Using excellent finishing speed, Trinity Academy of Raleigh middle distance runner Christian Pigues led all area athletes with two gold medals at the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association’s 1A/2A championship meet Saturday on the campus of North Raleigh Christian Academy.
After claiming the 1,600-meter run by 1.27 seconds over Woodlawn’s Quinn Schneider in come-from-behind style with a time of 4 minutes, 33.62 seconds, Pigues led from beginning to end to win the 800-meter run (1:57.93).
“Coach told me to go out and not lead, just chill,” Pigues said of the 1,600. “I knew Quinn would set a good pace, around the 215, 220 mark I had to go and raise up and sprint to the end.
“I wanted to go 1:52 in the 800, but I got out slower than I wanted. I’m satisfied with winning, but I should have pushed a little harder on the first lap.”
Pigues made it clear he wanted to excel in the day’s final event – the 4x400 relay. And the junior certainly did, making up three spots on his leg as the Tigers took third (3:35.01). That finish allowed TAR (36 points, sixth place) to edge St. David’s (29.5, eighth) for the top finish among local boys teams.
Two area girls struck individual gold with The O’Neal School’s Toyin Koleoso winning the 300-meter hurdles and St. David’s Madison taking the high jump competition, which was held on Friday.
Koleoso injured her right leg while placing third in the long jump (15-feet, 7.25 inches) on Friday, and was disappointed with a fifth-place finish early Saturday in the 100-meter hurdles (17.73).
But with grit and determination, she flashed to the victory in the 300 with a time of 47.24 to win by 2.75 seconds.
“I didn’t expect to win, not really,” the sophomore said. “I hurt my leg and wasn’t feeling too well. I don’t know what got me there. I was just pushing hard. I’m thinking maybe God pushed me.”
Koleoso also ran a leg in the Falcons’ third-place finish in the 4x400 relay (4:23.73), which helped them finish fifth overall in the team standings, just head of St. David’s School (39.5-35). In that same event, Cary Christian was second (4:22.28) for the best area relay finish.
Welsh came into the high jump with a personal-best of 4-7. She nearly didn’t make it over 4-foot Friday, needing three attempts. She would also need three at every step until the sophomore was the lone competitor to make 4-10.
“It’s crazy,” she said. “I was not expecting that PR. And when I missed at 4 feet, I got real nervous. But, I kept making it on my third attempt. It’s great.”
Charlotte’s Victory Christian Center lived up to its name by winning both the boys and girls team titles. The Kings edged Westchester Country Day 101-99 for the boys crown and beat Carolina Day 85.5-82.5 on the girls side.