WINFIELD, W.Va. — It’ll be a full bus ride to Laidley Field.
The Point Pleasant track and field teams had 24 different athletes qualify for state in 20 separate events on Thursday night following the conclusion of the 2017 Class AA Region 4 championships held at David Bailey Track on the campus of Winfield High School in Putnam County.
Both the Black Knights and Lady Knights will have a dozen representatives apiece at the annual WVSSAC track and field championships, with the girls competing in 11 events while the boys will be busy in nine contests.
The Lady Knights won the battle for second place on the girls side of competition as Winfield smoked the field with a winning tally of 299 points. PPHS was second out of 11 scoring teams with 98 points, while Nitro took third with 79 points.
Point Pleasant came away with two individual titles at the regional event and also had 10 automatic qualifiers — top-three finishers — in its 11 advancing girls events.
Senior Aislyn Hayman — who recently signed with Marshall University track — earned both regional championships for the Lady Knights after winning the shot put (40-2) and discus (132-4) competitions.
Sami Saunders was also a dual qualifier with a second place finish in the high jump (5-4) and a third place effort in the pole vault (9-0).
Madison Hatfield was second in the 400m dash with a time of 1:02.36, while Morgan Roush was second in the discus with a throw of 101 feet, 7 inches. Grace Allensworth also earned an at-large bid in the shot put by placing fourth with a heave of 32 feet, 1 inch.
PPHS had four relay teams qualify, with the quartet of Hatfield, Ashley Staats, Teagan Hay and Sydnee Moore placing second in both the 4x100m (53.90) and 4x200m (1:54.67) events.
Moore, Hatfield, Allison Henderson and Morgan Miller were the 4x400m runners-up with a mark of 4:28.51, while Miller, Henderson, Cierra Beatty and Lexi Watkins-Lovejoy finished second in the 4x800m (10:58.16) event.
Winfield won the boys competition with 220 points, with Nitro (88) and Poca (79) rounding out the top three of 10 scoring teams.
The Black Knights were fourth overall with 74 points and earned automatic qualifiers in eight of their nine advancing events, which included a trio of relays.
The foursome of Wyatt Dean, Brady Adkins, Jared Icenhower and Peyton Hughes finished second in the 4x800m relay with a time of 9:43.13.
Justin Brumfield, Cason Payne, Justin Staats and Keshawn Stover were third in the 4x100m (46.54) event, while Payne, Stover, Icenhower and Steven Trent placed third in the 4x400m (3:50.75) relay.
Luke Wilson was a dual qualifier after finishing third in both the 1600m (4:48.93) and 3200m (10:22.71) runs, while Jesse Gleason is also headed to state in two events after placing third in the discus (136-5) and earning an at-large bid in the shot put (42-1).
Eddie Mayes was the shot put runner-up with a heave of 44 feet, 5 inches, while Trent advanced in the pole vault with a third place effort of 10 feet, 6 inches.
The 2017 WVSSAC track and field championships will be held next Friday and Saturday at Laidley Field on the campus of the University of Charleston.
Complete results of the Class AA Region 4 track and field championships are available on the web at runwv.com
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.