The Watauga High women's indoor track team put on a strong showing at the state championships Saturday in Fayetteville, NC.
WHS had ten qualifiers in six events Saturday at the Class 4A State Track & Field Championships at the Reid Ross Classical School in Fayetteville. And even though it was an indoor track meet, the event was actually held at an outdoor facility, Daskal Stadium. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association referred to it as a "Winter Meet". The only indoor facility in the state, the Eddie Smith Indoor Arena on the UNC campus, is involved in construction this year and was unavailable.
The Pioneers produced ten place finishers. WHS finished third with 43.25 points---falling just shy of second place behind Green Hope, which had 45 points. Raleigh-Wakefield won the Class 4A championship by besting the field with 93.25 points. Ariah Graham of Raleigh-Wakefield was named the meet's Most Valuable Performer.
"I'm proud of our kids," said WHS coach Daniel Isaacs. "Both our boys and girls put together some solid efforts. It was another strong year for the program."
A huge disappointment Saturday concerned senior Kasey Jones. She's battling a hamstring injury and had to be scratched from the 55-meter hurdles. She is ranked second in the state in that indoor event in Class 4A (her time: 8.4 seconds).
"Not having Kasey really hurt," Isaacs said. "She's such a competitor. Believe me, we have her and we're in second place. But we still had a good day. Without Kasey our kids worked their tails off and we were just a little more than a point out of second place. Practically everyone we had out there scored points for us in some way."
WHS produced seven top-five finishers, and ten top-ten finishers. Darby Middlebrook had the best effort of the day as she finished a strong second in the 3200-meter run. Middlebrook, who won the Class 4A cross country title last fall, covered the course in 11:21.5. And it was double duty for Middlebrook, who competed in the Class 4A state swimming championships on Friday in Cary, NC.
She finished 19th in the preliminary round of the 100-yard breast stroke (1:11.16), and she was also a member of Watauga's 400-yard free-style relay team that finished 21st in the perlims (3:58.74).
The 4x800 relay team (Darby Middlebrook, Hailey Middlebrook, Julia Roberts and Hannah Barbour) finished third. Barbour also finished fourth in the 1600 and turned in a personal-best time of 5:17.71.
Laura Gulliver was fourth in the pole vault; Julia Roberts finished fourth in the 1000-meter run. Darby Middlebrook was 5th in the 1600, Sydney Cook finished fifth in the high jump with a personal-best effort of five-feet, six inches. Cook also finished sixth in the pole vault.
Madison Harman was sixth in the 3200, and Tara Trivette was seventh in the high jump.
The WHS men had four state qualifiers in five events. They scored in three of those events, finiished 16th and had 12 points. Daniel Osborne, an all-state finisher in cross country last fall, finished fifth in the 3200 and 1600; Reid Harris was fifth in the pole vault.
Knightdale won the Class 4A title with 62 points. Aaron Covingtron of Raleigh-Wakefield was named the meet's MVP. He won two events, the 300 and the 500, and he helped the 4x400 relay team to a second-place finish. And for the middle of winter, the weatherman cooperated on Saturday.
"It was a nice day," Isaacs said. "We caught a break. It was sunny and in the 60s. It was very comfortable."
Cardinal Gibbons won the women's Class 1A/2A/3A title; Asheville defended its title by winning the men's championship.
NOTES: Hailey Middlebrook joined her sister, Darby, at the state swimming meet on Friday. She was a member of the 400-yard free-style relay team.....Sydney Cook and Tara Trivette will represent WHS at the New Balance Indoor Championships at the Armory in New York City on March 11. Cook will compete in the high jump and the pole vault; Trivette will compete in the high jump.
WHS STATE TRACK RESULTS:
HANNAH BARBOUR 4TH 1600 (PR-5:17.71), 12TH 3200
SYDNEY COOK 5TH HIGH JUMP, 6TH POLE VAULT
LAURA GULLIVER 4TH POLE VAULT (10-6)
DEBRA DOMMERMUTH 12TH POLE VAULT
MADISON HARMAN 6TH 3200
TARA TRIVETTE 7TH HIGH JUMP
JULIA ROBERTS 4TH 1000
DARBY MIDDLEBROOK 2ND 3200 (11:21.5), 5TH 1600
4X800 RELAY 3RD
DANIEL OSBORNE 5TH 3200, 5TH 1600
REID HARRIS 5TH POLE VAULT (13 FEET)
STEPHEN SCHMAL 23RD 500