The Princeton boys and girls track and field teams overcame a string of bad luck injuries to finish second in the Carolina 1A Conference Championships. The Bulldog teams were unbeaten entering the meet against league foes but fell to Rosewood in both championship meets.
“We were undefeated in conference going into the meet, but bad luck got hold of us over the last week,” said Princeton coach Mark McLamb. “We have a couple of girls injured, one girl had strep throat and as a result we had to scratch a few relays and left some events open. The fact we finished second was impressive. We didn't have any conference champions on the girls team, but we had a lot of scorers.”
Neuse Charter’s girls finished third in the meet. Sara Stephenson was a conference champion in the 1,600-meter run in 6:02.11 and the Cougars’ 1,600 relay team finished second in the conference. The relay team included Ashlee Rouse, Taylor Davis, Marika Samuellson and Stephenson.
Princeton had a three-time runner-up finisher in Jasmine Bogle who was second in the 100, the triple jump and the high jump. Amber Johnston had two silver medal-winning finishes in the pole vault and the 3,200.
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The Bulldogs’ 800-meter relay finished second in 2:08.53 with Kaylee McKinney, Abby Rubio, Kassandra Velasquez and Jasmine Bogle running.
Princeton had 123 points to Rosewood’s 155 on the boys’ side. Neuse Charter was sixth in the eight-team league.
The Bulldogs 800 relay team won the league title in 1:40.55 with Nicholas Hare, Matthew Stallworth, Justin Huber and Jarrett Pearce joining together.
Jose Aquillon won the distance titles with the 1,600 and the 3,200 conference championships. Johnny Frasier was the 100-meter conference champ in 11.07 seconds. Martin Bayles won the pole vault.
Runner-up conference finishes went to the Bulldogs’ Robert Edwards in the high jump, Frasier in the shot put the 400-meter relay team and Austin Sullivan in the 3,200.
“Austin hurt his back last week and couldn’t even go to school on Monday because of it,” McLamb said. “I didn't expect him to run and he had a great day with a third place in the 1,600 and second in the 3,200. Austin showed a lot of guts today. Most teenagers would have given up, but you would have never known that he couldn't even walk two days ago.”
Frasier didn’t compete in a full slate of events, opting out of the 300 hurdles and the 200 meters to rest an aching hamstring. McLamb also praised the work of freshman Earl Gibson.
Neuse Charter standout Maurice Watson won the conference title at 400 meters and was the runner-up at 200 meters.