APEX — The last realignment was good to the track and field teams of Apex and Cary. For the four seasons there has been a Tri-9 Conference, Apex’s girls and Cary’s boys have won the titles.
The schools completed the four-year sweep Thursday as the two-day event wrapped up at Apex High. Next school year the league will have eight teams and a new name – the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference.
Apex’s girls were strong in the field events and sprints, and it showed as Sydnei Murphy won the girls’ running MVP and Brianna Heilsnis the girls’ field MVP.
The Cary boys were solid in hurdles, relays and distance races. Senior Bakri Abushouk won the boys’ running MVP.
Apex’s Reyho Tshiama was the field MVP.
Sprints: Two sophomores – Apex’s Murphy and Cary’s Layla White – stole the show in the girls’ sprints.
Murphy took the 100 (12.18 seconds) and set a conference meet record in the 400 (57.36). White set a conference record in the 200 (25.47). The two had battles: Murphy’s 400 win was by one-tenth of a second, and White’s 200 victory came by two-hundredths of a second.
White’s record bested the one set last year by Sydnei’s older sister Alexis Murphy, and while Sydnei Murphy’s 400 record bested a mark set in 2006 by Athens Drive’s Christy Johnson. Sydnei Murphy was out of the state during last year’s track season, so this is the first time year they’ve gone head-to-head.
“It’s a really friendly competition. We’re the best of friends, so it’s awesome to go back and forth,” Murphy said. “We bring the best out of each other.”
On the boys’ side, Panther Creek’s Patrick Edwards won the 100 (11.21), Middle Creek’s Naylaan Lopez won the 200 (22.88) and Apex’s Jalen Ware captured won the 400 (50.26). Lopez’s win was by six-hundredths of a second.
Green Hope’s Rayna Yvars won the 100 hurdles (15.54) for the third straight year and Apex’s Christy Czarnecki took the 300 hurdles (46.51).
Cary’s Paul Taylor swept the boys’ hurdles with a 42.67 in the 300 and 15.23 in the 110.
Field events: Apex won all but one girls’ field event. Murphy claimed the long jump (17 feet, 10 1/4 inches), Caitlin Muddiman the high jump (5-0) and Anna Eaton the pole vault (11-6).
Apex’s Brianna Heilsnis swept the girls’ throws, taking the shot put (36-8) and discus (131-5). It was Heilsnis’ fifth Tri-9 title (three straight in discus, and the 2010 shot).
“Even though I maybe the top here, I have to work to be the top in the state,” said Heilsnis, the Wake County record-holder in the discus.
Middle Creek’s Vaniah Russel took the girls’ triple jump (35-0).
On the boys’ side, Fuquay-Varina’s Jake Hartzell took the shot put (45-7), and Middle Creek freshman Terrell Adams won the discus (129-4).
Holly Springs high jumper Jack Nosbisch, also a Wake County champion, defended that title with a 6-2 leap.
“Last year … I had just moved to Holly Springs from Fayetteville,” Nosbisch said. “Now I’m finding my rhythm and everything. It’s just coming natural now.”
Apex’s Joe DeVries won the pole vault (13-6) by edging teammate Michael Utecht on misses. Tshiama took the long (20-5 3/4) and triple jumps (44-9).
Distance: In an area where the Tri-9 usually excels on the state level, Abushouk – the state 4A boys’ cross country champion – pulled off the trifecta of the 800 (1 minute, 56.50 seconds), 1,600 (4:21.19) and 3,200 (9:31.93).
He ends his career with five individual Tri-9 track titles and a part of all four team titles.
“The team matters the most,” Abushouk said, crediting his teammates in hurdles and relays. “That’s what makes us win.”
Panther Creek’s Rebekah Greengrass won the 3,200 (11:19.92) and repeated her title in the 1,600 (5:07.25). The girls’ 800 went to Maura McDonnell (2:17.93) of Green Hope.
Relays: Cary swept the boys’ and girls’ 3,200 relays. The girls’ team of Julia Brown, Sarah Hoffert, Zoe Martin and Lydia Averette ran 9:42.56 and while the boys’ team of Abushouk, Josh Barrett, Justin Lane and Abel Tecle ran 8:13.63.
Holly Springs cleaned up in the shorter relays, winning the girls’ 800 (1:44.67) and setting a conference record in the girls’ 400 (49.75) with the same foursome of Ashley Cawthon, Tunisha Prince, Ryan Billingsley and Alexis Lee.
The boys’ teams of Jordan Thompson, Kelvin Wilson, Elijah Reteguiz and Montravius Montgomery won the 400 4-by-100 relay (44.42), while Reteguiz, Kyle Cozzens, Wilson and Myiles Harrison won the 800 in 1:31.16.
Cary’s girls’ team of White, Brown, Hoffert and Martin won the 1,600 (4:02.44). Green Hope’s Mahmoud Saad, Will Jordan, Brad Pehr and William Gao won the boys’ 1,600 (3:28.93).
Coaches: Tri-9 coaches of the year were Green Hope’s Firman Walden for girls and Apex’s Roy Cooper for boys.
Blake: 919-460-2606; Twitter: @JMBpreps