Providence Day again dominated the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A track and field championships, running away with its second consecutive sweep of the boys and girls state titles Saturday. Host Ravenscroft finished second in both the boys and girls competition.
The Chargers won the final events of the day, taking both boys and girls titles in the 4x400 relay titles to further distance themselves from the pack. The Providence Day girls finished with 142.5 points, ahead of Ravenscroft (97), Durham Academy (95) and Cary Academy (87.5). Charlotte Christian finished fifth in the girls standings.
The Providence Day boys finished with 133 points, ahead of Ravenscroft (103), Charlotte Latin (96.5), Cary Academy (68), Charlotte Christian (59) and Charlotte Country Day (40.5).
“We only have two seniors on the team, (so it’s special) for the freshmen to come in and fill a void and fill a gap and then realize that the hard work that they put in, it pays off,” Providence Day girls coach Carol Lawrence said. “I’m really excited for the coming years.”
Providence Day sophomore Anna Cockrell continued her career as a standout for the Chargers, besting her own state record in the 100-meter hurdles by two-tenths of a second (13.73 seconds) and setting a new meet mark for the 300-meter hurdles (42.68). Cockrell also won the 100-meter dash (11.97) and helped the 4x400 relay team to a first place and record finish of 4:01.35 along with Courtney Joyner, Gracie Whelan and Jonah Edwards.
Edwards also took first in the 400-meter dash (57.98).
“I just wanted to do my best,” Cockrell said. “I don’t really like to go into it with the mindset ‘I want to get this record.’ I think it’s better to focus on ‘I want to run a good race,’ so I was just thinking if I run my race right and the record happens, then it happens, but you can’t ask for much more than getting three records, so it’s awesome.”
The Providence Day boys, who won the state title last year despite finishing first in no events, focused on earning the top spot in individual events en route to an overall championship.
“The expectations were to win,” Providence Day boys coach Ben Hovis said. “We knew just based on the performance list and the entries that we had a great shot. Everything didn’t go perfectly. Last year we kind of had to have the perfect meet to win. This year it didn’t go perfectly, but they’re an incredible team. We had guys scoring high in so many events it kind of starts distancing itself, and all of the guys that scored, really came through huge.”
Providence Day’s Isaac Johnson won the boys high jump (6 feet, 2 inches), Chaston Raye won the boys triple jump (44-06.50), and the Chargers won the boys 4x800-meter relay (William Glenn, Eli Barr, Nick Linder and Evan Gray) in 8:09.01, and 4x400-meter relay by an all-senior team (Danny Morrow, James Pierpoint, Jaylin Counts and Gray) in 3:26.46. Linder also won the boys 1600-meter run in 4:20.65 and 3200-meter run (9:36.83).
Ravenscroft coach Shon Hardy told his athletes not to hang their heads over the second-place finish.
“We lost a lot of talent from the previous year,” Ravenscroft coach Shon Hardy said. “We had some talent coming back, but very young, but the young talent stepped up and improved even more, and then we had new people come in and just give an infusion of energy and athleticism that helped our girls really step up and win conference for the second year in a row and get state runner up for the fifth year in a row.”
Kathleen Brandes defended her state title in the girls pole vault, setting a new state record at 10-09 before helping the Ravens 4x400 team (Ryen Frazier, Maddy Rigenbach, Nia Brown and Brandes) to a third-place time to seal an overall runner-up finish for the day.
“It came down to the 4x400, and we had to either get right behind (Durham Academy) or beat them, and we beat them,” Brandes said. “We were so excited.”
Ravenscroft’s Garrett Andreson won the boys pole vault (14-00) and Alex Nesvisky won the boys shot put (51-01.50) to help lead the Ravens boys to their second consecutive state runner-up finish.
“They really pull for each other, both the boys and the girls do,” Hardy said. “It took a while to build (the program) up, but they’ve done a great job, and once you get a little bit of a taste of success, you want to keep it going.”
Durham Academy’s Eliza Dekker broke former Ravenscroft and current Duke runner Wesley Frazier’s 800-meter run record, finishing in 2:12.85 before helping the team’s 4x800-meter relay squad (Dekker, Emma Myers, Katie Concannon and Abby Breitfeld) to a first-place finish in 9:46.16. Cha’Mia Rothwell won the girls high jump (5-04) and 200-meter dash (25.11), and Stephen Watson won the boys long jump (20-09.75), as well, for Durham.
“Yesterday our 4-by-8 team won, so I knew that I could run fast,” Dekker said. “I just went out hard the first lap and held on. ... (Wesley Frazier) is amazing and she’s won like everything, so it’s awesome. It’s such an honor.”
Makenna Wray of Covenant School won the girls discus throw (105-10). Charlotte Christian’s Kaytlyn Gill won the girls long jump (17-10.25) and triple jump (36-09.75), Josh Broadway won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.44 seconds, Thomas Nations won the boys 300-meter hurdles (39.38). Charlotte Latin won the 4x200-meter boys relay (Christian Mackey, Christian White, Cameron Hightower and Kanyon Tuttle) in 1:30.83, and the boys 4x100-meter relay (Mackey, Trey Powell, Melvin Rouse and Tuttle) in 43.73.
Cary Academy’s Jonathan Avery won the 100- and 200-meter dash at 11.08 and 22.40, respectively.
Cary Academy won the girls 4x200-meter relay (Rachel Rohde, Ivana Premasinghe, Moriah Smith and Shannon Stohlman) in 1:47.46, and girls 4x100-meter relay (Hannah Chow, Stohlman, Katherine Carlton and Smith) in 51.44.
North Raleigh Christian’s Ryan Speer won the 800-meter run in a meet record 1:52.99, and Blanton Smith won the boys 400-meter dash (50.12).
“I knew there was good competition and it was going to be fast,” Speer said. “The mile didn’t quite go the way we planned it to, but the (800) did. ... Coach just told me to go out and run my race, so that’s what I did and I was able to come up with the win.”