First In 40 Years

First In 40 Years

ABOVE, PM boys competing in the 1000-meter run at the state meet are senior Dylan May (391) and juniors Brenden Plogger (392) and Kedryn Chandler (387). Plogger placed second in 2:42.44, May finished fourth, and Chandler came in ninth. Less than an hour earlier, May won the 1600-meter run in 4:30.28.

First In 40 Years

BELOW, PM sophomore Kensey May runs her leg of the girls’ 4 X 400-meter relay, in which the Blues placed third in 4:23.78. Before the relay, May won the 1000-meter run in 3:04.77. (Mindy May photos)

First In 40 Years

FIGHTING BLUE freshman Anastasia Harshaw paces herself in the girls’ 4 X 400-meter relay, in which the Blues placed third. (Mindy May photo)

PM Boys Claim State Indoor Title

The Parry McCluer High School boys indoor track and field team won its first state championship in 40 years on Friday and Saturday at Roanoke College’s Cregger Center in Salem, while the PM girls placed sixth of 51 teams.

Competing against Class 1 and 2 athletes, with several members of the boys cross country team that won the Class 1 state meet last fall, the PM boys scored 72 points to win handily over runner-up John Marshall, which tallied 47 points. Prince Edward (33) placed third of 51 teams. Rounding out the top five were Auburn (32) and Brunswick (29).

The Lady Blues scored 30 points to edge Radford by one point for sixth place. Prince Edward won the girls’ meet with 74 points, while Bruton (58) placed second. Completing the top five were Floyd County (49), Brunswick (36) and Glenvar (35).

After the meet, PM head coach Chris Poluikis, who also coaches cross country, explained that the Blues were successful by spreading out their athletes to compete in different events, with several competing in three events this season. “We took some throwers and the cross country teams and tried to stretch them out as much as we can,” he said.

PM senior Dylan May won a state title in the boys’ 1600-meter run, finishing in 4:30.28, an indoor personal record (PR), and the PM boys’ 4 X 800-meter relay won in 8:30.61, beating runner-up Galileo by nearly 10 seconds. Relay team members for the Blues were Brenden Plogger, Holden Kerr, Cooper Braddy and Kedryn Chandler.

For the PM girls, sophomore Kensey May had a convincing victory in the girls’ 1000-meter run, finishing in 3:04.77, a PR by about half a second, to win by 7.5 seconds over Buffalo Gap’s Annika Fisher.

In the 1600, Dylan May, who won the event at the regional meet the previous weekend, said he went out a bit slower this time. “I just tried to stay relaxed and focus on the last 800 [meters] instead of breaking right from the beginning.” Near the end of the race, May increased his lead on runner-up Daniel Zearfoss of Glenvar and won by nearly four seconds.

Also competing for the Blues in the boys’ 1600 and earning all-state honors by placing in the top eight were Trevor Tomlin (third, PR 4:37.46) and Chandler (fifth, 4:46.05).

May only had about half an hour before he was called for the 1000-meter run, and the short time made it tough to adjust. Still, he finished fourth in 2:45.03. Plogger nearly caught the winner, Galileo’s Owen Wood, finishing just two hundredths of a second behind him and placing second in a PR 2:42.44. Chandler finished ninth in 2:49.11.

The boys’ 500-meter dash was an exciting race, with Braddy making an impressive kick at the end to finish second in a PR 1:09.27, just three thousandths of a second behind the winner, John Marshall’s Josiah Olivis. Kerr followed in third in a PR 1:11.06.

Tomlin led the PM boys in the 3200-meter run, placing fifth in 10:15.47, while Matthew Hemmings finished 13th in 10:48.44.

The PM boys placed fifth in the 4 X 400-meter relay, finishing in 3:42.05. Team members were Kerr, Braddy, Plogger and Nick Reid.

In the shot put, Zavery Wallace led the PM boys by placing fifth with a throw of 47 feet, 5.5 inches, a PR by a foot and two inches. Colton Staton finished sixth with a toss of 47-3, and Brendon Conley came in ninth with a throw of 44-6.

PM throwing coach Matthew Douglas said the boys “got what we needed, as far as points.”

For the PM girls, while Kensey May took the lead early in the 1000-meter run and gradually ran away from the field. Although the win was decisive, she said, “It was pretty stressful before it. They called us pretty early, so we didn’t really get to warm up. During the race, my legs felt kind of dead.” She was pleased to run a PR, though, after competing in both swimming and indoor track this winter.

Following May in the 1000-meer run was Koya Chandler, placing sixth in 3:22.7, a PR by over a second.

The PM girls finished third in the 4 X 400-meter relay in 4:33.14, with Floyd County just a hundredth of a second behind them in fourth place. Team members were May, Chandler, Anastasia Harshaw and Sadie Dryden. They were just shy of their season-best time of 4:32.78.

The Lady Blues also finished third in the 4 X 800-meter relay, clocking 10:49.01. Team members were Chandler, Dryden, May and Jillian Wheelock.

Grayson Shields represented the PM girls in the shot put, placing third with a toss of 33-6, a PR by eight inches.

Reviewing the season, Poluikis noted that there were 15 boys on the roster, with 11 competing at the state meet and nine scoring. There were 10 girls on the roster, with six competing at the state meet, all of them scoring.

Poluikis looks forward to having many of his athletes back for the outdoor track and field season, with practice starting after they spend some time recharging.

Douglas will work with Danny Cole in coaching the outdoor throwers. Summing up the weekend, he said, “It’s a good way to end the indoor season on a positive note.”

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