RALEIGH - Even a veteran coach like Chapel Hill High School’s Ron Olsen can be surprised every so often.
Olsen, who has more than 30 years of experience in track and field, knew his girls had a good chance to win the Carolina 3A Conference meet last week. But they did even better than expected, and so did the CHHS males, led by their distance runners.
The end results were a sweep of the boys’ and girls’ team conference championships for the first time since Chapel Hill joined the Carolina 3A, Olsen said.
"I can’t remember the last time this happened," he said. "What was so pleasing was that so many kids scored points. We had 16, 17 kids on each side (boys and girls) who scored. That’s pretty good for any team."
A dominant force in high school cross-country, CHHS has always done well in the distance events during the track-and-field season. Competing on a muggy, hot Wednesday at Cardinal Gibbons High School, the Tigers won all of the boys’ individual middle- and long-distance events, while the girls won the 800 and 3,200.
The Chapel Hill females were led by Hannah Blackburn’s three wins — in the 100 and 300 hurdles and the triple jump — worth 30 points total. Anne Connolly won the high jump for CHHS, helping the Tigers pick up 56 points in field events.
With 42 points off the hurdles, Chapel Hill won the girls’ meet with 171 points, well ahead of runner-up Orange at 120.5. Cardinal Gibbons had 118 for third, followed by Oxford Webb (62), Southern Vance (59.5) and Northern Vance (17).
Chris Reeder’s first-place finishes in the 800 and 1,600 meters led the Chapel Hill males. Deepu Singh won the 400 and Mitch McLeod, who was second in the 1,600, won the 3,200 meters to complete the Tigers’ distance sweep.
CHHS finished with 55 points from the boys’ distance events, "better than I expected," Olsen said. The Tigers won the boys’ team title with 122 points in a relatively close race with Orange, which won the final 4x400 relay to end up with 106 points. Cardinal Gibbons was again third (100.5), with Southern Vance (85.5) and Oxford Webb (79) rounding out the top five.
CHHS juniors Alexa Young and Emily Williams gave the Tigers a 1-2 finish in the girls 800 meters for 18 points. Blackburn, Kiara Dean and Ashley Amodei went 1-2-3 in the 300 hurdles 24 points.
Chapel Hill’s Connolly, Williams, Young and Tristan Van Ord slammed the door shut on the field by winning the final 4x400 relay in 4:13.6, more than 3 seconds in front of Cardinal Gibbons (4:17.1). Running the anchor, Young broke the minute mark for the first time and passed the leader on the back stretch for a leg of 58.6 seconds.
Orange got wins from Nicole Watkins (shot put) and ninth-grader Kacia Vines (400 meters) on the girls’ side. For the Orange males, Tamir Jones won the 110 hurdles, Montrey Deloatch the 300 hurdles, and the Panthers won the boys’ 4x400 relay.
Winners were not the only ones to make a difference for CHHS, Olsen said. He noted that Sawyer Chipley provided 10 points with his third in the 300 hurdles and fourth in the 110 hurdles.
"He did that with his shins hurting him," Olsen said. "He wasn’t able to train for two to three weeks. He went out and gave us 10 points more than we would have had two weeks ago.Miner leads Wildcat males to PAC-6 title
Led by Sam Miner’s victories in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters, plus double wins by sprinter Will Buckley and throws specialist Jon Beyle, East Chapel Hill won the boys’ PAC-6 track and field championship Wednesday at Riverside High School’s Linny Wrenn Stadium.
Despite wins by Pegah Kamrani in the 1,600 and 3,200 and Maggie Meshnich’s first-place in the 800, the East Chapel Hill girls could not catch perennial champion Jordan.
Earlier this season, East had been the first team in eight years to defeat Jordan’s girls in a dual meet, and the Wildcats went on to finish undefeated in conference meets this spring.
But any optimistic thoughts about unseating Jordan’s girls in the PAC-6 meet were upset when the Wildcats’ 4x200 relay was disqualified, after a first-place finish, because of a late baton exchange outside the proper zone. Jordan got the first-place points, while East got zero.
Jordan stayed in front the rest of the way and sealed the team win by edging East Chapel Hill for third place in the final 4x400 relay. The Falcons won the girls’ meet with 135 points, while East Chapel Hill had 134.
East Chapel Hill won the boys’ meet more comfortably, with 148 points to the 109 of runner-up Riverside. Jordan was third with 95, followed by Hillside (84), Northern Durham (66), Roxboro Person (30.5) and Southern Durham (24.5).
Buckley won the 100 and 200 with a pair of razor-thin margins. His 11.17 seconds in the 100 was less than one-tenth of a second in front of Riverside’s Cameron Roan (11.26). Buckley won the 200 in 22.29, with Hillside’s Quyshaan Higgins right behind in 22.36.
Beyle scratched on his best mark of the day in the shot put and got a serious challenge from Southern’s Jalen Peterkin; Beyle won with 52 feet, 6 inches, well shirt of his personal best, while Peterkin hit 51-1.5 for second place. Beyle had less trouble with the discus, winning with 168-1, compared to the 148-5 of Northern’s Kourtney Farrow.
Justen Best gave East a victory in the high jump, helping the Wildcats total 148 points. Riverside, competing without multiple threat Kourtney Whitted due to a strained hamstring, was second with 109 points. Jordan (95) was third, with Hillside (84), 5, Northern Durham (66), Roxboro Person (30.5) and Southern Durham (24.5) rounding out the field.
Complete results of the PAC-6 and Carolina 3A Conference meets can be found at chapelhillnews.com
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