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Shade bides time at Times Invitational

by Rob Peirce

SPORTS WRITER

FAIRMONT -- There was a reason Robert C. Byrd's Tony Shade didn't run full speed in the 110-meter hurdle preliminary race.

Although that race upset his coach, Bob Steele, Shade's plan was to conserve energy, and it paid off, as he was 1.5 points away from high point honors in the Times Invitational Saturday at East-West Stadium in Fairmont.

"(Steele) does get a little upset with me sometimes when I take it easy in my trials," Shade said. "But I think it's a little better with me to save it for the finals.

"It was real good competition. I got tested in both my hurdle events. In the long jump, I was a little disappointed, because it was raining, and I didn't get too good of a jump."

In the 110 finals, Shade posted a time of 15.3 seconds. He also won the 300 hurdles with a 42 flat and placed second in the long jump with 18 feet, 2 inches.

"(The 110 prelims) got my attention," Steele said. "I've always told him you don't want to give anybody else any false hopes or encouragement, because sometimes that can motivate them and make it extra hard for you. He's a very smart runner, but I think he saved a little too much. A 15.3 is just a cruise in the park for him."

RCB placed fourth in the overall boys competition with 63 points, and the girls finished sixth with 56 points. Notre Dame also represented Harrison County on the girls side, placing 10th with 10 points.

Martinsburg won the girls competition with 113 points, and East Fairmont took the boys side with 108.

The Bees won six events, and the Bulldogs took five. Each coach had a different take on the level of competition.

"The competition here is not the best that we've run against," East Fairmont coach Sally Hunter said. "But (the field) has still been giving us a run for our money."

Martinsburg coach Ron Gray, on the other hand, came from the Eastern panhandle to get a different perspective on the state's competition.

"It's different-colored uniforms, and there's a great group of coaches up in this area," he said. "The total blend of our field event, distance running and the middle-distance really pulled everything together. It was a total team package."

Rachel Carden and Shannon Tobias placed first and third in high point standings as Bulldogs representatives.

Locally, RCB's boys team won the 4x200-meter relay with 1:37.3, and Bobby Buffey placed third in the 200 with 24.3.

The Eagles girls team won the 4x100 relay with 1:14.1. Britney Amodio won the high jump with 4-10, and Liann Gottschling took the 100 hurdles with 17.3.

Gottschling also placed second in the 300 hurdles, and Stephanie Hatfield took second in the 3,200 with 12:00.

Sports writer Rob Peirce can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at sports@exponent-telegram.com.

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