Tribe Boys Track Team Rolls to Regional Win in 'AA' and Coach Jon Griffith Believes Team Can do Better

By Jeff Toquinto on May 15, 2018 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

If Bridgeport is to find a way to win another Class AA state championship in boys track, it’s going to need all hands on deck. What transpired last week at Lewis County High School in the Region II meet was a good sign that the possibility definitely exists that it could happen.
 
The Indians rolled to the Class AA Region II crown by more than 100 points Wednesday in Weston. The Tribe finished with 186 points, which was well ahead of runner-up Roane County with 77 in the 10-team regional.
 
While that may be good news, the better news is veteran Coach Jon Griffith doesn’t think it was his team’s best day.
 
“I felt like the boys had an average meet.  Some good, some okay, a few not so good.  Overall we did what we needed to do,” said Griffith.
 
With that in mind, Griffith wasn’t totally caught off guard by the results.
 
“I don’t think I was surprised by the results.  I am pleased with our consistency this season though,” said Griffith. “I’ve felt all along our real competition is Winfield and possibly Weir.”  
 
While the girls were winning tons of individual events, the boys were busy dominating one key area – the relays. In fact, the Indians did something that Griffith doesn’t believe has been doing during his decades as the Tribe’s head man.
 
“This is my 30th year coaching the BHS boys’ track and field team.  I don’t recall ever sweeping all five relays at the regional.  Of course it was awfully close to not happening,” said Griffith. “We were almost disqualified in the shuttles due to an official misapplying a rule.  Fortunately, we were able to get that corrected before it got too far. 
 
“Then the 4x100m relay dropped the baton during the last exchange.  Miraculously the baton bounced and stayed right in front of Chase and he was able to scoop it up, in stride, and still win the race,” Griffith continued. “I’ve never seen anything like that happen before, so we are going to do our best to make sure we don’t get in that position again.”
 
The Indians won the 4x100 relay with a time of 45.07 seconds. The group of Maverick Eddy, Trenton Shaw, Chase Binegar and Braeden Oldaker did the honors. The 4x200 team of Eddy, Shaw, Binegar and Hayden Hess won thanks to a time of 1 minute, 33.43 seconds.
 
Trenton Shaw, Tristan Shaw, Binegar and Kyle McCarthy won the 4x400 with a showing of 3 minutes, 32.79 seconds. In the 4x800, Bridgeport’s group of Mark Duez, Coleton Marsh, Logan Carr, and Hunter Hutson posted a winning time of 8 minutes, 56.04 seconds.
 
The shuttles win came courtesy of Oldaker, Josh Osborn, Tristan Shaw and Trenton Shaw. The foursome had a winning time of 58.12 seconds.
 
Bridgeport had two individual winners as well. Mark Duez, after getting edged out by less than a second in the 800 meter run by Robert C. Byrd’s Danah Phillips, returned the favor in the 1600 meters.  Duez posted a winning time of 4 minutes, 47.02 seconds to 4 minutes, 47.03 for Phillips.
 
“Mark and Dana … ran very strategic races in the 800 meters and 1600 meters.  Mark got one and Dana got the other.  Both are very talented runners and have a great deal of experience to draw on for these types of races,” said Griffith. “Even though the times are not always spectacular, the strategy and racing make it very exciting.”
 
Christopher Trent picked up another win in the shot put. It’s part of an impressive senior season for Trent as he had a winning thrown of 53 feet, 9 inches.
 
“His shot put is going very well.  He continues to get some really impressive throws and is capable of much more,” said Griffith. “We have seen his upside in practice and if he can get a hold of one in competition, it could be a mark that will stand a long time.”
 
The Indians were able to win thanks to their depth – once again. And that allowed the Tribe to achieve their regional goal.
 
“Our focus at regionals is to qualify as many athletes as we can.  When everyone is trying to qualify for the state meet, you are going to have a lot of guys fighting to get an extra place or two,” said Griffith. “With that comes a few more points in the team scoring.”
 
State qualifiers for Friday and Saturday’s Class AA state meet at Charleston’s Laidley Field include:
  • Maverick Eddy:  100m / 200m / 4x100m / 4x200m
  • Tristan Shaw:  High Jump / Long Jump / 4x400m / Shuttles
  • Ashton Davis:  High Jump
  • Chase Binegar:  400m / 4x100m / 4x200m / 4x400m
  • Coleton Marsh:  800m / 4x800m
  • Hayden Hess:  200m / 4x200m
  • Logan Carr:  4x800m
  • Mark Duez:  800m / 1600m / 4x800m
  • Josh Osborn:  Pole Vault  / Shuttles
  • Cade Robinson:  1600m
  • Jackson Jacobs:  1600m / 3200m
  • Braeden Oldaker:  110m H / 300m H / 4x100m / Shuttles
  • Kyle McCarthy:  400m / 4x400m
  • Chris Trent:  Shot Put / Discus
  • Trenton Shaw:  4x100m / 4x200m / 4x400m / Shuttles
  • Micah Swann:  Shot Put
  • Hunter Hutson:  4x800m
  • J.R. Coburn:  Shot Put
Editor's Note: Bottom two photos by Joey Signorelli of www.benqueenphotography.com.


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