Wesleyan boys build early lead in 7-A track meet

A major challenge from Eagle's Landing Christian awaits in today's running finals, but the Wesleyan boys track and field team got off to an impressive start in Monday's field events.

The host Wolves qualified athletes for state in six of seven events, building an 85-70 lead on ELCA entering the meet's final day. Providence Christian stands alone in third with 26 points.

"I'm extremely proud of our kids, going out and qualifying in almost every field event," Wesleyan boys coach Chad McDaniel said. "Our guys in the 1,600 (-meter run), (Chris) Duvall and (Brandon) Ramsey ran faster than they were seeded. And to go 1-2 in an event like the shot put is very impressive."

Football standouts Andrew Patrick and Josh Parrish provided the 1-2 finish in the shot with tosses of 44 feet, 41/2 inches and 40-111/2, respectively. Patrick also qualified for state with a runner-up finish in the discus (119-01/4).

Ramsey placed second in the 1,600 in 4 minutes, 34 seconds while Duvall, fresh off finishing his soccer season, was third in 4:38.

Providence's Colby McHugh won the region high jump title (5-8) and Wesleyan's Cole Watson was second at 5-6. The Wolves also got runner-up showings from Zander Yost in the triple jump (40-1) and Wes Ayres in the pole vault (11-6).

Those efforts helped build up a nice first-day total, which Wesleyan hopes is enough to hold off ELCA.

"They bring a lot of speed to the track," McDaniel said. "But anything can happen. I wouldn't put it past our kids to have their best day."