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Bulldogs hold off Grafton

by Mike Nutter

SPORTS WRITER

Even early, there was question about who would come out the girls winner of the Class AA-A Region II girls track and field meet. On the boys side, however, there was little doubt.

No. 1 Doddridge County hung on to hold off No. 2 Grafton, 135-129 in the girls meet. Bridgeport won its second regional title in three years, finishing with 132 points -- 52 points ahead of runner-up Doddridge County.

"We still had some problems (Thursday)," Bridgeport coach Jon Griffith said. "We did a lot of things right, but we did some things wrong.

"We're going to try and work hard on the things we did qualify because at the state meet, it's a whole different game. The places we're getting third or fourth aren't going to do anything down at the states. We're going to do our very best to get them to step up to what they're capable of."

The Indians' Paul Graeber was the Region II boys high-point winner. Graeber won the 100 with at time of 11.51 seconds, was second in the 200, second in the long jump behind teammate Chris Liebig and ran the final leg of the winning 4x200 meter relay team which set a school record with a time of 1:34.62.

Bridgeport's David Lawson (6-0) and teammate Vince Veltri also finished 1-2 in the high jump.

"I had no idea he did that," Griffith said. "He works hard and he's deserving of it."

Grafton's Sherri Flohr was the girls high-point winner, with victories in the 400 (1:02.7), 800 (2:28.39), 1,600 (5:39.94) and 3,200 (12:53.10).

The Bearcats held a lead late into the meet on Doddridge County, but the Bulldogs pulled away in the meet's final two events. Doddridge County's Jordan Walker won the 300 low hurdles, and teammate Nicole White finished second. In the last event, the 4x400 meter relay, Walker finished strong on the final leg to help the Bulldogs finish first -- less than three seconds in front of Grafton.

"I knew early on it was going to be close," Doddridge County girls coach Craig Kellar said. "Usually we go 1-2-3 in the pole vault but (Angela) Lowe finished second and busted up some of those points. Most of the time we're 18 points ahead right there. (Thursday) we're only 10. That's a big difference."

The Bulldogs also got the top two spots in the high jump. Tiffany Sutton cleared 5-4 to win the event, and teammate Blaine Spencer was second.

"I've said all along that a goal of ours would be to win the regional," Grafton girls coach Paul Martin said. "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't.

"Our kids ran hard. There were some surprises, and I think coach Kellar and I are still going to tinker around."

The state track and field meet will be held May 25-26 at Laidley Field in Charleston.

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

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