GREENSBORO — The 4-by-400 relay has been called the most exciting event in track and field. That was certainly the case at the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A championships on Saturday at Irwin Belk Stadium on the campus of North Carolina A&T.
Southeast Raleighs girls (89 points) pulled ahead of three-time defending champ Wakefield (82). Wakefield needed to finish at least three spots ahead of Southeast to keep the Wolverines title streak going.
Knightdales boys (68 points) wrapped up their third straight championship and broke a record that had stood for 26 years.
Relays: Knightdales finish in the boys 4-by-400 took out a record set by Hillside that had stood since 1987. The Knights, who also claimed the 4-by-800 (7:46.19), are ranked No. 1 in the nation in the 4-by-400.
Junior Marquavious Johnson ran the anchor leg, while senior Bernard Freeman and juniors Marcell Johnson and Henry Kiedy ran the others.
Its a blessing to run with these guys, Marquavious Johnson said. Before the race we were hyping up each other to try and break the record.
Knightdale was also second in the 4-by-200, followed by Apex in third. Carys boys were runner-up in the 4-by-800.
Wake Forest-Rolesville won the boys 4-by-100. Southeast Raleigh was second in the 4-by-400.
Wakefields girls looked as though they had set a new state record in the 4-by-100, but the team was disqualified after it was discovered that one of the handoffs took place outside of their lane. The 10 lost points proved crucial when Southeast, who finished second in the 4-by-100, entered the final event with a four-point lead on the Wolverines.
Any chance of Wakefield winning by a large enough margin was wiped out when Southeasts Tametrius Morrison ran the anchor leg to help the Bulldogs take the second.
(It was) overwhelming joy, Morrison said.
Cary was third in the 4-by-400 while Wakefield was fourth. Cary was also runner-up in the girls 4-by-800.
Broughtons girls won the 4-by-800 (9:10.26). Winston-Salem Parkland set girls state records in the 4-by-200 (1:37.83), where West Johnston finished second, and the 4-by-400 (3:47.70).
Sprints: The Triangle held court in the fastest girls events.
West Johnstons Jasmine Dawson won the 100 (11.70), Wakefields Tyra Lea won the 200 (23.95), Wakefields Tiana Patillo (55.46) won the 400, Claytons Mollie Williams won the 110 hurdles (13.98) and Southeasts Morrison won the 300 hurdles (42.72).
Lea and Patillo came in second and third in the 100, but Dawson held on.
Its incredible. I could cry, but its tears of joy because Im just blessed, Dawson said. Ive been running track since freshman and never really had the chance to stand out or anything.
In the 200, Patillo was runner-up to Lea. The two will be at N.C. State next year. Apexs Sydnei Murphy was fourth.
Its what I wanted ever since I was a freshman, Lea said.
Wakefields JeMay Ward was third behind Patillo in the 400. Patillo was named girls MVP.
I just started (the 100) a few weeks ago, Patillo said. That was a big wow for me. After that I (thought) if I can do that I can go and do some things in the 400.
Morrison edged teammate Jacklyn Howell in the 300 hurdles while Sandersons Daniqua Dye was fourth.
Williams, who had a slow start, repeated as champion.
It was really a lot of pressure, to finish it strong, said Williams, who will run at South Carolina next year.
I was so nervous I couldnt even like I heard the starter say set and I was like, set? What? And then (the gun fired) and I was like Oh! Mollie run!
On the boys side, Marquavious Johnson took the 400 (47.16), while Southeasts Jamaree Murray was second and Apexs Jalen Ware was fourth.
Wake Forest-Rolesvilles Bryce Love was second in the 100 and third in the 200. Knightdales Hoffman was fourth in the 200.
West Johnstons Xavier Carter was third in the 100 hurdles while Garners Nyheim Hines was third in the 300 hurdles.
Jumps: Wakefields Kristen Lee broke the state record in the girls pole vault (13-0). Apexs Anna Eaton and Green Hopes Rayna Yvars were second and third.
It was the goal for today and I did it, Lee said. I would have been disappointed (to not break the record).
But Southeast showed its strength in the rest of the jumps.
Southeasts Shakinah Brooks won the long jump (19-5) while Leesville Roads Lauren White (17-11) was third.
Also for the Bulldogs, Alexis Williamson (38-6 1/2) and Amara Bell were third (38-0) in the triple jump.
The Triangle swept the boys side.
Hillside freshman Marcus Krah won the long jump (23-1), Apexs Joe DeVries won the pole vault (14-0), Knightdales Kimani Hoffman won the triple jump (46-8) and Harnett Centrals Jesse Freeman won the high jump (6-6).
Hoffman was the only Knights athlete to win a field event.
It really boils down to who is here to win. We came here and took care of business today, Hoffman said.
Lightning interrupted the meet for an hour and a half while many of the jumps were ongoing.
It was weird, because I had to warm up three times today. It was exhausting, DeVries said.
Freeman won on misses and looked like he was going to reach 6-8 but his heel just clipped the bar on the way down.
When I first saw how (they) were jumping I didnt think I was going to make it, Freeman said. But I kept pushing myself and pushing it until I got it.
Apexs Michael Utecht tied for fourth in the pole vault while Holly Springs Jack Nosbisch was fourth in the high jump.
Southeasts Justin Morris was fourth in the triple jump.
Throws: Though East Chapel Hills John Beyle came into the meet as the top-rated boy in the shot put, Southern Durhams Jalen Peterkin surprised with a new personal record and state championship throw (59-6)
It feels amazing. Last year I came up short by about an inch short to John, and that was really my motivation for the day, Peterkin said.
Beyle was third in the shot (57-0 3/4) and second in the discus (169-11).
Southern Durhams Regene Watson was fourth in the girls shot (40-4 1/4) while Apexs Brianna Heilsnis was second in the discus (136-0).
Distance: The Triangle also swept the girls distance events.
East Chapel Hills Pegah Kamrani won the 3200 (10:47.60), Broughtons Mattie Blue (5:02.52) won the 1600 while teammate Megan Sullivan (2:13.29) won the 800.
Kamrani was within a second of the state record. Panther Creeks Rebekah Greengrass was second and Broughtons Kelsey Moore was fourth.
I was going as fast as I could on that last lap. I just was so close, said Kamrani, who will run at Columbia University next year.
Blue and Sullivan were also on Broughtons 4-by-800 relay.
We broke our school record, which is really awesome, said Blue, who made the biggest move in her third leg. And the 4-by-800 was like a warm-up for the mile.
Sullivan was also the girls cross country champ and starter on the Caps basketball team. Apexs Torre Moser was second.
This year was a lot more difficult. I wasnt able to race as much indoors, Sullivan said.
On the boys side, Knightdales Corey Aikens was fourth in the 800 while Carys Bakri Abushouk was second in the 1600. Broughtons Will Roberson was second in the 3200 and teammate Smith-Rose was fourth, while East Chapel Hills Ryan Brady was third.
Other team scores: Knightdale had a coaching change at midseason when David Castell stepped down. The team gave Castell, who won the first three titles with the Knights, much of the credit.
That was a big blow for us. But we had the mindset of All right, weve got to get past that, Hoffman said. Hes been an amazing asset to our team. He has created our work ethic and who we are. Hes always been there for us.
East Chapel Hill (34) was fourth in boys, while Apex (29.5) was sixth, Southeast (25) was seventh and Wake Forest-Rolesville (24) was eighth.
Apex and Broughtons girls were part of a three-way tie for fourth with 35 points. West Johnston (29) was ninth and Clayton (20) was tied for 10th.