(Note: This report has been updated. Meet officials recalculated the men’s points and determined there was a three-way tie for second place.)
Chapel Hill High School’s track and field team made the most of what could be its last visit to Cardinal Gibbons and swept the Big Eight Conference’s boys and girls championships Thursday evening.
Thursday’s double victory was the third time in four years that Chapel Hill won both team championships in its conference, and it marked the fourth straight year that Chapel Hill’s boys took home the top trophy. The CHHS girls won in 2012, 2013 and finished second behind host Cardinal Gibbons last year.
Gibbons will move up to the state’s 4A classification next year, leaving the Big Eight 3A Conference behind.
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Chapel Hill’s girls were paced by double winners Kiara Dean (100- and 300-meter hurdles) and Quaniece Fish (triple and long jump), who immediately after the meet were named, respectively, the Big Eight’s female running and field athletes of the year.
“Everything went really well today,” Fish said. “I didn’t think we were going to do this well, but it all turned out great – boys and girls.”
The Tigers also got wins from Anna Passannante (800 meters) and Tyasha Holloman in the high jump (4-10) to help lock up the girls’ title long before they ran away from the field in the final 4x400 relay.
Chapel Hill finished the girls’ meet with 185 points, 72 in front of runnerup Cardinal Gibbons (113). Cedar Ridge (7.5) was third, followed by Oxford Webb (67.5), Northwood (65.5), Orange (45.5), Northern vance (29) and Southern Durham (22).
Chapel Hill finished with 128 points in the boys’ meet, beating three teams that tied for second with 102 points each: Cedar Ridge, Cardinal Gibbons and Northwood. Northern Vance (64) was fifth, Southern Durham (44) sixth, Oxford Webb (34) seventh, and Orange (31) eighth.
Chapel Hill’s Albert Nyamayaro broke his own meet record in the high jump with a height of 6 feet, four inches, and Jecori Owens-Shuler gave the Tigers what head coach Joan Nesbit Mabe termed an “unexpected” win in the discus (132 feet, 2 inches), edging past Kip Perry of Gibbons (130-01).
“No one saw that coming,” Mabe said. “Jecori really hadn’t had a really great meet this year – until today.”
Mabe thought Chapel Hill’s boys had their meet won before Harrison Young, who earlier won the open 400 in 50.5 seconds, started the anchor leg of the 4x400 relay side by side with two competitors and immediately pulled away for an impressive win (3:32).
“It was beautiful to see us win the 4x400 like that, with Harrison’s powerful finish,” Mabe said. “We didn’t have to win it to win the meet – but it never hurts.”
Daniel Margolis and Chapel Hill teammate Simon Lee both cleared 11 feet, 6 inches in the pole vault, but Margolis won by virtue of having fewer misses at lower heights.
Monte Mitchell of Orange was voted by the league’s coaches as the Big Eight’s male runner of the year after he won the 110-hurdles (15.5 seconds) and 300-hurdles (42.2) and finished third in the 100 meters. Chris McCoy of Cedar Ridge, who won the long jump (21 feet, 11 inches) and was third in the 100 meters, was named the field athlete of the year.
Other boys winners included repeat champions William Cameron of Southern Durham in the 100 meters (10.8 seconds) and Imoh Udoh of Northwood in the 200 meters (21.8).
Webb’s Jaylon Rainwood won the shot put (46-8.5) while Northern Vance’s Quavon Harris took the triple jump (41-4).
Three Crusaders won boys individual runs: Connor Law at 3200 meters (9:35.9); David Edwards in the 1600 (4:29.4); and Connor Peeples in the 800 meters (1:55.1).
Female winners in field events included: Mia Terry of Webb, a repeat winner with the discus (102-07); Northwood’s Samaria Chance with a shot put of 31-0; and Dana Davis of Cedar Ridge in the pole vault (8-0).
Northwood’s Alex Council repeated as the girls’ 100 meters champion (11.7) and Northern Vance’s Mya Daye won the 200 meters (25.2).
Cardinal Gibbons girls again dominated the middle and long distances: Zachyre Lane won the 400 meters (1:01.7), Crusader teammate Megan Vaughn won the 1600 meters (5:06.6); and Sophie Ebihara won the 3200 meters (11:18.8).