by Jamie Harris & Bill Sterner
This past fall the sports writers from the Morgan Messenger and Hancock News have partnered up with the athletic directors and head coaches from Berkeley Springs High School, Hancock High School and Paw Paw High School to select an All Area Team for the fall, winter and spring varsity sports that the teams compete in.
With each all area team there will be a player of the year for both the male and female athletes selected by a committee panel. For the all area boys and girls track and field teams the members were selected based on head to head performances this past year and the individual’s performances at their respective state, regional or conference track championships.
The 2019 Female Track Athlete of the Year is Berkeley Springs High School sophomore long distance running sensation Belle Harvey. Harvey had a phenomenal season in track consistently winning the 3200 and 1600 meters. Harvey was the PVC champion, fourth in the Class AA Region I 1600 meters and second in the Class AA Region I 3200 meters. At the W.Va. Class AA State Track and Field Championships Harvey finished as state runner-up in the 3200 meters and earned a second all state place medal with a sixth place finish in the 1600 meters.
Joining Harvey from Berkeley Springs High School were Kaleah Mellott (Discus & Shot Put), Aslyn Didawick (discus), Darby Harris (shot put), Brooke Davison (4×800 meter relay), Taylor Mason (4×800 meter relay), Hannah Moran (4×800 meter relay) and Kierstyn Wise (4×800 meter relay). Mellott was the 2019 Class AA PVC discus champion and finished in second place in the shot. Didawick was a PVC discus runner up, while Harris finished in third place in the PVC shot and was fourth in the shot at the Class AA Region I Championships. The 4×800 meter relay team of Davison, Moran, Mason, and Wise were Class AA State Track and Field Championships qualifiers and had finished in sixth place in the region championships.
Joining them from Paw Paw was freshman Alexis Barker. Barker captured the Class A PVC shot put title and finished in fifth place in the Class A Region II Championships.
Hancock was represented by Lakyn Unger (shot & discus).
The 2019 Male Track Athlete of the Year is Berkeley Springs junior Avery Lackey. Lackey was the area’s best pole vaulter all season and by the time the state championships rolled around the junior saved his best for last. At the Class AA Region II Championships Lackey finished in third place.
However the following week at the Class AA State Track and Field Championships Lackey pulled off the upset by winning the state pole vault championship in an event that got pushed to day two due to the weather. The delay did not bother the talented junior jumper as he stayed mentally prepared and went out vaulting 12’6” to capture his first state championship. With a state title locked up Lackey was an unanimous choice for the 2019 Morgan Messenger and Hancock News Male Track Athlete of the Year.
Joining Lackey from Berkeley Springs were Ty’Jae Armstrong (long jump state qualifier), Caden Gaither, Sterling Slusher, Mason Roberts and Daniel Golden. Those four runners were Class AA state 4×800 meter qualifiers and ran a personal best at the state championships.
Hancock was represented by Spencer Hose, Eddy Leach, Colin Mosier and Charlie Plummer. Plummer was the SSMA discus champion and a Class 1A Maryland state discus qualifier. Hose participated in the relays and throwing events. Mosier participated in the jumping events and sprint relays. Leach was the SSMA 110 hurdle champion and participated in the sprints as well.
Paw Paw High School was represented by sophomore distance running stand out Dominic Tanouye. Tanouye was undefeated in the regular season in the distance events for Paw Paw and qualified for the Class A State Track and Field Championships in the 1600 meters. At the state meet Tanouye finished in eighth place.