GRAFTON – Pencil in your Buckhannon-Upshur track and field Buccaneers as your 2020 Big 10 Conference champions!
The Bucs earned that honor Friday night in Grafton after easily winning the 12-team event in another outing in inclement weather and flood warnings.
The Bucs won seven of the 17 events scored en route to their championship.
The Bucs collected 132 points, way ahead of second place Bridgeport who totaled 87 points. Rounding out the top five were Fairmont Senior with 70, East Fairmont in fourth with 51 points and North Marion in fifth with 46.
The Bucs again were led by a strong showing from their relay teams as they claimed three titles.
Picking up relay wins were Sterlin Thropp, Taiwo Thropp, Shawn Blandino and Camden Snyder in the 4×200-meter relay (1:32.12), Sterlin Thropp, Blandino, Julian Larcher and Jordan Gillum in the 4×400-meter relay (3:31.84) and Gillum, Larcher, Reis Leonard and Jack Waggy in the 4×800-meter relay (8:21.59).
Getting the four individual titles were Sterlin Thropp in the 400-meter run (50.73), Gillum in the 800-meter run (1:58.88), Leonard in the 300-meter hurdles (42.99) and Carter Zuliani in the discus throw (126-07).
“I am not sure when we have ever encountered a season so challenging with the weather,” noted Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Patty Wager. “With flood watches in effect these athletes did not allow heavy downpours to affect their events. Many of our runners had their personal best times in these conditions. We were so determined. This team knew they were going to win the title before they got off the bus.”
The Bucs earned five runner-up spots as Taiwo Thropp ran second in the 100-meter dash (11.22) and the 200-meter dash (22.79), Blandino in the 400-meter run (51.07), Dalton Crites in the shot put (40-08) and Dirk Riley in the discus throw (126-07).
A trio of thirds recorded by the Bucs went to Sterlin Thropp in the 200-meter dash (23.27), the 4×100-meter relay team of Blandino, Taiwo Thropp, Snyder and Savion Farmer (45.72) and Snyder in the long jump (18-02).
Getting a fifth was Zuliani in the 110-meter hurdles (17.97).
The final scoring went to Waggy taking sixth in the 1600-meter run (4:50.99) and Farmer with a sixth in the long jump (17-00.75).
“I really want to thank my assistant coach Roberta Hatcher, a former high school and collegiate hurdler herself, who worked endlessly with all of the hurdlers to improve their form and time,” said Wager. “And special thanks to Roy Wager for volunteering his time to help our jumpers.”
The Bucs will run again Thursday in the Region I Championships at Mylan Park in Morgantown.