FOREST — Hannah Pettyjohn began her Wednesday by setting a Jefferson Forest school record in the shot put at the Region 4D Track & Field Championships. Her throw of 39 feet, 7 inches gave her the region title, her third of the two-day event.
On Tuesday, she captured the pole vault (11-00) and high jump (5-02) titles. In addition to her win Wednesday, she also took second in the discus, third in the 100 hurdles and ran the opening leg of JF's runner-up 4x400 relay, finishing the last meet before the Class 4 state championships by competing in a whopping six events.
With the shot put, Pettyjohn set a personal record by 2 feet. She's been going almost non-stop since September, practicing and then competing in indoor track before this outdoor season.
"I've been doing well for a couple weeks in a row right now," Pettyjohn said. "I guess it's just because I've been coming to practice and putting in the work."
Individually, Pettyjohn accounted for 44 points (factor in JF's 4x400 relay and she finished with 52). Forest finished with 144 points to challenge champion Blacksburg (188.3).
Pettyjohn, junior Kandace McIvor and freshman Zoie Lamanna combined for 93 individual points (they each received additional points for relays).
On a hot and humid day, Lamanna captured the 800 run (2:21.43) and 1,600 run (5:05.48, a PR by one second) and also ran the first leg in the 4x800 relay, which JF won with a 10:13.25 with Beall Roberts, Shauna Skow and Lauren Vossen. Lamanna will compete in all three events June 19 at the Class 4 state meet at Liberty University, looking for her first career state title after serving as the first JF girl to cross the finish line at the cross country championships in April (she finished eighth).
"It's been an adjustment," Lamanna said of her rise into the high school ranks, "but I think I'm starting to just really come through for myself and focus on what I can do instead of who I can beat and what time or pace I should be running. I really just focus on how I can run my best race."
McIvor was busy, too, winning the long jump with a 17-01.50 (Amherst's Cyanna Cabel was second with a 16-09.75), took second in the 300 hurdles, third in the triple jump and fourth in the 200 dash and anchored that runner-up 4x400 relay (with Addie Wisskirchen, Sofia Marano and Pettyjohn).
"I had to remember the fundamentals," McIvor said about the long jump finals, "to get my knees up and my feet out. When I did that, that's what got me the 17(-foot-plus finish)."
Also on the girls side, E.C. Glass senior Sarah Handel won the 300 hurdles with a 48.22, and Amherst won the 4x100 relay. The Lancers team of Cabel, Cierra Hunter, Kendra Smith and Kiara Smith) posted a 50.15 to defeat Salem by nearly two seconds.
On the boys side, JF's Addison Hilton won the 200 (22.00) and 400 dashes (48.84) and also anchored the 4x400 relay, which took first place with a 3:27.17 (with Landon Epperson, Joseph Whaley and Collin Mays).
Hilton ran away with the 200 (Pulaski's Brady Fowler was a distant second with a 22.51) and then set a new school record in the 400 dash.
Distance runner and junior Brannon Adams won the 1,600 and the 3,200. On a day when all events were compressed to beat storms rolling through the area, Adams changed his approach. Instead of 3 hours, 15 minutes between events, he was afforded roughly 1 hour, 15 minutes instead.
He broke an 11-year-old school record in the 1,600, eclipsing John Morris' 2010 mark of 4:25.10 with a 4:24.51 and led the entire way, and then posted a 9:56.52 in the 3,200.
"You finish that [1,600] race, you can't worry about resting," he said of his strategy once athletes showed up and found out the meet would be compressed. "You're already preparing for the next race. You have to know you're not gonna run as fast [as you planned] in the next race, but it's not about time or about how fast you go. It's really about how well you can place."
Hilton and Adams, together with JF's runner-up 4x800 relay, helped the Cavaliers to a third-place finish (105 points) behind champ Pulaski (193) and Blacksburg (154). Amherst was fourth (92) and received two victories from Isaiah Idore, who claimed the 110 hurdles (15.34) and 300 hurdles (40.48).
E.C. Glass junior Markevus Graves won first in the discus with a 130-07, claiming it by nearly 7 feet.
Amherst's Nick Moore won the pole vault with a 13-00, and the Lancers were second in the 4x100.