BOONE — Surry Central traveled to Appalachian State University Saturday to compete in a track meet with high schools from all around the western region of the state.
Track Coach Jason Bryant said there were about 15 teams there for the Appalachian High School Invitational, which he noted was a few less than in years past.
Several of his athletes set personal bests even though the heavy competition meant that most didn’t place in the top five.
The best finish of the day came from discus thrower Chance Beck. The heave of more than 121 feet was second on the day and fourth-best in school history, noted the coach.
That result is good enough to qualify Beck for the regional playoffs. In fact, a throw of that length would have placed Beck 13th in the state at the 2A track meet last year.
Wes Brown finished third in two sprints, and Megan Gillespie finished third in the pole vault. The girls 4x400m relay team finished second, but that was misleading because only one other team fielded a 4x400 team, Bryant added.
Wes set a couple of new personal bests, the coach said. In the 100 meters, he ran 11.48, as measured by an electronic timer. He ran the 200m in 23.75.
Brown has run similar times before on his home track, but those times were recorded with a starter pistol and a stopwatch, which makes times look about a quarter of a second less that what they really were, the coach explained.
While those times were fast, Bryant said Wes still has room to improve.
Brown, who played running back on the football team, takes shorter strides than the average sprinter, Bryant noted. While that allows Brown to make quicker cuts on the gridiron, longer extension would improve the top speed he achieves.
Some people look at Wes (who played football at about 235 pounds and dropped to 220 pounds for wrestling) as if he’s too big to be a sprinter, but Bryant said that’s not true at all.
The same techniques are used for a big guy as they are for a slender runner, he said, and the elite sprinters in the Olympics are big and muscular, too.
Athletes like Brown and Gillespie have competed in several events in one day at home, but for this event they could take part in just two events. That kept Brown out of the shot put and discus categories and limited Gillespie in running events.
On Thursday, the Eagles travel to Walnut Cove to compete with Mount Airy and South Stokes. Then next week, the Northwest Conference meet is over two days at North Stokes in Danbury.
Reach Jeff Linville at email@example.com or at 719-1920.