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winfield runners

Winfield long-distance runners Brayden Marshall, pictured to the left, and Matthew Scheneberg have recorded the state’s top times in nearly all the long individual track events this season.

CHARLESTON — If Winfield is going to make a run for the boys Class AA track title later this month, it will need a big boost from its pair of distance aces.

Senior Matthew Scheneberg and sophomore Brayden Marshall have hogged the state’s top times in nearly all the long individual events this season. And if they remain there, those times could go a long way toward the Generals hoisting another championship trophy when the state meet is staged May 18-21 at University of Charleston Stadium.

Scheneberg and Marshall competed with a scaled-back workload Thursday during the Tudor’s Biscuit World Charleston Relays at UC Stadium as the Generals finished second to Point Pleasant, which scored 160 points to Winfield’s 103. In the girls meet, Winfield held a 183-101 edge on Point for team honors.

The Tudor’s meet, formerly known as the Gazette-Mail Relays, brings together some of the top boys and girls teams in all three classes at the championship site three weeks before the state meet.

Scheneberg and Marshall only ran in a single individual event each Thursday, but helped the Generals establish a meet record in the 4x800-meter relay with a time of 8 minutes, 8.54 seconds, breaking a 19-year-old mark by almost five seconds despite a dropped baton on the first exchange.

Marshall later won the 1,600 in 4:28.20 and Scheneberg took the 800 in 2:00.89. Each capped a lighter-than-usual day by contributing a leg on the Generals’ victory in the meet-ending 4x400 relay (3:40.93).

“They work extremely well with each other during practice,’’ said Generals coach Shawn Anderson. “They train a lot together, and I think what you’re seeing is one pushing the other, enabling both of them to get better as they go along.

“You can’t ask for any better kids. They just work hard, show up every day and punch their time card at practice, and get with it. What they’ve done in the offseason is translating now, and it’s carried over from cross country. You just can’t say enough for either of them.’’

That tandem sparked Winfield to its first cross country championship last fall, as Marshall led the pack in the boys AA race and Scheneberg placed third. This spring, they’re back at it in track season, ranking 1-2 in the West Virginia in both the 1,600 and 3,200 according to figures posted on RunWV.com, with Scheneberg holding the state’s best time in the former and Marshall in the latter. In the 800, Scheneberg is first and Marshall third.

The Generals will likely need every point they can squeeze out of that combination, as they’re projected to again square off in a tight battle with Point Pleasant in the boys AA state meet. The Big Blacks emerged as state champs last year, denying Winfield a 10th title. Those same two teams are again 1-2 in the current RunWV power rankings, with Point still No. 1.

Once the postseason arrives, Scheneberg and Marshall are expected to compete in the open 800, 1,600 and 3,200 and also run a leg on either the 4x400 or 4x800 relay. They realize they’re not only in it for personal satisfaction, but are keys to their team’s championship fate.

“Definitely,’’ Scheneberg said. “Even when you’re hurting, you’ve got to place as high as you can, because every point matters, especially with it going to be close this year.’’

Marshall concurred.

“You’ve got that thought in your head the entire race,’’ he said. “You’re thinking, ‘I’ve got to beat this person, I’ve got to beat that person.’ You have to win for the team.’’

Last year, Scheneberg ran second in the 1,600 and 3,200 at the state meet and third in the 800 as those events were swept by Fairmont Senior’s Logan Zuchelli, who has since graduated. Marshall was fifth in the 3,200 and sixth in the 1,600 as a freshman.

Anderson finds himself with several talented athletes on the Winfield boys squad, including defending pole vault champion Ian Johnson (who cleared a season best of 14-2 to win on Thursday), but knows his distance duo carries a lot of potential points.

“I’d like to think our mid- and long-distance guys are probably our strength,’’ Anderson said, “along with pole vault and a couple other areas. It’s definitely going to take a total team effort and not just them doing it.

“You’ve got Point Pleasant out there, you’ve got Oak Glen, you’ve got Frankfort. Oak Glen and Frankfort have got some really good middle and distance kids. We battled them in the state cross country meet. We’re just going to have to be on our game when we need to be, and hopefully that will be May 18 and 19.’’

Scheneberg finds himself in a new role from when he joined the Generals track program in 2019 and was running alongside 10-time state champion Aaron Withrow, a record-setting distance runner who now competes at the University of Kentucky. As a freshman, Scheneberg had the state’s No. 4 time in the 3,200 and learned all he could from Withrow.

Now, at 18, he’s the one happily handing out advice to the 16-year-old Marshall.

“I would definitely say so,’’ Scheneberg said. “I try to be a leader to him, and kind of give him some sort of direction like Aaron did.’’

Marshall is thankful for the help.

“Having Matthew to run with and train with,’’ he said, “and just have around for advice and guidance has been so helpful. I feel like it has really pushed me to where I am today.’’

Sprinter Preston Taylor took the 100 and 200 and anchored Point Pleasant to victories in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays in Thursday’s boys meet. Teammate Ian Wood captured the 110 high hurdles (15.63) and 300 intermediates (42.18).

Cody Schultz, the defending state champion in the discus for the Big Blacks, turned in winning efforts of 168-5 in that event and 6-0 in the high jump and ended up as the boys meet top scorer with 28 points.

Herbert Hoover’s Nathan Harper led the long jump by soaring 21-83/4, best in the state in AA this year.

In the girls meet, heavy favorite Winfield didn’t waste any time asserting its superiority. In the first final event, Rachael Withrow shaved nearly 10 seconds off her season’s best time in the 3,200, turning in a meet-record effort of 11:04.93.

The Generals also swept both early sprint relays (4x100, 4x200) and freshman Makaila Armstrong led the 100 and 200 dashes with respective times of 12.75 and 26.78 seconds, both personal bests, as Winfield’s top sprinter and returning state champ Allie Germann took the day off. Emerson Vanscoy cleared a season-high 10-8 to take the pole vault.

For Point Pleasant, Elicia Wood won all four of her events — the high jump (5-2), 100 high hurdles (16.36), 300 low hurdles (50.80) and long jump (15-8) to finish as the girls high-point scorer with 40.

Wayne’s top finishers in the AA meet Thursday were Chace Thompson, who placed second in the boys 3,200 and Emily Williamson, second in the girls 800.

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