By Mason E. Haynes
Local running fans gathered and cheered Wednesday evening for the Greenbrier East boys and girls Spartan track teams as they held their annual home meet. Among the crowd were opponent teams from 13 different schools, where over 450 athletes participated in the event.
Some of the beginning races began strong as tensions were high. The Spartans fought fiercely against their competition and it was a steady battle for scoring to see who would emerge as the winning team by the end of the night.
Other viewers outside of Greenbrier East were fascinated with the local track meet. Ray Powers is a visitor from Putnam County who said the track meet was exciting to watch.
“This meet was very fast and one of the main events I enjoyed the most was the 1600 meter run,” Powers said. “Some of them take off fast and then the next thing you know they are around the track sneaking up on each other”.
The boys 1600 meter run was one of the highlights of the track meet. Joseph Santiago for the boys Spartans was a couple places short of scoring in the meet but ran a remarkable time of 5:27 in his one mile race.
There was also a recognition ceremony during halftime for the graduating seniors who ran track and field. Some of the senior students talked about pursuing college lives with a strong interest in becoming doctors or teachers, while others wanted to serve their country in the military.
The final event of the night which had the crowd cheering off the bleachers was the girls 4 by 400 meter relay that finished with an astonishing ending. Machiah Baxter gained a strong head start in the race around the beginning of the 4 by 400 meter relay giving the girls a good place to finish and score points in their event.
Coaches for both the boys and girls Spartan track teams gave their opinion on the meet and how their teams performed. Sherri Adwell, head of the women’s track team was pleased by how her girls ran the race.
“I saw some good performances tonight and it gives me hope. We’re going to Charleston next week and we’re going to see better performances as the season goes on.”Adwell said.
McCutcheon, who is head of the boys track team, is also happy with how the boys track team performed. However, there was also scoring issues with the track meet overall since there was two track teams out-of-state from Virginia. Therefore, the entire track meet had to be rescored.
“We’re going to have to rescore the whole meet. A couple of Virginia teams score different and it will take a couple of days so we will have to rescore the meet overall,” McCutcheon said. “Performance was good and we battled it out well although there were 13 teams total”.
Both the Greenbrier East boys and girls Spartan track teams plan to attend the Gazette Relays on Apr. 28.