But Slater thinks it's already started a new tradition.
"Yes, I think it might,'' he said. "There should be a girl vaulter coming up next year who's doing really well, too - Hailey [Snodgrass of Horace Mann]. She's an eighth grader right now and she's jumping 8 feet, 6 inches.''
Other Kanawha Valley single winners Saturday:
So what was Jackie Zuliani, coach of No. 1-ranked Buckhannon-Upshur, doing at Laidley Field Saturday afternoon?
Zuliani didn't have a team to direct. Her only two athletes in the meet - weight throwers Mackenzie Leigh and Megan Wilfong - competed Friday night in the girls AAA division.
"I'm just enjoying the meet with no pressure,'' Zuliani said, "and enjoying the sport without having to worry about kids.''
The Bucs didn't bring a full squad to the Gazette Relays, Zuliani said, because many were involved in academic pursuits, one in California and several at the State Capitol, including nine-time state champion Emily Godwin. The rumor going around Laidley Friday night was that the school was holding its prom, but that was untrue.
"It's unfortunate,'' Zuliani said of missing the Relays. "It just didn't work out for us this year. We wish we could have been here to compete. It's like a pre-state meet and you get to see some teams we don't get to see that often, like Jefferson.''
Zuliani wasn't sure if the absence will turn into a disadvantage for B-U. When the Bucs competed in the Gazette Relays in 2010 and '11, they turned around and won state titles three weeks later. They missed the Relays last year and finished second to Morgantown in the state meet.
"We'll have to see,'' Zuliani said. "I hope it's not a disadvantage. The part I hated was that we could have used another meet to experiment with some things, to shift around. We have our conference meet this week, then the regionals. So maybe it might be [a disadvantage] in the long run. Hopefully, taking the weekend off won't hurt anybody.''
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.