Highland Rams Track Takes To Field With Good Genes

Monterey, Virginia – The Highland Rams track team has a long history of strong performances and outstanding individual achievements. Last year, the team graduated star distance runner Hayley Billingsley – currently a red shirt freshman at Virginia Tech.

Jason Canze, last year’s assistant coach, got promoted to head coach and he’s confident in this year’s squad.

“They’re looking pretty good,” he said. “We have a lot of new people coming on and we have a few that are experienced, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how those people compete this year. The new ones are actually doing very well, so, I’m very happy about what the team looks like for this year.”

Canze expects his two seniors, Laurel Blagg and Joe Wagner, to excel.

“I expect Laurel Blagg will do really well in both discus and 100-meter,” he said. “Her sister, Samantha Blagg, will probably come on as a sprinter and maybe, as a hurdler. She could do very well, also. If Joe Wagner is jumping this year, I think he could be a great jumper. I’m excited to see how Julia Billingsley does. Her sister was a great athlete, a great long-distance runner, and she’s going to be competing this year. I think that she could do very well, also.”

Senior sprinter and discus thrower Laurel Blagg is confident, too.

“Well, I think we have a lot of younger people, which is, like, more potential for our team and more chance to do well,” she said.

Blagg’s been working hard to make regionals this year.

“Yeah, I’m pretty confident that I’ll do better, because I’ve been practicing” she said. “I think I’m throwing farther on discus.”

“Just, like, a few feet farther, but that’s enough,” Blagg added. “Last year, I didn’t get into regionals, by like a foot-and-a-half.”

Senior sprinter and long-jumper Joe Wagner has competed in track since eighth grade. Wagner, who made it to regionals last year in the long jump, explains why he prefers jumping over sprinting.

“The long jump,” he said. “It requires – well, it doesn’t make me as tired as the 100-meter or the 200.”

Wagner says it’s good to see new faces on the team.

“Smaller or larger, it’s been different over the years,” he said.”Experience-wise, my first year we had a lot of people that were experienced. This year, we have a lot of new faces – which isn’t bad, because then, they’ll will be the experienced ones and, hopefully, if we have a large enough team in the future, they’ll be teaching them how to do all these events and helping them throughout their career.”

The Rams’ first track meet at Parry McCluer on April 18 was postponed due to rain. AMR Sports will report the rescheduled date as soon as it is available.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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