After leaving the campus of North Carolina A&T on Saturday, the trophies from this year's N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A track and field championships took a nearly identical path to their new homes.
The girls championship hardware ended up at Panther Creek for the first time. The Catamounts edged powerhouse Southeast Raleigh 69-64. Leesville Road (46 points) was third.
The boys championship trophy found a new home just a few miles down N.C. Highway 55 from Panther Creek, at Green Hope. The Falcons edged conference rival Cary 55-44. Garner was third with 41 points.
▪Panther Creek's Morgan Smalls won three girls events, taking home gold in the long jump, triple jump and a new state record in the high jump that had stood since 1997. She earned MVP honors.
▪Wakefield's Veronica Fraley was a double-winner, sweeping the shot put and discus events.
▪So too was freshman Carmen Alder of Pinecrest. Alder won the 1,600 and 3,200.
▪Southeast Raleigh racked up a number of wins, including two relays, the 4-by-100 (ran by Ani Judd, Sierra Fletcher, Zarejha Hall and Jordan Chambers) and 4-by-200 (Judd, Fletcher, Kyna Robinson and Hall). Robinson also won the 200 and was second in the 400, while Fletcher won the 300 hurdles and was second in the 100 hurdles.
▪Apex's Cara King was all four wheelchair events, taking home the 100, 200, shot put and discus.
▪Jonah Ross, sister of boys MVP Randolph Ross, won the 100 (11.84), edging Heritage's Melicia Mouzzon. She was also second in the 200.
▪Cardinal Gibbons' 4-by-800 relay of Marissa Bishop, Angelica Rock, Molly McGowan and Caroline Todd finished first.
▪Green Hope won three events in all, two thanks to Ian Delgado, who won the 800 and 1,600. The Falcons were also victorious on a 4-by-800 relay ran by Daniel Vo, Matthew Kehn, Michael Biddle and Sean Petersen.
▪Garner's Randolph Ross was named MVP after winning the 400, finishing second in the high jump and taking third in the 200. Ross also ran the second leg of a 4-by-100 relay that finished second.
▪Cary's lone finish atop the podium came in the last event, the 4-by-400 relay ran by Brian Stevenson, Kayin Fails, Tre' Thomas and Anthony Robinson. Robinson was second in the 100 hurdles.
▪Ladale Gambrell of Broughton won all four wheelchair events: the 100, 200, shot put and discus.
▪South Central's Dexter McDuffie repeated his title in the 300 hurdles.