Share |

Saturday, November 6, 1999 -- Charleston
WV Association USATF Championships
Story by Don Parks with photos by Don Parks and Mike Massey

[Coverage/Recap] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4] [Results]

Benjamin Wise
Benjamin Wise strides toward a 1st place finish
Everyone was happy with the good weather that came with the 1998 Championships, but it was even better in 1999. Saturday morning at Coonskin Park brought cloudy skies and mild temperatures that warmed into the afternoon as the sun fought to make a few late appearances. With a challenging (plenty of hills) and fun course set for this AAU National Championship and USATF Regional Championship qualifier, the first runners got the action started at 10:00am.

The first heat was the Boys 10 and Under with Benjamin Wise and Chase Smith dueling over a 3K course. Smith set a quick pace early as Wise chased close behind. Late in the race Wise moved into the lead as Smith began to struggle. Wise held the advantage to the finish with a winning time of 14:08 to Smith's 14:17.

Sydney Metheny
Sydney Metheny leads the way to the finish line
Next up were the Boys and Girls 11-12 and they had a few more hills to contend with as the course was extended to a 4K distance. Among the boys it was S Luke Bruner (17:53) who first grabbed the lead as Jon Godwin suffered a little early. Godwin recovered nicely as he went on to pass Bruner and finish strong with a winning time of 16:29. In the girl's field it was first place Sydney Metheny (18:37) and second place Emma Miller (18:43) running a close race wire-to-wire with Metheny never giving up her small advantage.

Also racing the 4K distance were the Boys and Girls 13-14. The boys race was dominated by Nick Dent (14:37) with Chelsea Metheny (17:58) putting on a similarly impressive performance against the girls. Both won their divisions leading their respective races from start to finish.

Race Start
The Boys 17-18 head to the hills
With the start of the Boys 15-16 race the course was again extended, this time by adding a prologue loop to put the total distance at 5K. Taking a bit of a relaxed early pace, Kenny Beerbower eventually moved up to run shoulder-to-shoulder with Stephen Hiser at the front. Also running strong late in the race was Nathan Carpenter who moved up onto the heels of Beerbower and Hiser. The pair managed to hold off his late charge and finished in tandem at 18:08 with Carpenter just a few strides back in third at 18:09.

The Boys 17-18 started next with Dustin Dent pushing the pace off the front for most of the race. However, Shaun Spielman wasn't letting him get away without a fight as he patiently moved into the second place spot near the halfway mark. Late in the race Spielman was able to challenge Dent and inside the final kilometer he surged his way into the lead. Spielman's strong finished earned him first place with a time of 17:06 while Dent easily held on to second with a 17:14.

Uphill running
The Hatfields chase Ryan Metheny uphill
The final heat of the day combined the Girl's 15-16 and 17-18 age divisions along with the Open class runners. The battle for the lead pitted Stephanie Hatfield, racing in the 15-16 class, against Ryan Metheny in the 17-18 class. Running stride for stride early in the race, Metheny eventually built a small advantage. She was able to build on the lead late in the race and finished first overall with a time of 21:51. As Hatfield began to drop back, her father Carl Hatfield was there to offer encouragement. He went on to sneak around her late in the race and secure the Open class win in 22:08. His daughter crossed the line close behind to take the Girl's 15-16 win with a time of 22:17.

The beautiful afternoon came to end as the last racers took home their medals and the field cleared out. Many thanks go out to the hard work provided by race director Paul Gilmer and his faithful crew of assistants, Sam & Violet Reese, Andy Barham, Chip Ferrell and Paul Cantrell. Good luck to everyone representing WV at the AAU Nationals and the USATF Regionals.