'This is the best day of my life'

Kevin Mays • Feb 26, 2019 at 10:07 PM

SALEM — Years from now, Wise Central freshman Maddox Reynolds will be an answer to a trivia question involving the school.

On Tuesday, Reynolds won the 55-meter hurdles title at the VHSL Class 2 Track and Field Championships with a career-best time of 8.15 seconds.

The win at Roanoke College’s Cregger Center made him the first male athlete in the eight-year history of the school to capture a state championship.

“I’m overly excited about this,” Reynolds said. “I’m just so happy about this. I’d like to thank my family and the Lord for getting me here. I’m just so happy about this.

“This is the best day of my life.”

The championship only increased Reynolds’ excitement about the sport.

Following such a successful winter indoor season, the freshman can’t wait to see what the spring holds for him on the outdoor track.

“I’ve got outdoor track practice tomorrow and the next day and I’m just gong to work to try to get back to here next year,” Reynolds said.


After getting sage advice from coach Chris Crabtree to focus only on Tuesday’s event and put everything else out of his mind, Reynolds received a surprise visit from another coach when Jason Mullins — who has helped Reynolds with his hurdles — showed up before his race.

“I was confident, but I was nervous. I couldn’t look at my family. I couldn’t look at anybody,” Reynolds said. “And then I saw Coach J. He surprised me and held my blocks for me.”


Reynolds was not the only track and field star out of Region D to bring home a gold medal from the state championships Tuesday.

Union’s Avery Jenkins won the high jump competition with a leap of 6-02.

The senior was one of four finalists to advance to the 6-02 mark, but he was the only one to clear the bar, giving him the title.

“I knew it was going to take 6-02 to win it,” Jenkins, who was part of Union’s 4x100 Class 2 championship relay team last spring, said. “It was still a battle going into 6-02 with four of us left. I knew one of had to make it to win and I just told myself I can do it and I made it.”

Jenkins also finished seventh in the 55-meter dash and eighth in the 300 meters.

Chilhowie’s Molly Rhudy won both the 55 dash (7.27) and the girls’ long jump (17-07.25). Rhudy also finished third in the 300.

Patrick Henry’s Abigail Belcher took the state championship in the girls’ shot put (36-10).


Others from Region D who finished in the top eight to earn points for their teams were:

• Union boys — Zion Mitchell, third in the 55 hurdles, Justin Barnett, fourth in shot put.

• Wise Central boys —Andrew Deel, seventh in the 3,200.

• J.I. Burton boys — Najee Steele, fourth in the 300 and seventh in the triple jump, Owen Lindsey, eighth in the 1,600; girls — Lydia Blair-James, fourth in high jump and eighth in 55 hurdles.

• John Battle boys — 4x800 relay team, seventh.

• Patrick Henry boys —McKinley Kestner, sixth in the 500; girls — Sarah Cornett, third in 500, Catherine Gossman, sixth in 1600.

• Holston boys — Noah Thomas, fifth in the 55 dash and sixth in the 300, 4x200M relay, second.

• Chilhowie boys —Malachi Thomas, third in the high jump;

• Tazewell boys — Cameron Sanders, seventh in the 300.

• Marion boys — 4x200 relay, fourth;

• Tazewell girls — Katie Saunders, seventh in the 300.


Maggie Walker used its high number of athletes, particularly in the pole vault competition, to dominate the team competitions.

The Maggie Walker boys scored 99 points to win the team trophy. Auburn (43) edged Brunswick (42) for second.

Region 2D boys champion Union finished in a tie for seventh place.

Floyd County (30), Lancaster (29), Covington (26), Union, Prince Edward County, R.E. Lee-Staunton — with 24 points each — and Holston (23) rounded out the top 10 for the boys.

In the girls’ competition, Maggie Walker scored 110 points to outpace East Rockingham (40) and Glenvar (40), which tied for second.

Chilhowie (31), Prince Edward County (30), Auburn (29.3), Bruton (29), Greensville County (28) and Wilson Memorial (27) completed the top 10.

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