BUCKHANNON – Buckhannon-Upshur High School senior Taiwo Thropp won two gold and two silver medals at the Big 10 Conference Track and Field Championships last Friday to pace the Bucs to a second-place overall finish.
Thropp earned high point honors – given to the athlete who scores the most points – for his efforts on the track. The senior won the 400-meter dash by nearly a second, recording a 49.61 to finish ahead of teammate Shawn Blandino, who nabbed second place with a time of 50.56.
Thropp claimed second-place finishes in the 100-meter dash (11.02) and 200-meter dash (22.25). B-U sophomore Landon Marple also scored in both those events, finishing fourth in the 200 (23.27) and seventh in the 100 (11.85), while Timothy Snyder also nabbed a point for Buckhannon with an eighth place run in the 200 (24.23).
Bridgeport’s Lucas Anderson set conference records in both the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash, winning the 100 in 10.68 and 200 in 21.37.
In the 800-meter run, B-U teammates Jordan Gillum and Reis Leonard finished neck-and-neck. Gillum finished second in 2:01.21 while Leonard crossed the line just behind in 2:01.38 for third. Slate Swiger of Lewis County won the conference title in the 800 with a time of 1:58.07.
Chase Hackett and Carter Zuliani rounded out the B-U scoring in the individual track events, with Hackett finishing fifth in the 300-meter hurdles (43.85) and Zuliani placing seventh in the 100 hurdles (17.77).
The Bucs had a stellar showing in the relays, winning three of the five events.
The 4×200 quartet of Blandino, Marple, Bryson Johnston and Snyder won that even in 1:32.79, while Thropp anchored the gold medal 4×400 team, where he was joined by Gillum, Leonard and Blandino. Their time of 3:31.18 gave them the win by more than 10 seconds.
Rounding out the B-U relay wins was the 4×800 squad of Gillum, Leonard, Randy Beckner and Jack Waggy, which turned in a time of 8:36.23.
The Bucs also finished second in the 4×100 (Blandino, Johnston, Marple and Savion Farmer, 44.63) and fourth in the shuttle hurdles (Hackett, Zade Woody, Zuliani and Devin Phillips, 1:04.45).
Coach Patty Wager’s squad also had a banner day in the field events. Ely Cain finished second in the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, with Malaki Williams finishing fourth after clearing 5-10. Farmer leapt 19-4 in the long jump for a fifth-place finish, while both Owen Caynor and Landen Zirkle scored points in the pole vault. Caynor cleaned 9 feet to place seventh, while Zirkle was eighth with a vault of 8-6.
In the throws, Dirk Riley claimed silver in the discus with a toss of 131-5. Jesse Hackett also placed in the discus, finishing fifth with a throw of 114-0. Zuliani finishing fourth in the shot put with a heave of 41-6.75, and Jesse Hackett rounded out the B-U scoring with a seven-place finish in that event, throwing the shot 39-5.75.
Overall, the Bucs amassed 144 points, finishing just behind Bridgeport, which finished with 157 to claim the Big 10 title. East Fairmont (69), Fairmont Senior (58.5), Ohilip Barbour (52), Grafton (49), Robert C. Byrd (48), Lewis County (47), Lincoln (34.5), Preston (17), Elkins (12), North Marion (8) and Liberty (6) rounded out the team scoring.
The Bucs will return to action Wednesday in the year’s penultimate meet, the Region I Championships at John Marshall.