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Track teams compete at Luray, celebrate seniors at home

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The William Monroe boys and girls track teams traveled to Luray on a seasonal Monday afternoon to compete in the Page County Invitational. The boys team placed seventh out of 14 and the girls ninth out of 14 in a competitive field.

The day started with the field events where Bryce Hoffman hurled the discus for a whopping 141’ 11” placing second. The gun went off for the boys 4 x 800 and the team of Aiden Dumas, Will Baker, Zachary Genz and Varick Nitzsche placed fourth. Ashton Savage represented Monroe in the sprints placing 8th in the 100 and fifth in the 200. In the 1600 our top runners scored third place to make the medal cut, Elli Pursal racing to a 5:47 and Evan Young cruising to a time of 4:44. Gabriel Bailey shot off the line in the 400 meters charging to the lead and crossing the tape 1st with a blazing 52.48 just missing a state pre-qualifying time.

Bailey got back right on the oval and raced to a third place in the 800. Pursel and Livia Kilby placed third and fourth, respectively in the 800 with personal best times of 2:37 and 2:40.! The exciting culminating event of the evening was the 3200 meters, eight laps around, where Evan Young and Schuyler Nitzsche gave the one two punch finishing first and second in the event. Young raced to a 10:35 and Nitzsche broke 11:00 with a 10:57.

Bringing home the hardware for top three placeswere: Bailey (400 and 800), Hoffman (discus), S. Nitzsche (3200), Pursel (1600 and 800) and Young (1600 and 3200)

The team honored the seniors and their parents as it hosted its only home meet, just two days later. Starting the competition in field events Bryce Hoffman was, again, the top finisher, with a first-place throw in the discus and a third-place throw in the shot put. Will Bunyea placed fifth in the shot put and Jordan Alvarez placed third in the shot put and fourth in the discus on the girls’ side. Rounding out the field events Nick Caruso placed seventh in the high jump.

On the oval, the boys’ 4 x 800 A team of Nathan Lindegren, Evan Young, Schuyler Nitzsche and Gabriel Bailey raced to an impressive 8:50 first-place finish. The sprinting events were represented by Ashton Savage with a third-place finish in the 200 meters and fifth place in the 100 meters and was part of the 4 x 100 with McKinley Carpenter Keira Turner and Kaia Morris, that placed second. Avarian Garrett placed third in the 200 and was part of the 4 x 100 team with Makhi Gilmore, Ki Johnson and Tanner Nishikawa that placed third.

In the distance events Elli Pursal raced to a third-place finish in the 1600 and shortly after bolted off of the line in the 800 for her first high school track victory crossing the finish ahead of teammate Livia Kilby for an exciting one, two finish on the home track. Evan Young and Schuyler Nitzsche did the same in the 1600 with Young placing first and Nitzsche second. The boys 800 was a thriller with Nathan Lindegren exploding off the line to lead for 750 meters to get nipped at the line for second place. Always a crowd pleaser, Gabriel Bailey rocketed ahead at the sound of the gun for another dazzling 400-meter victory.

The culminating activity of the throwers from all teams racing the 4 x 100 meter relay had all the athletes in the infield jetting around encouraging the competitors as they hustled around the oval handing off the baton. Monroe’s lead leg was Will Bunyea who got a clean start and rounded the curve for a stand still hand off to Adolfo Alonso who raced the straight away handing off to Bryce Hoffman who pulled the team to the lead and with a clean handoff to an uncatchable Nathan Jiminez as he cruised the last straightaway to the finish for a crowd pleasing performance. Spectators and teams left the arena with smiles on their faces!

Next up for the track and field team is a Pentagonal Meet at Western Albemarle April 27 and the Falcon Invitational in Crozet April 29.

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