High School Sports

NCHSAA track and field championship recaps in 1A, 2A and 3A: Hillside girls win 8th title

Hillside's Jessica Wright crosses the finish line to win the 4x400 meter relay during the NCHSAA 2A and 4A track and field state championships in Greensboro on Friday, May 19, 2017.
Hillside's Jessica Wright crosses the finish line to win the 4x400 meter relay during the NCHSAA 2A and 4A track and field state championships in Greensboro on Friday, May 19, 2017. newsobserver.com

It came down to the final event.

Hillside's girls trailed Parkland High of Winston-Salem by nine points entering the 4-by-400 relay in Sunday's N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A track and field championships hosted by North Carolina A&T.

Parkland didn't have a girls 4-by-400 relay team. Hillside did, and a first-place finish is worth 10 points.

The Hornets' combination of Emmaya Waters, Gabrielle Ryan, Ashlan Bowdry and Jessica Wright not only won the race, they set a new 3A record to lead Hillside to its eighth girls track and field state championship.

Hillside edged Parkland 62-61 in the final tally. The 1A and 3A meet was originally scheduled for Friday, but rain pushed it back two days.

Hillside's Kayla Beasley puts some muscle behind an attempt in the girls' shot put during the NCHSAA 4A state track and field championships at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C. on May 19, 2017. John Lucas newsobserver.com

On the boys' side, Southern Durham was third in the final 3A team standings.

More highlights include:

▪Hillside's other 3A record was set by Kayla Beasley in the girls shot put. The Hornets' other individual wins were by Wright in the girls 300 hurdles and Ryan in the high jump.

▪After missing football season with a torn ACL, Northwood's Cameron Council made a triumphant return by winning the boys 100 and 200. Council was last year's 3A MVP.

Northwood's Cameron Council (left) and Weddington's Doug Dracon head for the finish line in the 3A Boys 200 Meter Dash. Council edges out Dracon to get his second championship of the day to go along with his 400 Meter championship. Coverage from 3A NCHSAA track and field championships held at N.C. A&T University in Greensboro, N.C. on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Dean Strickland

▪Chapel Hill's girls 4-by-800 relay team of Anna Stouffer, Madi Marvin, Katherine Dokholyan and Megan Marvin set a new 3A record, as did Megan Marvin in the 800.

▪The boys MVP honor stayed in the Big Eight Conference. Orange's Jamar Davis was the easy choice after finishing runner-up in the 300 hurdles and winning the long jump and triple jump titles. In both jumping events, Davis edged Northern Nash's Brandon Richardson.

▪Western Harnett's Asher Prince swept both boys throwing events, winning the shot put and the discus. Smithfield-Selma's Joshua Faison was runner-up in the discus.

▪Southern Durham's Khaleb McRae won the boys 400.

▪Harnett Central's Laderique McNeill won the boys 1,600 and was third in the 3,200, where Union Pines' Ben Verchick was second.

▪Hunt's Jeremiah Ganaway took home the boys high jump title.

▪Franklinton's M'Smrya Seward became the school's second individual state champion in any sport, winning the girls long jump.

▪Jordan Sales of J.H. Rose was runner-up in the girls 200 and Cleveland's Ciara Robinson was runner-up in the girls high jump.

▪Northern Durham's Miles Hill was the boys wheelchair champ in all four events: the 100, 200, shot put and discus.


Locally, the Durham School of the Arts girls and Kinston boys had the top team scores, each finishing fifth on Saturday. The team titles went to Lake Norman Charter's girls and the Forest Hills boys.

▪Beddingfield's Makayla Everett was runner-up in the girls discus.

▪Farmville Central's Keziah Everett was runner-up in the boys shot put.

▪Carrboro's Ajani Murdaugh-Wright was second in the 200 and third in the 400.


On Sunday, the Research Triangle girls were edged in the final event and finished runner-up to Murphy, 60-57. Princeton's girls were third. Franklin Academy had the top area finish on the boys' side, taking seventh.

▪Research Triangle took first and second in the girls 1,600, with Victoria Swepson winning and Caroline Foley coming in second. Swepson also won the 800, where Foley was third.

▪On the boys' side, Matthew Swepson of Research Triangle won the discus.

▪Princeton's Shamonda Bell won the girls 100 hurdles title and was runner-up in the 300 hurdles. Teammate Zoe Byrd was runner-up in the triple jump.

RAL_ 050317-CAR1A-TNF-PDS 0_2 (2)
Princeton's Shamonda Bell leads Rosewood's Miyah McCall down the backstretch. Bell hold on to win the Girls 200 Meter dash championship. Coverage from Carolina 1A Conference Track and Field championships held in Princeton, N.C. on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. The Hobbton High girls and the Rosewood High boys won conference championships. Dean Strickland

▪On the boys' side, Princeton's Luke Brush was runner-up in the pole vault.

▪Franklin Academy's girls 4-by-800 relay, which included Caitlyn Burkett, Nicole Rafferty, Taylor Roberts and Leah Given, won gold. Given was also second in the 800. Burkett won the 3,200.

▪Franklin Academy's Aaron Rovnak was second in the boys 1,600. Teammate Stephen Elliott was second in the 300 hurdles.