Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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October 29, 2013

Hamm to compete in cross country, volleyball on same day

PRINCETON — There are many high school athletes who play multiple sports, but few can boast that they participate in them on the same day.

Saturday, Taylor Hamm, a junior at Princeton Senior High School will run in the West Virginia Class AAA Cross Country Meet, then join her Tigers’ teammates on the volleyball court in the Mountain State Athletic Conference tournament. It proves to be a busy and tiresome day for Hamm.

“It’s a little stressful because I want to do my best in both,” Hamm said. “I know I’m going to be worn out in cross country, if I do my best and then also in volleyball. I am hoping that I can do well in both.”

Hamm finished fifth in last week’s Class AAA regional cross country meet at Cedar Lakes in Ripley. Her time was 22:18, a personal best and in qualifying for the state meet she became the first Princeton state qualifier since the sport was re-established at the school in 2009.

According to Hamm, it was her parents who got her into running.

“I really hated it, but my parents kind of made me do it,” Hamm said. “I just started trying hard last year and I figured since I was No. 13 in the region, I had to do my best. I knew the top 10 went upstate and I really wanted to go upstate.”

Hamm’s mother, Tressie has a different story as to Taylor’s origins in cross country, giving credit to Taylor’s older sister Rae, who was also a runner at PSHS. Taylor, laughed and agreed with her mother.

An athlete full of energy on the volleyball and basketball courts, Hamm explained how she is able to compete in four different sports at PSHS, two in the same season.

“I just like playing sports. I go hard every time because there is no point in doing something and not giving it my all,” Hamm said.

After running in the cross country meet Saturday morning at Cabell Midland High School, she will later join her volleyball teammates not too far away at Winfield High School for the MSAC tournament. She talked about participating in both sports.

“Probably the biggest challenge is not getting to compete in all the meets I want to because when there is volleyball and cross country, I pick volleyball,” Hamm said. “All the other girls are ranked really high because they run all these different courses and I don’t get to experience what they are experiencing.”

Hamm said that she ran the Cabell Midland course as a freshman and it’s a “pretty flat course but every course is tough.” She said the course in Beckley is one of her favorites because it repeats and she is able to gauge how far she has left to run.

A member of the basketball and track team, she runs the 400, 200 and 100 meters and is considering adding the 800 to her plate this coming season.

While according to her mother, older sister Rae got her into running cross country, younger brother Jared, who is a freshman at PSHS, also participates in four sports and they have a competition in basketball and running.

“We run together and it’s very competitive,” Hamm said. “I won’t let him beat me.”

Hamm plans on leaving for the cross country meet on Friday evening, run Saturday morning, then join her volleyball teammates Saturday afternoon.

 • • •

Hamm won’t the only local athlete to gather in Ona on Saturday.

She will be joined by the PikeView boys and girls cross country teams, who will participate in the Class AA-A state meet.

Leading the PikeView boys will be Jason Weitzel, who won the Region III meet last Thursday and is considered a favorite heading into the event.

Weitzel will be joined by the PikeView team, which will also include Garett Butler, Dakota Cecil, Chris McBride, William Deason, Austin Hazelwood and Joseph Bisaha.

The PikeView girls team, which won the Region III team title, will also compete in Ona. Among the participants for the Panthers are Katelyn Odle, Sophie Klein, Lauren Hatfield, Alexis Sheets, Kaylin Kessinger, Rebecca Sheets and Brandy Powell.

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