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Huskies, Polar Bears claim NCAC championships

by Frank Tate


(May 13) BUCKHANNON -- North Marion's boys track team broke a 12-year drought and the Fairmont Senior girls team continued its dominance in the North Central Athletic Conference championship meet on Tuesday at Buckhannon-Upshur High School.

North Marion narrowly defeated Buckhannon-Upshur 145-128.5 while Elkins finished a distant third with 85.5 points. Fairmont Senior (78) and Lewis County (42) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

"The kids responded real well today," North Marion boy's coach Larry Conaway said. "We had a couple kids injured today and the kids who replaced them stepped up. Our field events are what pulled us through."

Ryan Dumont led the Huskies as he finished first in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters and was a member of the 4x100 meter relay team that finished second. For his efforts, Dumont was named NCAC track athlete of the year while Conaway earned NCAC boys coach of the year honors.

Several records were broken during the day with none more riveting than Nathan Fields' performance in the high jump.

With much of the crowd cheering him on, Fields, a junior who has already received attention from Marshall, West Virginia University and Northwestern, easily cleared 7-feet to shatter the meet record by more than six inches. He came up just short on an attempt at 7-2.

Buckhannon-Upshur's David Conley also had a solid meet by winning first in the 110 high hurdles, 300 intermediate hurdles and was a member of the winning shuttle hurdles team.

In the girls meet, Fairmont Senior continued its dynasty with its sixth consecutive girls title as the Polar Bears edged out Buckhannon-Upshur, 127-115.

Elkins (82), North Marion (77) and East Fairmont (61) rounded out the top five.

"It feels great. I'm just real pleased with the girls work ethic and determination," Fairmont Senior head coach Teri Ash said. "There is a lot of competition out there. Everybody in the conference is getting stronger and it's getting tougher to win these championships."

East Fairmont's Holly Hunter was named NCAC female track athlete of the year as she broke two of her own records in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters runs.

Also, Darcy Thompson from Fairmont Senior set a meet record in the pole vault with a vault of 8-0.

North Marion's Jaime Graham took first place in the 100 high hurdles, 300 low hurdles and was a member of the winning 4x100 meter relay team.

Ash was named girls track coach of the year in the conference.

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