CHARLESTON - A win is a win and Oak Glen senior Ethan Delekta understands that after what he accomplished Friday afternoon.
Delekta wasn't happy with the distance he put up in the Class AA discus competition at the West Virginia State Track and Field Championship at the University of Charleston's Laidley Field, but he sure was all grins when he stood on the podium getting the gold medal put around his neck.
His 159-4 was 73 inches better than Frank Wright of Lincoln High School and Delekta walked away with the prize he had been coveting.
STATE?TRACK — Brooke’s Ali Crawford qualified for the Class AAA 100 hurdles final today.
"It would be great to be able to come back and defend this," he said with a laugh. "I've been looking toward this day since my freshman year. I was pretty nervous today. I still didn't throw as well as I would have liked to but at least I won. I think I have been too satisfied with winning lately and haven't pushed myself as hard as I needed to. But, a win's a win. I'm happy."
Wright took the lead on his second throw, but Delekta wasn't worried.
"He was ahead of me for one throw," said Delekta. "I really wasn't worried about him throwing it any further. This was about what I had to do. I was trying to throw 160 today. I was close."
Delekta is not your "typical" discus thrower.
"My dad made a discus pad at our house so I could throw every day," he said. "I threw a lot this winter because the weather wasn't that bad. I'm faster than a lot of the big guys. It's not necessarily about strong, but it's about technique and snapping your muscles."
Teammate Zack Staley finished sixth at 135-6.
Fellow senior, Amanda Clark, finished second in the shot put on her final throw, when she moved upo from fourth place.
"I would have liked to have won, but the girl who won was a really good competitor and she deserved to win today," said Clark.
Berkeley Springs' Harlie Stotler won at 36-10 . Clark finished second at 34-2 .
"My first couple of throws I wanted to be out there 34 or 35, but it didn't work out that way," she said. "I had to wait and dig down deep to do it on my sixth throw of the day. I was ecstatic when I heard the distance. I jumped up and down and started to cry a little bit. This is my last year, so I was really excited to get second at states."
Oak Glen's Kelsey Chambers was all smiles when she finished second in the 3200. Her 11:53.83 was behind the 11:42.08 of Frankfort's Katie Jan.
"This was great," she said. "This is the hardest I have ever run. I wasn't leaving anything on the track. I know I still have two more years left, but I really wanted this one. I'm so excited on how I ran.
"I came in ranked third and I told myself that I wasn't slowing down for anything. I didn't run the two mile last year and only started running it this year toward the middle of the season. I like the longer races. The longer the race the better it is for me. I love long distance.
"The mile is long distance, but this two-mile is perfect. I will run the mile tomorrow and my goal will be the same to leave everything on the track."
Madonna's Kaitlyn Conner placed fourth in the Class A long jump with a 15-8 leap.
"I think I am feeling a little bit of everything just because I know I can do better than that," said the senior, who will head to Wheeling Jesuit to continue her track and field career and major in political science with the final destination to be a lawyer. "I'm still happy I placed. I'm happy I'm here."
Conner, who competed in track at Madonna all four years, just took up the long jump in the middle of her junior year.
"My dad was a long jumper in high school and said 'you should try long jump' and I said 'I'm not a jumper. I like running,'" she said. "So I tried it one day and the first time I ever jumped I went 15-2. I had no idea what was good and what wasn't. So I texted my coach and said 'Is 15-2 good?' They said yes and I've done it ever since. I love it. It's my favorite event.
"I wish I would have started my freshman year because I absolutely love it.
"I wanted to do the same today that I did at regionals and jump over 16, or do better than 16-2. But, I'm happy with what I did."
It was a good ending considering she started the season coming off knee and ankle injuries from basketball.
"My first meet back I jumped 13-8 and I was panicking," she said. "I played with my steps a little bit and figured out I wasn't getting up to top speed. So, I moved them back and progressively got better at each meet. But, it felt like I was stuck at 15-4 for a couple of meets and I could not get past that.
"I finally started feeling 100 percent at OVACs. Before I graduated I just wanted to jump 16 and I was so happy I went over 16 last week (16-2). I really wanted to do that here at states, but, like I said, I'm just really happy to be here."
Conner later partnered with Makenna Dziatkowicz, Francesca Basil and Gianna Anile to place fifth in the shuttle hurdle relay in 1:11.50.
Brooke senior Ali Crawford had a different kind of day she only had to run one race. The girl who is used to four events (which she will do today) only had the Class AAA 100 hurdles qualifying.
"It was really nice to only have to focus on the one race, but, at the same time, that's all you have to run, so the pressure is on there's no mess-ups, you have to go," said Crawford, who easily qualified in 14.97. "I really liked just having one race today.
"I really wasn't concerned with time today. I just wanted to qualify."
Crawford will compete today in the 100 and 300 hurdles, the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
Oak Glen's Megan Nally, Tori Feicht, Amy Webster and Paige Smearman finished third in the shuttle hurdles in 1:08.79.
The boys foursome of Clayton Flowers, Zeth Clark, Cullenn Bennett and Kyle Mack was sixth in 1:02.63.
Chambers was joined by Felicity Nolder, Jennifer Ferguson and Abigail Tice to finish sixth in the 4x800 relay in 10:19.36.
Standout Alexis Burch qualified in the 100 (12.68) and 200 (26.20).
Weir's Kristen Mastrantoni finished fourth in the 3200 in 12:04.08 and teamed with Alexis Virtue, Chantelle Harper and Rachel Marker to take third in the 4x800 relay in 10:11.88. Virtue placed sixth in the 3200 in 12:17.38.
The Red Riders' Raven Young qualified in the 100 (13.02).