LYNCHBURG – It was a banner day for area athletes Thursday as they took home four gold medals from the VHSL Group 1A/2A indoor track championships at Liberty University.
Riverheads brought home two state titles. Alice Wardy took first in the girls 55-meter dash, while the boys 4×200 relay team was golden in its race.
Iyon Oravitz of Robert E. Lee, who won the 400 at the 2A outdoor meet last June, put another gold in his trophy case Thursday with his win in the 300, while Stuarts Draft’s Paetyn Beverly showed she’s ready for the outdoor season with her win in the shot put.
Wardy, a senior, led a 1-2-3 finish by county springers in the 55. She won in 7.56 seconds, just ahead of runner-up Sierra Clifton of Buffalo Gap (7.58), while Wilson Memorial’s Emilie Miller was third in 7.60.
Wardy also ran 44.59 in the 300 to take third in that race. She got her third medal with a fifth in the long jump, hitting the pit with a distance of 15 feet, 10.5 inches.
The Gladiators used the quartet of Garrett Campbell, Landon Diehl, Jackson Shover and James Kasak to take the gold in the 4×200. Their winning time of 1:36.89 was just ahead of second-place Prince Edward County (1:37.07).
Beverly, who won the shot and discus at the Conference 29 meet last spring, won the shot Thursday with a mark of 37-8. She beat runner-up McKensey Richardson of Marion Senior by 7.5 inches.
Oravitz had a familiar foe on his heels Thursday in Diehl, who finished second to Oravitz in the 2A 400 last spring. That order stayed the same as the Lee senior won in 37.06, while Diehl was second in 37.43.
Diehl also was a triple medal winner in the meet. He got his third medal with a second in the 500 with a time of 1:08.57, while Buffalo Gap’s Aaron Huff was seventh in the race in 1:12.45.
The Green Hornets got a silver-medal performance from Miller in the 55-meter hurdles final. She finished second with a time of 8.76 behind winner Shanthi Hiremath of Maggie Walker, who clocked in at 8.45.
Wilson’s Miller also grabbed a second medal. She was third in the girls pole vault with a height of 7-6.
Gap’s girls 4×400 team ran to a third-place finish. The team of Clifton, Becca Wilson, Lexi Strange and Tiffany Simmons turned in a time of 4:32.48.
The Bison boys 4×400 team also medaled. The foursome of Huff, Austin Comer, Logan Miller and Carter Mohler hit the line in 3:43.53 for fifth place.
The Leemen’s Jacob Warner, a third-place finisher at the 2A state cross country meet in the fall, placed fifth Thursday in the boys 3200 with a time of 10:20.02. Wilson’s Vincent Leo was in sixth in 10:24.80.
Olivia Farley scored for Wilson in the girls 3200. She finished eighth in 12:56.64.
The Green Hornets got three more placers — two in relays and one individual.
The individual placement came from Austin Wood, who finished seventh in the boys 1000 in 2:51.53. Wood also teamed up with Landon Boxley, Vincent Leo and Jacob Schrauder for an eighth in the 4×800, posting a time of 9:19.18.
Stuarts Draft and Buffalo Gap also scored in the girls 4×200, finishing sixth and eighth, respectively. The Cougars quartet of Kaitlyn Goodwin, Makenzie Gray, Jordan Ramsey and Sarina Jones ran a time of 1:57.74, while the Bison’s foursome of Clifton, Julia Budzinski, Lexi Strange and Natalie Wheeler finished in 1:58.81.