High School Sports

Cary’s state champs had different expectations

Cary's Olivia Goodwin clears the bar on her way to the 4A NCHSAA State Indoor pole vault championship. Coverage from the 4A NCHSAA State Indoor Championships held in Winston-Salem, N.C. on Saturday, February 11, 2017.
Cary's Olivia Goodwin clears the bar on her way to the 4A NCHSAA State Indoor pole vault championship. Coverage from the 4A NCHSAA State Indoor Championships held in Winston-Salem, N.C. on Saturday, February 11, 2017. newsobserver.com

Cary’s state champions had different expectations heading into the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A indoor track and field championships.

For Olivia Goodwin, it was a long time coming even though she had only been pole vaulting for two and a half years.

The pole vaulter won her first title (11 feet, 6 inches) on Saturday.

She was confident after having competed a few years with with two Apex pole vaulters – Anna Eaton and Zoe Early – who won several state titles. After having stood next to them on the podium, it was her turn to take gold.

“It was such an honor to be kind of growing up with Anna (Eaton) and Zoe (Early), especially because they were from Apex,” Goodwin said. “I got to bond with them in practice too and kind of follow in their footsteps.”

The Cary boys’ 4-by-400 relay won gold to help the Imps to a ninth-place finish. Elijah Knight, Todd Shorts, Kayin Fails and James Lundergan finished in 3 minutes, 25.53 seconds.

Some of them didn’t see this coming.

“I was surprised that we came out as far as we did on top,” Lundergan said. “But then when I think about it, we all put in so much work. So it’s well-deserved.”

Fails disagreed: “I’m not surprised. I know how good we are.”

Shorts was overcome with gratitude.

“I just want to thank God for everything,” Shorts “I’m nothing without Him.”

Knight could only think about the workouts that have been going on since the summer that extended into the cold of winter.

“There’s no way to describe it,” Knight said. “The journey here was unmatched.”

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