Broughton’s decorated distance runners sprinkled a cross country flavor over the 38th Apex Bojangles Lions Relays on Saturday at the Apex High track.
Four Capitals combined to shatter the all-time state record in the 4-by-1,600 relay with mark of 17 minutes, 36.88 seconds. It’s 10 seconds faster than the time they chased. Last fall they led Broughton to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A state cross country team title.
“We were going for the school record of 17:46,” said senior Lanier Derbyshire, “so the state record was a surprise.”
The N.C. High School Athletic Association lists state records with state meets, but there is no 4-by-1,600 in the state championships. The all-time state mark the Capitals beat includes all meets over the years by North Carolina athletes.
Broughton coach David Christian clocked unofficial hand-time splits with senior Stuart Holmes on the first leg, 4:24; junior Will Hopkins the second, 4:26; Derbyshire the third, 4:28; and senior Andrew Brooks on anchor, 4:15.
In addition to the 2016 cross country title, all but Hopkins were on the 2015 4A state runner-up team. Lanier also contributed to the 2014 NCHSAA 4A state cross country title.
“Throughout practice we joke around, but we know when to cross the line and work hard toward a common goal,” said Derbyshire, who is bound for Wake Forest as a walk-on. “I haven’t been on other teams, but nobody has more fun and works as hard as we do.”
Brooks, who is committed to North Carolina, began to drop times among elite state runners the spring of his junior year. He placed third in the state track meet in the 1,600 at 4:19.07.
He also is a strong 800 runner that has tied the school record in 1:54.00. Christian said Brooks is undecided if he will double in the 800 and 1,600 in the post-season or focus on one of the events in quest of a state title.
“I think he can medal in both races if he doubles at state,” Christian said, “but if runs just the 800, he can run with anyone in the state.”
The Apex meet focuses on relays, but there were some individual champions on the track and a full slate of field events.
In the boys events, Panther Creek senior J Johnson swept the 100 meters in 10.58 and the long jump at 23 feet, 2 inches. His sweep combined with Justin Smalls winning the high jump (6-4) led Panther Creek to the team title.
Another boys double-winner was Garner junior Ralph Vieux in the 110 hurdles (15.42) and the triple jump (45-3 ½).
More boys winners were Corinth-Holders’ Austin Carroll in the 1,600 (4:15.29); Apex Friendship’s Zach Simpson, shot put, 45-2; and Ravenscroft’s Spencer Winston, discus, 137-9.
There was a three-way tie in the pole vault. Sanderson’s Peter Wienold, Jordan’s Caleb Wright and Apex’s Jeremy Huang all cleared 13-0.
In girls events on the track, Cardinal Gibbons senior Zachyre Lane won the 100, 12.02; Wakefield’s Taylor Scott the 100 hurdles, 14.80; and Green Hope’s Alessandra Rodriguez the 1,600, 5:09.22.
Wakefield junior Veronica Fraley doubled in the shot put (42-2 ½) and discus (141-9). She was third in the state discus last year at 138-3.
Other field event winners were Northwood’s Tessa Sheets, pole vault, 12-6; Cleveland’s Ciara Robinson, 5-4; Cary senior Olivia Goodwin, long jump, 17-9 ½; and Garner’s Chardonei Sutton, triple jump, 42-1 ½.
Panther Creek’s girls won the team title despite winning only one event, the 4x400. The foursome of senior Rachel Hill, freshman Morgan Smalls, junior Jacque Krause and senior Makiya Spencer ran 4:03.63.
THE FAST LANE
Cardinal Gibbons senior Zachrye Lane’s season best in the 100 is 11.78 earlier this year, but she was happy with her 12.02 to win the Apex Bojangles.
“I still have some speed work to do,” said Lane, who is committed to run at Howard University. “It’s the first time I’ve won this meet, so I’m proud of it.”
Lane turned on her 11.78 jets to anchor the Crusaders to a comeback win the 4x100 relay. The team of Lauren Taio, Taylor Curry, Madeline Baker and Lane ran a 48.57 that ranks No. 7 in North Carolina this year.
Lane made up a stride in the last 10 meters to win with a lean at the finish.