be a colder meet and I just wanted to try something else because he didn’t want us doing the 400. I was like, ‘Hey, can I do the high jump?’ I just did it and actually I fell the first time I did it. I landed flat on my butt on the concrete,” said Hopkins. “I just liked it and I was decent at it, so I just did it here to try to get more points for our team.”
Hopkins claimed first in the event, before heading to the long jump and earning her second SHAC title of the spring. She followed it with a first place finish in the 100-meter dash and then won the 200-meter dash as well.
“Our girls came to us coaches and said, ‘I’m willing to jump long jump, I’m willing to jump high jump,” said Eastern coach Tom Glasscock. “As you see tonight, Madison Hopkins scored 40 points for me. She won the high jump, the long jump, the 100 and the 200, and if I could have put her in a fifth event, she would probably score me another 10 points.”
Mikayla Farris added a title in the discus and a second place finish in the shot put, while Cassidy Staggs finished first in the 100-meter hurdles.
Eastern’s 4×800-meter relay team comprised of Tay Peters, Emma Brown, Caitlyn Wills and Emily Fannin placed first, and the Lady Warriors got a second place finish in the final event of the day – the 4×400-meter relay.
“We tried to do everything. Everyone tried to do events they weren’t usually doing tonight just to try to win this,” said Glasscock.
“My girls – they don’t quit. Even when they’re down, they try to do everything they can to win and be good sports at it,” added Glasscock. “I think a lot of them and I’m going to miss a couple seniors because of their talent, but we’ll be back next year.”
The Lady Warriors moved up to Division II this season and will be heading to the district meet at Washington Courthouse, which begins on Tuesday. They won’t focus on the jump up in division and focus on putting together another good meet.
“We just can’t look at that. We’ve just got to do our jobs, put our heads down and do our best. Whatever happens, happens,” said Glasscock. “If you do your best, then that’s all I ask of the kids.”
Peebles finished first in the 4×400-meter relay, getting off to a quick start with the help of freshman Jacey Justice. After two sophomores in the middle, another freshman, Lilly Gray, anchored the race and was able to pull away for the victory.
“They train hard, man. We’ve been running a lot of 400, 800 workouts to try to get that time down. I actually subbed another girl in who doesn’t normally run it. She stepped up and ran a pretty good quarter for us,” said Peebles coach Tyler Wilson. “Lilly, she’s about half a second off of our school record. She’s right around a minute on her quarter time, so we’re hoping she gets pretty far in the tournament with that.”
The Peebles girls’ team placed second at the meet.
They got three individual first place finishes from Jenny Seas, coming in the 1,600-meter run, the 3,200-meter run and the 800-meter run. She also ran on the 4×800-meter relay team. Her brother, Matt, placed first in the 1,600.
“She comes from a big running family. They run 50, 60 miles a week year-round. Great attitude, works hard – I mean, probably six or seven days a week they’re training. It doesn’t matter if there’s snow on the ground or if it’s raining, they’re out there running – her and her brother both,” said Wilson. “I know they have some older siblings that have done the same thing and they’ve put in the work. They’re gifted some in it too, but they put the work in.”
Peebles also set a record with their girls’ 4×200-meter relay team, according to Wilson.
The West Union girls’ team picked up a first place finish from the 4×100-meter relay team, which broke the school record with a time of 52.8 seconds. The Lady Dragons finished sixth as a team.
“Our girls’ team is kind of banged up. We’re going to end up middle of the pack, but we set a school record in the 4×100. We’ve been working hard,” said West Union coach Jason Little. “About eight or nine years ago we had to pay to participate. I think right now we’re seeing that track’s coming back and we’re getting kids back here.
“They just keep wanting to get better. We also have an assistant coach that used to be the sprint coach at Michigan State – a guy named Buddy Niece. He’s been helping them a little bit too and he said the other day to switch a couple and it worked tonight,” added Little. “They’re just pretty fast. They’re all freshmen and sophomores, too.”
The West Union boys’ team placed third at the meet, behind second place Whiteoak and Fairfield, the winner for the third straight year.
“We have one that’s hurt. We’ve only got about 10. If we had a couple more boys we would have been right in there,” said Little.
Full results for the SHAC meet were not available at press time.