The West Wilkes boys broke up a track and field monopoly on May 26.

The Blackhawks captured the Mountain Valley 1A/2A Athletic Conference track championship in Millers Creek, snapping Ashe County’s five-year stronghold on the title.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this year’s team,” said West’s Jason Adams, who was named league coach of the year. “The work ethic and talent these athletes had was second only to the brotherhood they showed each other.”

West finished with 215.5 team points, easily outdistancing Ashe’s 182.5. The biggest disparity came in the throwing events, in which West outscored Ashe 41-6 on May 25.

The Wilkes Central boys finished third with 137.5 points. They were followed by North Wilkes (66), Starmount (42.5), East Wilkes (14) and Elkin (14).

“Staying late, throughout the (storm) delay, just to cheer on their teammates was a perfect example of their bond,” noted Adams. “Every one of them put the team first, instead of individual goals. When athletes put in the hard work and do what is best for the team, great things can happen.”

West junior Andrew Dyer won the shot put with a heave of 43-7.75 and took first in the discus with a throw of 124-1, en route to being named field MVP. Teammate and classmate William Gregory was runner-up in the discus (122-8) and third in the shot (40-1.75).

“I would also like to thank Coach Jeff Dyer (Andrew’s father),” Adams added. “His work ethic and detention to detail was a very big reason for this team’s success. It was such an amazing experience coaching these athletes.”

On the track side, West senior Austin Triplette was named track MVP after taking golds in four events: 3,200-meter run (10:31.26), 1,600 meters (4:43.47), 800 meters (2:05.96) and second leg on the 4x800 meter relay (8:56.47, with Dawson Osborne, Hunter Wayne and Derik Kinkopf).

Wayne, another Blackhawk senior, was victorious in the 400 meters (52.75) and ran opening leg in the 4x400 relay (3:46.89, with Kinkopf, Osborne and Jakadon Larrimore). He was also runner-up to Triplette in 800 meters (2:11.93).

Wilkes Central juniors Terry Hayes and Carlos Reyes-Martin also won three events. Hayes took first in the long jump (21-2.5), 100 meters (11.5) and 4x100 relay (44.63, with Ahmad Carlton, Anthony Graham and Reyes-Martin).

In addition to the 4x100 relay, Reyes-Martin was also victorious in the 200 meters (23.06) and high jump (5-10).

The other Wilkes County boy champion was Central freshman Cory Bonner, who took the pole vault by clearing 9-6.

West girls second

Ashe’s girls captured their fifth straight MVAC title by outscoring West, 217.5-146. Following in the point standings were North Wilkes (86), Wilkes Central (78.5), Starmount (48), Alleghany (45), East Wilkes (28) and Elkin (1).

“This group of girls is so special,” said West’s Rhiannon Adams, who was named MVAC coach of the year. “The work and heart they have put into the program is phenomenal. The unselfishness of this team is incredible. They sacrifice for one another, coach and teach one another, and no matter what, they cheer on and hug one another.”

North Wilkes sophomore Brooke Settle dominated the distance events, winning the 800 meters (2:38.32, narrowly edging twin sister Beth’s 2:38.50), 1,600 meters (5:50) and 3,200 meters (13:57.55). She was named track MVP.

Both Brooke and Beth ran legs on North’s 4x400 relay team (along with Haley Weatherman and McKenzie Harrold) that finished second (4:40.23) behind Ashe.

West sophomore Ju’Mizhia Sanders took gold in the 100-meter (17.57) and 300-meter (50.55) hurdles.

“I am so proud of all of the time, work, blood, sweat and tears they have put in and their never-give-up attitudes,” Adams continued. “My group of seniors have been my right arm throughout the season, and I couldn’t have done this without them

“Also a big shout out and thank you to Coach Jeff Dyer who is a huge part of the success of our track and field program. Many hours and Saturdays are put in to help our throwers reach their fullest potential. The girls and I appreciate him so much.”

Other first-place finishers from Wilkes County were West senior Kennedy Collins (triple jump, 34-7), East freshman Lilly Adams (high jump, 4-10), Central junior Abigail Tully (pole vault, 9-0) and Central’s 4x100 relay team of Olivia Rush, Ryleigh Parker, Olevia Ringwood and Jayla Smoker (54.58, edging West at the tape).

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