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Clark leads Union to sweep of Conference 40 meet

KEVIN MAYS, Times-News Sports Correspondent • May 17, 2017 at 10:28 PM

NORTON —  Union’s Kalea Clark is quite unassuming about her athletic ability, especially given her family’s history.

Clark, the great niece of former Appalachia High School legend Edd “Stonega Stallion” Clark and cousin to two former NFL standouts Thomas and Julius Jones, won three events and finished second in two others Wednesday to lead the Union girls to the Conference 40 track and field championship at Wise-Central’s Tommy McAmis Stadium.

Despite the impressive outing, Clark said the title was all about team.

“We’ve got quite a few people and everyone has been working hard,” said Clark.

Edd Clark, who died in a tragic accident while saving youngsters from drowning, is remembered as one of the most prolific running backs in the history of Southwest Virginia high school football. His talent from the 1960s lives on today through newspaper clippings, legend and folklore.

Kalea Clark’s most vivid images of her famous great uncle comes from her grandmother Gloria Clark — Edd Clark’s sister.

“She’s told me about some. She’s my biggest supporter.”

The Union senior did her family name proud Wednesday winning the triple jump, the long jump and the 100 hurdles. She finished second in the 200 and as part of the 4x100 relay team.

Union also got big point production from junior Ashley Chester, who took second-place finishes in the high jump, triple jump, 300 hurdles, and as part of the 4x100 hurdles. She finished third in the long jump and shot put.

“I just want to help the team in any way I can,” said Chester. “We’re definitely in the hunt in the region. We have a lot of people and that will definitely help.”

Union’s girls finished with 142 points, outdistancing second-place Wise Central (122) and third-place Ridgeview (81).

Central senior Mikala Dykstra picked up four wins with victories in the high jump, 200 and as part of the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. Lebanon freshman Jessey Ball was a multiple event winner, taking victories in the 1,600 and 3,200.

Union’s boys completed the conference championship sweep by dominating the field with 168 points. John Battle finished second with 83 points, ahead of third-place Ridgeview with 80 points.

Adrion Jenkins led the Union effort with three wins, including the 110 hurdles, the 300 hurdles and the high jump. Union got two wins from NCAA Division I football prospect James Mitchell. The junior finished with victories in the triple jump and the 4x100 relay team.

John Battle’s Jonathan Haderer took wins in the shot put and discus, Union’s Dakota Owens won both the 200 and 400 and Lebanon’s John Easton was a dual winner in the 1,600 and 3,200.

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