Editor's Note: This is the second and third in a series of articles on individuals and teams that will enter the Randolph County Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Zaia Wharton was an All-State runner in both track and cross country at Elkins High School. As NCAC and regional track champion in 1999 in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays, she was All-State in the 400-meter dash and competed on the state champion 4x800 relay team that set a state record (9:46.11).
In 2000, after winning the NCAC 400-meter dash, she again took All-State honors in that event at the state meet. Named NCAC Female Athlete of the Year in 2001 and 2002, she was conference high-point scorer in both years with wins in the 400-meter dash, 800-meter run, 300-meter low hurdles and 4x400 relay. After progressing to regional championships in the 800-meter run and 4x400 relay as anchor, she earned All-State honors in the 800-meter run as a junior.
In her senior year, she was regional champion in the 800-meter run, All-State in the 300-meter low hurdles and the 400-meter dash and state champion in the 800-meter event, scoring 13 of 15 points for EHS at the state meet.
As a freshman in 1998, she earned All-State honors with a fourth-place finish at the state cross country meet. In her junior season, she captured NCAC and regional championships in cross country, again achieving All-State status. In 2001, she was individual state champion as the Lady Tigers won the state cross country championship.
Wharton continued her track career at American University, setting school records in the 400-meter and 800-meter races. She was Patriot League indoor champion in the 1000 meters and a member of the school record-holding 4x400, 4x800 and 4x1500 relay squads.
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Erika Leigh Thompson excelled in cross country and swimming at Elkins High School. Named to All-Conference and All-State cross country teams as a freshman, she was a member of the 2001 state cross country championship team. She was named to the All-NCAC team again in her junior year.
In swimming, she qualified for the state meet all four years of high school. As conference champion in the breaststroke, she was named to the All-NCAC team in 2001-2002. In her junior season, she earned All-NCAC, All-Region, and All-State honors as the first EHS swimmer to medal at a state meet, finishing fifth in the 100-yard freestyle and seventh in the 50-yard freestyle.
Captain of the swim team in her senior season, she set school records in the 200-yard freestyle, 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke and 500-yard freestyle. At the state meet, she medaled in the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle events and competed on the 200-yard freestyle, 400-yard freestyle, and 200-yard medley relay teams that placed at the meet. She was named to the All-Region and Honorable Mention All-State teams in 2004-2005.
She served as an assistant coach with the Elkins Otter swim team and as a mentor with the Girls on the Run Program.
In 2009, Thompson qualified to run the Boston Marathon.