CHARLESTON — Tori Mackowiak joined the lengthy list of Oak Hill High School state track and field champions this past weekend.
Mackowiak, who recently graduated from OHHS, took care of a little bit of business Saturday before she attends Marshall University later this year and competes for the Thundering Herd.
Mackowiak earned a state championship in the Class AA girls 400-meter dash at the WVSSAC State High School Track and Field Championships on Laidley Field at the University of Charleston Stadium. On an uncomfortably hot day, she toured the one-lap event on the Laidley Field oval in 56.99 seconds, defeating runner-up Kayla Grose (1:00.30), from Frankfort, by more than three seconds.
After finishing third in the Class AA girls 400 last year at the state meet, Mackowiak had her eyes set on the top prize this spring.
“I am extremely humbled and blessed,” Mackowiak told The Register-Herald. “This is honestly a dream come come true. It hasn’t quite set in just yet, but I am elated.”
Mackowiak told The Register-Herald she used the favorite's role as motivation Saturday.
“It helped my confidence,” Mackowiak said. “In years past I was like, OK, underdogs are a thing. But this year, knowing I was the favorite I just told myself I had this. I feel like I put in the most work out of anybody this season. I have worked since October, every day.”
Mackowiak later placed third in the 200 (26.12) as the Red Devils girls amassed 36 points to place fourth, just ahead of fifth-place Shady Spring (34). Winfield was the team champion with 124 points.
The Red Devil girls also got a third-place effort from Shannon Farrow in the 100 (12.92) and a fourth-place showing from Kiya Babkirk in the 300 hurdles (48.89), as well as placing in three of five relays.
For the Red Devil boys, Michael Beasley added a fourth-place showing in the 300 hurdles (41.56) to his pair of runner-up finishes in the long jump and high jump Friday. Ian Bibb raced to a fifth-place finish in the 800 (2:01.07), and the Red Devils were fifth in the 4x800 relay (8:31.49).
The Midland Trail boys got a fourth-place showing from Roger Carte in the Class A discus (133-4).
In Class AAA, the Riverside boys scored 20 points to place 11th overall. Spring Mills won with 71, and Woodrow Wilson was fourth with 42.
For the Warriors, Carson Casto and Trevor Carson led the way. Casto was second in the 300 hurdles (40.81), while Carson logged two third-place finishes: 400 in 50.66 and 800 in 1:55.99.
Kaylee Nickoson finished 10th in the Class A long jump (14 feet, 11.5 inches) and 11th in the high jump (4-8) over the weekend for the Valley Greyhounds. Nickoson was the last athlete to compete for Valley High School in its history.
Other team winners included the Williamstown girls and Doddridge County boys in Class A, the Winfield boys in Class AA, and the Ripley girls in Class AAA.
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Woodrow Wilson had a pair of high-point finishers over the weekend.
Senior Mikah Alleyne scored 40 points by capturing four individual running events. She was victorious in the 200 (25.60), 400 (56.04) 100 hurdles (15.21) and 300 hurdles (44.51).
Fellow senior Chris Barbera won three events to put 30 points in the books. He crossed the line first in the 800 (1:55.22), 1600 (4:15.38) and 3200 (9:11.41).
In Class AA, Shady Spring's Erica Hegele won the 100 hurdles (15.24) and 300 hurdles (44.81) and placed fourth in the long jump (16-9).
Independence's Kaleb Mills also nailed down a state championship in the 110 hurdles (15.31).
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On the weekend, finishers from Fayette County schools and Riverside included:
• Tori Mackowiak, Oak Hill — First place, 400, 56.99
• Michael Beasley, Oak Hill — Second place, long jump, 22-7 3/4
• Michael Beasley, Oak Hill — Second place, high jump, 6-2
• Shannon Farrow, Oak Hill — Third place, 100, 12.92
• Tori Mackowiak, Oak Hill — Third place, 200, 26.12
• Carson Casto, Riverside — Second place, 300 hurdles, 40.81
• Trevor Carson, Riverside — Third place, 400, 50.66
• Trevor Carson, Riverside — Third place, 800, 1:55.99
• Kiya Babkirk, Oak Hill — Fourth place, 300 hurdles, 48.89
• Roger Carte, Midland Trail — Fourth place, discus, 133-4
• Oak Hill — Fourth place, girls 4x200 relay (Courtney Smith, Georgia White, Tori Mackowiak, Shannon Farrow), 1:49.21
• Oak Hill — Fourth place, girls 4x400 relay (Georgia White, Courtney Smith, Kiya Babkirk, Tori Mackowiak), 4:09.78
• Michael Beasley, Oak Hill — Fourth place, 300 hurdles, 41.56
• Ian Bibb, Oak Hill — Fifth place, 800, 2:01.07
• Oak Hill — Fifth place, girls 4x800 relay (Samiah Lynch, Courtney Smith, Morgan Wills, Kiya Babkirk), 10:13.46
• Oak Hill — Fifth place, boys 4x800 relay (Seth Crosier, Mason Harp, Ian Bibb, Dylan Massey), 8:31.49.
— Steve Keenan