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CM’s Beverage will be aiming for Barnes’ record at state meet

May 17, 2019

HUNTINGTON — Gavin Beverage wants the Class AAA state championship in the shot put this weekend, but that goal is no better than secondary to the Cabell Midland High School thrower.

Beverage’s primary personal target is Randy Barnes, specifically the track and field legend’s state record shot put throw of 61 feet 7 inches. Barnes, a two-time Olympian from St. Albans, West Virginia, has owned the mark since 1984.

Beverage has bettered Barnes’ throw this season, but the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission recognizes as state records only performances during the state meet, which takes place Friday and Saturday at University of Charleston Stadium.

“I really want that,” Beverage said. “I’ve been working hard for that record.”

A University of California-Riverside recruit, Beverage is an overwhelming favorite to win the individual championship in the shot put. His shot put heave of 64 feet 2.5 inches in the Carlos Akers/Doc Hale Memorial Meet at Cabell Midland on April 6 is his personal record and the eighth best in the nation this season. Beverage also bettered the state record with a toss of 62-8 in the Mountain State Athletic Conference meet on May 1.

His strongest competition likely will come from Spring Valley’s Doug Nester, who has the second-best throw in Class AAA this season with a heave of 53-9.

The event will not, however, be without drama. On April 20 at the Eastern Relays in Louisville, Kentucky, Beverage threw 60-9. Barnes’ record has been challenged but never equaled in 34 years. Neither has Barnes’ discus mark of 181-7, set in 1985. Beverage’s best throw is 171.5, second best in the state this year, but Hampshire’s John Hicks threw 190-1 in the Cardinal Classic in April and figures to challenge Barnes’ record.

Beverage gives Cabell Midland considerable points in his events, giving the always powerful Knights a leg up on a chance at a state title. Cabell Midland won the Class AAA, Region IV championship with 124 points despite winning only one other event. Will Turman, Jacob Ashworth, Mason Moran and Ben Parker teamed up to win the 4x800 relay in 8:59.52.

Cabell Midland’s depth, though, makes it a contender for a championship.

Cabell Midland’s girls also figure to contend after winning the Region IV title by 65 points over runner-up Hurricane. The Redskins, though, feature at least two opportunities for event victories. Nadia Lagos’ 5-6 performance in the high jump at the Carlos Akers/Doc Hale meet is the best in the state this season. Hurricane also owns the top performance in the 4x100, as Gabriell McNabb, Alyson Long, Abby Fowler and Sydney Wheeler combined to run 50.09 in the Mountain State Athletic Conference meet.

Hurricane’s Jaylen Snyder recorded the best high jump among boys in the state this season, with a leap of 6-8 at the MSAC championships. Andrew Ball of Spring Valley figures to be a strong contender, as well, having jumped 6-6. Snyder also owns the best long jump this season, having gone 23 feet.

Beverage isn’t the only local star thrower. Huntington High girls’ thrower Ravyn Goodson threw the discus a 2019 state-best 115 feet at the Carlos Akers/Doc Hale meet.