Reid Harris closed out his prep career on a high note Saturday. The Watauga High senior, who will attend UNC-Charlotte next season, turned in a second-place finish in the pole vault event at the Class 4A state track meet at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro. Harris, who owns the school record in the pole vault with a jump of 15-feet, two-inches (he set the record
three times during the season, the last time May 5 at the Western Regional in Boone), cleared the bar with an effort of 14-6. Harrison Booth of Broughton cleared the bar at 14-6, but he did it in fewer attempts and won the state title. Harris actually finished in a second-place tie with Austin Vegas of East Forsyth.
Max Ruble of the Pioneers, who will walk on at UNCC, finished in a fifth-place tie with a jump of 13 feet. Andrew Vandenberg, who has signed with Milligan College in Johnson City, TN, had a 13th-place finish in the 3,200-meter run (10:05.32). The WHS men finished 22nd with 10.50 points. Knightdale won the state title with 67 points. Pfafftown-Reagan finished a distant second with 48 points.
On the women's side, the Pioneers had four place finishers and finished 16th as a team with 16 points. Wakefield dominated the meet and won the state title with 60 points. West Mecklenburg, which finished second to WHS at regionals last weekend, finished a distant second with 35 points. Darby Middlebrook and the 4x800 relay team (Hailey Middlebrook, Darby Middlebrook, Julia Roberts, and Anna Schultz-Coulon) turned in WHS' best efforts of the day.
Middlebrook finished third in the 1,600-meter run in 4:59.10; ironically, Samantha George of Raleigh-Millbrook, who dethroned Middlebrook as state champion in cross country last fall, won the race in 4:51.54. The WHS 4x800 relay team ran a strong race and finished third (9:15.59), just four seconds off the pace. Broughton won the race in 9:11.48; Green Hope finished second in 9:15.56. Madison Harman finished sixth in the 3,200 (11:16.41) and Hailey Middlebrook finished eighth in the 800 (2:22.31). Tara Trivette was 12th in the high jump (4-feet, 10-inches) and Taylor Drummonds finished in a ninth-place tie in the women's pole vault with an effort of ten feet.
In Class 3A, Cameron Stinson of Hickory put on a show Friday night at North Carolina A&T. Stinson placed in three events and scored 20 points leading Hickory to a tenth-place finish. He finished second in the 200-meter dash (21.68), and he finished third in the 100 (10.67) and the long jump (22-feet, six-inches). Berry Academy of Charlotte won the men's state title with 65 points; North Bumcombe won the women's state title with 34 points.