Girls Team Champion: Western Alamance
Boys Team Champion: Terry Sanford
Girls Team Runners-Up: A.C. Reynolds
Boys Team Runners-Up: Asheville, Northeast Guilford (tie)
Girls MVP: Lydia Laws, Western Alamance
Boys MVP: Philip Hall, Terry Sanford
Girls NCHSAA 3A Recap
Girls distance was a dialogue between Anna Vess (AC Reynolds) and Blake Dodge (West Carteret) throughout the meet. The 4x800 was a swift race to start the day, with AC Reynolds holding off West Carteret and Marvin Ridge to run a 9:20.23. Vess, a sophomore, anchored for AC Reynolds and was able to edge out Blake Dodge’s 2:10 split in the last stretch to win her first gold of the day and help her team break the 3A meet record. Vess and Dodge met again in the 1600m, which was resolved in a dead sprint to the finish. Vess leaned into the line to beat Dodge by .01 seconds and take another gold medal. Dodge easily defended her state title the 800m, narrowly missing her own 3A meet state record with a 2:13 to win her only event of the day. The last distance event was another tight battle to the finish in a clutch last 100m. This resulted in another meet record and another Anna Vess victory. Vess narrowly outsprinted Arden Vessie (Corinth Holders) and won her third event of the day by her foot speed, finishing out her events to end a fruitful breakout meet.
Like Vess in the distance events, the sprints also had two stand out performances by a dark horse. Courtney Warner (Aycock) pulled the double gold in the 100m and 200m, beating out the favorites to win both of these events. Weddington and Eastern Guilford High School both demonstrated their team depth in the 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400, with both teams placing and scoring in all three spiriting relays. Nikolete Hurrinus (Cuthbertson) ended her virtually undefeated season in the 400m with a state title and anchored her 4x400m to a third place after Westover and Weddington.
Lydia Laws (Western Alamance) walked out of the 3A State Meet as the most decorated athlete of the day. She won the triple jump and the 300mH, in which she set a new state record, and finished second in the 100mH and the long jump. In addition to winning female MVP of the meet, her team won the 3A State Meet title! Also contributing to the Western Alamance victory was Alexis Dickerson who won both the shot put and the discus events, as anticipated. The 3A high jump event also had a new record set by Qizeah Jackson (Westover). She recorded 5'8", one of the highest jumps recorded to date this year by North Carolina’s current best high jumper. Finally, Cuthbertson’s Liz Wood pole-vaulted an 11'6" to tie the 3A state record mark and win the meet with a 1 foot personal record.
Boys NCHSAA 4A Recap
As predicted, Phillip Hall (Terry Sanford) was the top performer in the distance events. Adding to his career State Meet medal count, he won the 1600, placed second in the 800m, and finished third in the 3200m. For the second year in a row, he was voted Meet MVP and posted more than half of Terry Sanford’s team score of 58 points- enough to win the Bulldogs the championship. Also notable were the victories of Northern Guilford in the 4x800 and 800m. Jon Knight (Northern Guilford) was able to run away from the pack in the 4x800 to help his team run a 7:59 and win the event. He had a harder time running away from Phillip Hall in the 800m, as the last 100m was neck and neck until they both dove for the line. Knight finished with a .05 second advantage and won the event, to earn his second gold medal of the day. Tanis Baldwin (East Henderson) won the 3200m, edging out Ryan Shannon (North Lincoln) in a very close race that, following the trend of almost every other distance event of the day, was determined by the final kick. Baldwin defended his Indoor and Outdoor 3200m State Title with a 9:26.
Also leading the way for the Terry Sanford boys was Jahmaal Daniel, winning both the 100m and 200m. Even after his rocky start out of the blocks, a late surge in the 100m allowed him to edge out Tyshawn Siders (Jacksonville) in the 100m. He also defended his 4A State Title from the previous year winning the 200m with a significant margin. The Terry Sanford Bulldogs showed depth in the 4x100 and 4x200 meter relays, placing fourth and third respectively and proving that they were a widely developed enough team to win this meet. Ty Jaye Robbins (Piedmont) won the 400m with a swift 47.49 and word is that he ran a 46 unofficial split in the 4x400 later that day. The 4x400 ended on an interesting note, with the Northeast Guilford boys' celebration after their win soon halted after their relay was disqualified. The team had enough depth to keep them at second place in the team scores, though they had to share the podium with Ashville High School.
Boys field events were everything and more than was expected coming into Friday. North Carolina’s two best pole vaulters contended against the field until 14’. After this mark, Ian West (Fike) and Corey Ginley (East Henderson) kept the bar moving until 15’6, which they both successfully jumped, breaking the 3A State Record! West pulled out the win, but the East side of the stadium enjoyed a truly hard fought and talented performance in the vault. The throws were 2 other hotly contended events, and the field was loaded with competitors all within inches of each other. Colin Minor (South Brunswick) defended his indoor shot put State Title and extended his personal record to 58-6’, edging out Mateius Brown (Western Harnett) and Myquon Stout (Jesse C Carson). In the discus, Mateius Brown was the one that was able to claim the victory. He threw a 169-6 to beat second place Myquon Stout by a foot a half, and the rest of the field by over ten feet!
The triple jump had a showing of 7 boys over 44 feet, but only one over 47! Mekhi McGuyver (Ashville) won in a monstrous jump of 47' 0.5", defeating the rest of the jumpers by over two feet. The long jump was less of a shut out and more of a toss up going into the boy’s final jumps. Jonathan Marino (Marvin Ridge) won the event with a 22-8’ with Malik Williams (Hunt) on his tail with a 22-4’. Another Marvin Ridge athlete took the win in the high jump, and by a four-inch margin: Christopher Garrick jumped a staggering 6-8 to tie the 3A State Meet record and got the win when it mattered! The hurdle events turned out to the the Damian Silver (Nash Central) show, as he took the gold in both races as advertised. Also West Carteret's Andrew Spear had a stellar showing, taking a narrow second and third place in the 300mH and 110mH, respectively.