CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For the first time in a long time, a White Falcon stood at the top of the podium.
Junior Rowen Gerlach took home the top spot in the discus throw in day one of the Class A State Track and Field meet Friday to give the Wahama track and field team their first state champion in at least nine years.
Gerlach recorded a top throw of 144 feet, 5 inches, besting Richwood’s Joshua Landreth and the rest of the field by almost two feet.
Gerlach finished sixth in the event at the 2021 state meet
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Gerlach said. “It feels really good. I’ve worked really hard this season and in the offseason. Lifting weights and working off an injury, which did set me back a bit, but my hopes were up after the first meet this season.”
Gerlach also said he will be using the momentum from this victory in the shot put Saturday in day two of the meet.
“It feels great to be a state champion,” he said. “I feel like I’m even better at shot put, so hopefully I can make it a double.”
The White Falcons also had a top-3 finisher in Gavin Hieronymus, who took the third spot in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.80 seconds.
Sawyer VanMatre also competed in the long jump, finishing 13th with a top jump of 17 feet and 11.75 inches.
On the girls’ side, the Lady Falcons had two competitors Friday.
First, Lacey Neal competed in the 100-meter dash prelims, recording a time of 13.75 seconds, just enough to qualify for finals in day two.
Michaela Hieronymus also competed in the girls’ 400-meter dash, finishing seventh with a time of 1:03.10.
In overall scores at the end of day one, the White Falcons sit in third with 16 points.
The Lady Falcons are still looking for their first points.
The Ritchie County Rebels are first in the boys’ meet with 31 points while the Williamstown Lady Yellowjackets led with 42.
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Colton Jeffries can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100