By Brian Hoffman
photos by Tonya Woolwine
The Glenvar girls’ state championship track team poses with the VHSL plaque on Saturday afternoon. Left to right; Amanda Spradlin, Coach Neil Swanson, Maiah Gentry, Mahre Swanson, Rhyan Harris, Brooklyn Woolwine, Delaney Eller, Carly Wilkes, Adrianna Hall, Sydney Loder, Molly McCroskey, Joanna Kileen, Emma Pope, assistant coach Bekka Loder, and assistant coach Hannah Harris.
The Glenvar High girls won six events on their way to capturing the Virginia High School League Class 2 state outdoor track championship at James Madison University in Harrisonburg last weekend. The boys finished third in the state on a big day for Highlander athletes.
“I’m beyond ecstatic for the girls,” said Glenvar coach Neil Swanson. “They’ve earned every step of the way to get them to, and win, the state meet. What makes this year’s state championship special was that there was more contribution by all the girls that were there. The kids peaked
at just the right time.”
The girls have ruled the oval in the past two seasons, winning both the indoor and outdoor state championships in 2021 and 2022. Last weekend in Harrisonburg they scored 75 points to outdistance second place Strasburg, who had 63.
The meet marked the end of an amazing high school career for graduated senior Carly Wilkes
, who added four more state medals to her impressive trophy case. Carly won the 800 meters with a time of 2:17, took the 1,600 meters in a new Class 2 state record time of 4:49 and ran on the winning 4×400 relay team with Rhyan Harris, Delaney Eller and Sydney Loder. They finished with a time of 4:13.
With four more state medals Carly ends her Glenvar career with 26 total state championship medals, counting both team and individual medals. She participated in outdoor track, indoor track, cross country and swimming over a dominating four years, and even missed the 2020 spring season due to COVID.
Junior Sydney Loder also won three championships in addition to the team medal. She ran on the winning relay team and swept the hurdles. Sydney won the 100 meter hurdles in 15.37 and took the 300 meters in 46.67. She was also second in the high jump at 5’2” as senior Amaya Millner of Bruton won the event at 5’4”.
The top eight places scored, and Wilkes and Loder had plenty of help as the team championship was truly a team effort. Eller t
ook fifth in the 800 and sixth in the 400 along with her leg of the winning 4×400 relay. The girls 4×100 relay team of Mahre Swanson, Brooklyn Woolwine, Adrianna Hall and Harris was fifth. Harris also took seventh in the pole vault, Woolwine scored with an eighth place finish in the long jump and the 4×800 relay team took sixth.
Harris is a story in herself. She scored a goal in Glenvar’s Region 2C championship soccer game on Thursday ni
ght in Roanoke County before heading to JMU, where she scored in four events and just missed a fifth with a ninth place in the 400. Rhyan was also on the state championship volleyball team in the fall and was the top scorer on the basketball team in the winter.
The Glenvar boys scored 52 points in finishing third in the state. Fellow Three Rivers District member Radford won the boys’ title with 66 pints and Brunswick was second with 62.
Tyler Johnson was the leading scorer for the boys with runnerup finishes in both hurdle races. Avone Noel was second in the pole vault and Jackson Swanson took thirds in both the 100 and 200 meters.
Also scoring for the boys was Daniel Zearfoss, who completed an outstanding distance career at Glenvar with a fourth in the 3,200 and a fifth in the 1,600. Nick Woodson scored with an eighth in the 400, Colby Thompson was eighth in the triple jump and Glenvar’s 4×400 relay was sixth and the 4×800 was seventh.
“The boys gave a good run, but came up short in the end,” said coach Swanson. “Last year the boys were fourth and this year they were third. Definitely an improvement and something we can work with going into next track season.
“Overall, I’m really going to miss the Seniors. They’re a special group and I’m sad to see them go, but so excited to see what their future holds.”