CHARLESTON – The highlight for Hampshire at the 2023 state track meet took place in the field. Region II champion Grant Hicks hurled a discus 148-07, which landed the senior a fourth place finish.
Considering Hicks didn’t start throwing discus until his junior campaign, a fourth place finish at states is simply remarkable.
As a junior, Hicks was consistently throwing in the 110’s, with a season record of 121-03.
“Grant got into lifting and the next thing you know he started throwing further and further,” said HHS head coach Duane Colebank.
This year Hicks added over 30-feet to his personal record, with a throw of 152-08 at regionals.
At states, Hicks attempted to improve upon his regional championship mark, but came up just short with a throw of 148-07.
“He didn’t get one of his better throws, and if he did, he would’ve been top two,” said Colebank.
“Grant is a great kid and did a great job all year long for us.”
Frankie Winter, a senior from Ripley HS, won states with a toss of 165-09. The Cabell Midland duo of Isaiah Hagley and Michael Lunsford finished second and third respectively, with throws of 153-04 and 151-11.
Grant finished the season as the top point scorer for Hampshire earning 83 points.
Also competing on the boy’s side of the meet was a pair of relay teams.
The team of Mason Cardamone, Dylan Streisel, Noah Lipps and Caden Davis finished 14th in the 4x800 relay with a time of 8:51.52.
In the 4x100 relay, Jon Moreland, Zach Haines, Dom Strawn and Trenton Timbrook crossed the finish line in 15th place with a time of 46.19.
“This year we were able to get some basketball and soccer players out to compete,” said Colebank about his relay teams.
“These guys had good work ethics and that’s why they got to states. Getting there is great and that was one of the goals. Do as well as you can and prepare as well as you can, and once you get there, let the chips fall where they may.”
On the girls side of the meet, freshman Bailey Nichols finished 13th overall in the 3200 meters with a time of 12:57.47.
“At the beginning of the year, we weren’t sure if we wanted Bailey to run the 3200, but as the season went on, we moved her into the 3200 and she did really well with it,” said Colebank.
“When she gets older and more mature she will do even better.”
In the High Jump, freshman Hisley Keiter had a tough challenge as the starting height of 4-10 proved to be too tall.
“Hisley has improved all year and she is great to coach,” said Colebank.
“Just being there and being involved at states is a great learning experience for her.”
The other event that HHS competed in was the Shuttle Hurdles and coach Colebank was optimistic his kids could challenge for a top five finish.
“I thought we could possibly get three or four in that spot,” said Colebank.
Unfortunately for HHS, the team was disqualified after a false start.
“The starters held the kids in the starting blocks longer than usual – almost three or four seconds,” explained Colebank.
“A foot slipped on the block and that earned the DQ. It’s just something that happened. Things happen every once in a while that are out of our control and we have to work through it.”
Huntington boys totaled 98.5 points to finish first overall. Jefferson took silver with 87 points and Cabell Midland wound up third with 78.
On the girl’s side of the meet, two powerhouse teams split the championship. Jefferson scored 111 points matching Morgantown that also tallied 111 points, making both schools co-champions.
Woodrow Wilson finished a distant third with 58 points.
Next up for the young track squad is the offseason.
“I want them to be involved in other sports,” expressed Colebank.
“The weight room will be open and there is no way better to prepare yourself than being in the weight room and getting stronger. We are going to take a couple weeks off then get started. Hopefully, they will come in and be ready to work.”
In closing coach Colebank wanted to thank the commitment from his athletes and especially the parents.
“I appreciate everything all the parents did, and all the sacrifices they have to give to get their kids to practices and meets.” o
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