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Kamela Ward speeds to 200 state title

Oak Glen sophomore Kamela Ward shows off her medal haul on Thursday at the West Virginia Class AA state track meet at Laidley Field. Ward took first in the 200-meter dash, second in the 100 and was on the 1600 relay team that finished sixth. (Photo by Cody Nespor)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It was a big day for Oak Glen sophomore Kamela Ward at the West Virginia Class AA State Track and Field Meet on Thursday at Laidley Field.

Ward triumphed in the 200-meter dash final by almost half a second in a state-championship time of 26.03.

Ward won a state title as a freshman in 2021, but that was on the Golden Bears’ 1600 relay team. This time was different.

“Last year we won, but it was a group effort,” Ward said. “This year, knowing I placed as an individual, it’s just 10 times better.”

Ward, who overcame a disqualification in the 400 on Wednesday, finished second in the 100 as well (12.69). She was edged by Winfield’s Allie Germann (12.54) in the 100. She was also sixth on a 1600 relay team.

“Going in, I wasn’t as nervous as I was last year,” Ward said. “I knew who to be aware of, I knew what to expect and what it was going to be like.”

Winning so much as a sophomore has set the bar extremely high for Ward’s future, but Golden Bears girls’ coach Ashley Tharp thinks she will have no problems reaching it.

“She has a lot more potential; she’s going to be amazing,” Tharp said. “She’s a hard worker, she never quits and she wants to be a winner. She’s very stat-driven, no matter the sport — soccer, basketball, track — she’s looking at the stats to see where she has to be and she works so hard to complete that.

“She wants to see all blue ribbons (next year) and it’s in her future to do that.”

Oak Glen senior Konnor Allison capped his brilliant distance running career by finishing second in the boys 1600 (4:20.76) and 800 (1:59.56).

“We knew he was going to have a great year coming into his senior season. We had extremely high hopes for him,” said Oak Glen boys’ coach Rance Everly. “We’re super proud of Konnor, he broke the school record by two and a half seconds in the 1600.”

In both instances, Allison was edged by Winfield senior Matthew Scheneberg as he had a 4:17.94 in the 1600 and 1:57.24 in the 800. Scheneberg also won the 3200.

“It was just two really good runners battling it out in multiple events,” Everly said. “There’s nothing to feel bad about.”

Oak Glen senior Mason Konchar was fifth in the 800 (2:01.77) and seventh in the 1600 (4:30.43).

Junior Isaiah Franklin took fourth in the boys 200 (23.40), while freshman Kensington McConnachie took fifth in the girls long jump (15-9.75).

Senior Sophia Arner captured a podium spot as well as she was sixth in the 1600 (5:36.42). Hannah Kliner was on her heels in the same event as she was seventh (5:39.76). Arner followed up that performance by taking 8th in the 800 (2:33.23) while Kliner was 12th in the 800 (2:40.10).

Senior Gracie Wright was 10th in the 300 hurdles (52.06). In the boys 300 hurdles, Cameron Tropeck was 13th (45.89).

Relays

Oak Glen’s girls 800 relay of Phoebe Molish, Wright, McConnachie and Natasha Ward was fifth (1:52.02). The girls 3200 relay of Ava Ross, Carson Barr, Kliner and Emily Viani was also fifth in 10:31.63. The 400 relay team of Molish, Wright, McConnachie and Natasha Ward took 12th (53.78). To cap off the day, the 1600 team of Molish, Natasha Ward, Wright and Kamela Ward was sixth (4:21.01).

The boys 400 relay of Aiden Flowers, Dylan Conley, Ethan Lively and Isaiah Franklin got to the podium with a fifth place finish in 45.31. The same team was was eighth (1:35.4) in the 800 relay.

In the boys shuttle hurdle relays, the Oak Glen team of Flowers, Anthony Burt, Conley and Tropeck was fourth (1:02.73).

The boys 1600 relay of Konchar, Tyler Mozingo, Allison and Matthew Greenlief also reached the podium with a sixth-place finish (3:38.31).

As a team Oak Glen’s boys finished fifth out of 24 teams with 37 points. Oak Glen’s girls were eighth out of 24 teams with 26 points.

BOYS STANDINGS: 1. Winfield 145, 2. North Marion 67, 3. Point Pleasant 62, 4. Fairmont Senior 52, 5. Liberty (Harrison) 33, 5. Philip Barbour 33, 7. Elkins 28, 8. Oak Glen 26, 9. Frankfort 22, 10. Nicholas County 17, 11. Wayne 13, 12. Independence 12, 13. Bluefield 9, 14. Grafton 8, 15. Lewis County 7, 16. Sissonville 5.5, 17. Weir 5, 18. Herbert Hoover 4, 19. Shady Spring 3, 20. East Fairmont 2, 21. Braxton County 1.5, 22. Roane County 1, 22. Berkeley Springs 1, 22. Scott 1.

GIRLS STANDINGS: 1. Winfield 145, 2. North Marion 67, 3. Point Pleasant 62, 4. Fairmont Senior 52, 5. Liberty (Harrison) 33, 6. Philip Barbour 33, 7. Elkins 28, 8. Oak Glen 26, 9. Frankfort 22, 10. Nicholas County 17, 11. Wayne 13, 12. Independence 12, 13. Bluefield 9, 14. Grafton, 15. Lewis County 7, 16. Sissonville 5.5, 17. Weir 5, 18. Herbert Hoover 4, 19. Shady Spring 3, 20. East Fairmont 2, 21. Braxton County 1.5, 22. Roane County 1, Berkeley Springs 1, Scott 1.

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