The Watuaga High men's and women's track teams wrapped up their respective seasons on Saturday at the class 4A state meet at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro.
The WHS women finished fifth with 31.50 points; the men finished in 29th place with nine points. Knightdale, won its first championship in men's track; Knightdale tallied 66 points for a convincing margin over second-place Huntersville Hopewell, which had 38. Raleigh Wakefield was third with 37 followed by Raleigh Millbrook (33) and Durham Riverside (28).
On the women's side, a balanced Raleigh Wakefield team scored 70.5 points on its way to the team championship. Asheville T.C. Roberson was the runner-up with 48.5 points, followed by Apex (40), Clayton (34) and Watauga (31.5). Ariah Graham was an individual champ for Wakefield, winning the 400.
Senior Keni Harrison of Clayton, who won both the 100-and 300-hurdle events, was selected as the MVP of the women's meet. Sequoia Watkins of T.C. Roberson was also a double winner, winning both the shot put and the discus events. West Mecklenburg captured the 4x200 and 4x400 800 relays, Cary's 4x800 relay team set a new women's 4-A mark in the event with a time of 9:06.17. Junior Sydney White of East Forsyth cleared 12 feet, seven inches in the women's pole vault to establish a new state record in all classifications.
On the men's side, Knightdale was strong in the relay events, winning both the 4x200 and the 4x 400 relays. Burkheart Ellis Jr. of the Knights won the 400-meter-run, and he was one of three sprinters finishing in the top eight in the 200 for the Knightdale.
Courtland Clavette of A.C. Reynolds, who will attend the University of Notre Dame to play football next fall, took first place in both the shot put and the discus events. He also set a new state 4-A record in the discus with a toss of 184-3 that broke the old markl set back in 1993 by Ben Huff of Charlotte Providence at 182-0. He earned Most Valuable Performer honors in the men's championship. Stanley Broaden of Wilmington Ashley was a dual winner as he captured both the 110-and 300-high hurdles.
For the WHS women, Darby Middlebrook was the highest place finisher. She was second in the 3200-meter run, completing the course in 10:49.57. Anna McBride of Davie County won the event in 10:46.08. Middlebrook finished fourth in the 800 in 5:00.10. WHS's other top finish came in the 4x800 relay (Darby Middlebrook, Hailey Middlebrook, Hannah Barbour and Julia Roberts) finished third in 9:21.27.
Sydney Cook, who will attend Appalachian State University in the fall on a track scholarship, was fourth in the high jump (5-2) and fifth in the pole vault (11 feet); Debra Dommermuth was sixth in the pole vault with an effort of 10-6. Roberts finished eighth in the 800 (2:17.37) and Kasey Jones, who missed most the early season with a nagging hamstring injury, qualified for the finals and finished eighth in the 100-high hurdles (15.71).
For the WHS men, only two athletes scored. Jordan Pineda was third in the discus with a throw of 154-09 and Reid Harris finished sixth in the pole vault with an jump of 13-6. Peter Vandenberg finished ninth in the 3200 (9:46.06).
IN CLASS 3A:
In the Class 3A state meet on Friday, the Hibriten women finished ninth with 21 points. Hickory was 28th with nine points. For the men, Hickory was 24th with 13 points, Hibriten was 31st with 8.5 points, and St. Stephens was 42nd with three points.
Jazman Genske of Hibriten was the most productive athlete of the day. She was third in the 100-meter-dash (12:39), fourth in the 200 (25.46) and seventh in the long jump. The Panthers finished fourth in the 4x100 relay; and Keisha Corpening was sixth in the triple jump. Hickory was fifth in the 4x100 relay, and sixth in the 4x200.
On the men's side, Matt Zachirich of St. Stephens finished sixth in the 1600; Ciani Vega of Hickory was third in the 300 hurdles and seventh in the 110 hurdles; Steven Davenport of the Red Tornadoes finished fourth in the triple jump.
Tripp Patterson of Hibriten was fourth in the pole vault with an effort of 13 feet; Michael Isbell finished fifth in the triple jump. South Central won the women's title; Fayetteville Byrd won the men's championship.
HICKORY BASEBALL ADVANCES:
The Hickory High baseball team won its suspended game Saturday afternoon by blasting Patton 11-1 in six innings. The game was halted by rain Friday night in the second inning with the Red Tornadoes (15-10) leading 3-0. The Red Tornadoes, the No.1 seed among the Class 3A schools and the No.4 seed overall in the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference, will now play Asheville Erwin at home in a second-round game Tuesday night. Erwin, the No.2 seed from the Mountain Athletic 3A/4A Conference, advanced by beating Forestview 3-1 in the opening round Friday night. T.C. Roberson advanced on Saturday as the Rams (20-4) defeated East Mecklenburg, 5-2. The Rams, the No.1 seed from the MAC 3A/4A Conference, will host Mooresville (20-4) in a second-round game Tuesday in Asheville. Mooresville advanced by beating South Caldwell 5-4 in the first round Friday night.
The doubles team of Evan Day and Jesse Massucco of Wilkes Central fell just short of their dream of winning a state championship.
Day and Massucco of the Eagles worked their way to the Class 2A state semifinals Saturday morning at Cary Tennis Center in Cary, NC. But they were upended by the doubles team Hang Lak Choi and Ryan Lampe of Newton-Conover, 6-1, 6-3. Choi and Lampe went on to win the Class 2A doubles title as they defeated Webb Parker and Ben Cheaney of Shelby 6-3, 7-5 in the finals. Korey Lovett of Brevard defeated Patrick Hensley of South Iredell 6-3, 6-4 for the singles title.
Russell Turner of Durham N.C. School of Science and Math won the singles championship in Class 1A defeating Tyler Macy of Elkin, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2; Kevin Weckworth and Joseph Riazzi of Kernersville Bishop McGuinness won the doubles title by knocking off Mitch Kessler and Eric Belton of Mount Airy, 6-2, 6-3.
In Class 3A, Chris Geaslen and Killian Steer (Cardinal Gibbons) defeated Morris Porter and Tito Poplawski (Asheville) 6-3, 6-2 in the doubles championship; Kyle Johnson of Charlotte Catholic won the singles title by knocking off Eric Greene of Western Alamance, 7-6 (6), 7-5. And in Class 4A, Robbie Mudge of R.J. Reynolds defeated Roman Cacha of Athens Drive, 6-1, 6-3 in the singles championship. Quinn Carmean and Sean Carmean of Raleigh Millbrook won the doubles title as they defeated Paul Yamane and ack Riazzi of R.J. Reynolds, 6-2, 6-4.