The N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A track and field championships started on the campus of N.C. A&T on Saturday, and the titles went home with teams well to the East and West of the Triangle – Monroe took the girls title and North Brunswick claimed the boys title.
But the greater Triangle area’s scattered assortment of 2A teams took home several individual championships.
Distance: Carrboro’s streak of three straight girls titles came to an end – the Jaguars were runners-up with 57 points, not quite the 82.5 that Monroe had – but the parade of distance champions did not.
Junior Maysa Araba won the 800 (2:16:41) and 1600 (5:03.52). Classmate Helen Morken won the 3200 (11:15.30), the last few laps coming as clouds rolled in and the stadium began to evacuate for lightning.
“It went how I wanted it to,” said Araba, a junior who also won the cross country title in the fall. “This year was more of a rebuilding year for the team because we have more younger sophomores.”
N.C. Science and Math’s Josh Rees-Jones was second in the 1600 (4:31.46) while teammate Nicolas Walker was third in the 3200 (9:47.39). NCSSM was the highest-finishing area boys team, taking seventh with 26 points.
Durham School of the Arts’ Hana Ratcliffe was runner-up in the girls 1600 (5:08.17). The Bulldogs were third in the girls competition with 51 points.
Field events: It was a good day for the area in field events, netting two champs and four runners-up.
Bunn junior Tainasha Vines won the girls triple jump (39-1.5), where she edged North Johnston’s Tangela Williams (38-4.75). Vines also took the long jump (18-7.5), giving her a third outdoor state championship.
“I just wanted to stay focused on my technique,” Vines said, hoping to not get caught up with how others did their jumps. “My technique compared to everyone else’s is very different.”
For Williams, it was only the sixth time she had done the triple jump at a meet.
“I didn’t think I was going to jump (that far) today. It was surprising,” Williams said.
Southern Vance’s Ja’Quez Bullock – who will walk-on as an offensive lineman at N.C. State next year – was second in the shot put (49-11). While that’s one place short of what he wanted, there were no complaints.
“The farthest I’ve ever got in states was seventh place. So to come in second place, I feel great about it,” Bullock said.
Carrboro’s Magnus Herweyer was fourth in the shot put (48-7) and second in the discus (157-3), helping the Jaguars to the eighth place with 25 points.
“The shot, I was thinking I would maybe get in the top six. I was really surprised I got fourth. I had good momentum going into discus because I was so happy. I let out a monster throw – it was a 15-foot personal record,” Herweyer said.
Carrboro’s Alexandra Jones was second in the girls discus (106-0)
Jordan-Matthews senior Bryson Bittle was third in the boys triple jump (44-6).
“That’s about my best right there,” Bittle said. “I’m just leaving it all out there.”
Relays: N.C. Science and Math swept the 4-by-800 relays.
The Unicorns’ girls team of Kim Ngo, Alexis Knox, Mengmeng Fang and Maddie Wyatt ran a 10:03.05 while the boys team of Chatham Ellwanger, Walker, Rees-Jones and Cameron Bowes ran a 8:07.15.
DSA had a great day in the girls’ relays, also winning the 4-by-400 relay (4:05.27), second in the 4-by-100 and third in the 4-by-200 and 4-by-800.
Carrboro’s girls 4-by-800 and 4-by-400 teams were second. Amy Carpenter, who ran in the 4-by-800 for the Jaguars, was a NCHSAA sportsmanship award winner.
Sprints: Bunn junior Ashton Avery will remember his second-place finish in the boys 100 (11.03) and keep it as motivation for next year. He was far from satisfied with silver.
“That was my slowest time of the year,” Avery said. “I still have one more year. I can come back a lot stronger, train more vigorously and get my mind ready.”
He treasures being part of the Bunn program, and its small-town sense of pride in winning and competing.
“It’s an honor to come out here and do our best and put our all into it. Every time we come out here and run, we bring home one or two medals. That’s what is expected from us,” Avery said. “Us being Bunn – we’re a small school. Nobody knows what a Bunn is. But it’s a great way to show – we’re a small town, but we’ve got a big heart.”
North Johnston’s Williams, a junior, added another runner-up finish, coming in second in the 200 (25.97).
DSA sophomore Shannon Moses was third in the 100 hurdles (16.56) while classmate Lydia Gamble was third in the 400.
Pinder wins two of three: North Johnston freshman Dylan Pinder had competition in his three wheelchair events, going head-to-head with South Lenoir’s Bryce Floyd in the 100, 200 and shot put.
Pinder took both races but Floyd won the shot put.
“It felt good,” said, who set a new personal record in the 200. His focus, he said, was on his “starting out in my racing.”
State records, MVPs: Franklin’s Danielle Brown set a new 2A record in the pole vault (11-2) while Burlington Cummings’ Isaiah Moore – the boys’ meet MVP – broke the 2A record in the 110 hurdles (13.97).
Monroe’s 4-by-200 girls relay team – anchored by meet MVP Reneazia Collins also broke a 2A record.