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Doddridge doubles its fun

by Mike Nutter

SPORTS WRITER

CHARLESTON -- After their showing Friday, it was for all purposes over.

There would be no close finishes, no need for the final event of the day -- the 4x800 relay -- and no serious threat from any other competitor. Not on Friday, not on Saturday and not on any day. At the expense of the rest of the girls AA-A field, the Doddridge County Bulldogs showed why they've been ranked No. 1 for the entire season, easily defending their AA-A title at the 2001 High School State Track and Field meet at Laidley Field.

The Bulldogs finished with 80 points, followed by Grafton (57) and Winfield (47).

The Bulldogs sealed the win with a victory in the shuttle hurdle relays, winning with a time of 1:06.93.

"That's when I finally felt safe," Doddridge County girls coach Craig Kellar said. "Before that we weren't far enough ahead, if we had something like a DQ and Grafton would get a couple of good finishes.

"We've never had a Friday like we did this year. I thought if we could hold serve we'd be all right. We didn't have real good finishes in some of those relays, but we had as good of times as we've had all year. That's about all you can do."

This year marked Kellar's 20th season with Doddridge County. It was his fifth state title, and he's also led five runner-up finishes at the school.

"Last year, I started thinking about who we were going to put in certain spots for this season as soon as I got on the bus," Kellar said. "We lose a lot from this team, but I'm not going to worry about it for a while, anyway."

Parkersburg finished with 85 points, 21 ahead of secondplace Capital to win the girls Class AAA title. Magnolia won the boys AA-A title with 66 points, followed by St. Marys (55) and Oak Glen (44).

Doddridge County and Ravenswood each tied for fourth with 37 points.

In boys Class AAA, Parkersburg South won with 75 points. South Charleston was second with 56 points, followed by Parkersburg (40).

Doddridge's Josh Sheets helped keep the Bulldogs close late with a win in the 1,600 (4:26.73).

Bridgeport hung close early in the girls competition.

The Indians got a big boost from Ali Moore, who surprised the field in the 100 meter hurdles. Moore edged out Doddridge County's Lori Coffman and Grafton's Ginny Keener. Moore took first with a time of 16.17. The Indians' 4x100 relay team was second (52.2), while Jamie Bragg finished sixth in the long jump.

Teammates Theresa Melko and Lacey Hill finished fifth and sixth, respectively in the shot put, for Bridgeport which finished seventh with 28 points.

"Our girls did all they could do," Grafton girls coach Paul Martin said. "(Doddridge) came up huge Friday, especially when (Judi) Rose won the discus. That was big.

"The better overall team won. Coach Kellar does a tremendous job with them. He had the girls in the right spots. We lose a couple of key girls next year that will be hard to replace, but I like what we've got coming up and the girls we have back."

Grafton's Sherri Flohr finished second behind Fayetteville's Jessica Taylor in the 1,600 and 800. The Bearcats‚ girls 4x400 relay team was second. Grafton's David Workman was second in the 400 with a time of 51.05.

Capital's Rosalyn Cary won girls Class AAA high-point honors with 40 points, while Jessica Taylor had the honors in AA-A with 30 points. Parkersburg

South's Chris Spencer finished with 25 points, one ahead of Robert C. Byrd's Tony Shade to win boys Class AAA high-point honors. St. Marys‚ Jared Davis was the boys AA-A high-point winner with 26 points.

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

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