NCHSAA Indoor Track Championships:
Published: Feb 12, 2013 06:00 AM
Modified: Feb 11, 2013 03:42 PM
WINSTON-SALEM - Jon Beyle knew as soon as he let it fly that it was a winner.
Beyle, who won the shot put competition in last year’s N.C. High School Indoor Track Championships in Chapel Hill with an attempt of 55 feet, 1.5 inches, wasn’t really being pushed last weekend. His closest competitor in the 2013 indoor championships, Chris Cubra of Asheville Reynolds, had topped out at 54-6.
Two weeks before, in the N.C. Elite Invitational at the same JDL Fast Track, Beyle had hit 58-9. That was his personal best indoors — up until Saturday’s NCHSAA championships.
“I was really thinking about hitting 60 and I just got an extra foot and 10 inches,” Beyle said.
Beyle won his second straight state indoor title with an attempt of 61 feet, 10 inches Saturday.
“When I threw it I knew that everything was perfect about the throw — that I’d really put it all together,” he said. “I’d thrown 58-7 before than, two inches off of my PR, so I just went for it and it all clicked.
“I got everything I was looking for out of that throw and more.”
Saturday’s championship was his fourth NCHSAA title in 12 months, including last year’s indoor championships and the 2012 outdoor titles in both shot and discus.
Competing just three days after he made his official commitment to compete next year for the University of North carolina, Beyle provided one of the major highlights at the NCHSAA 4A championships, held for the first time at the JDL in Winston-Salem.
A.J. Tucker of Cedar Ridge lit up the combined 3-2-1/A championships with his win in the 3,200 meters.
Tucker stuck to his usual style, hanging in the middle of the back for the first mile of the event, then pushing ahead with Cardinal Gibbons’ Nick Tyrey and pulling away from the field.
“The race broke pretty much like I was expecting it to,” Tucker said. “I knew I wanted to be near or in the lead with about 800 to go.”
Tyrey went to the lead with 800 meters to go but ran for the next 400 with Tucker perched a stride or two behind him and on his outside shoulder. Tucker made his move at the start of the 15th of 16 laps, edging ahead of Tyrey near the start-finish line. He pulled away to a 15-meter lead with 300 meters to go, capturing his fourth individual state championship in 9:30.7. Tyrey finished second in 9:36.57.
“This was just about winning, not running a time,” said Tucker, having lopped 10 full seconds off his previous best, set just two weeks before on the same track. “My time isn’t bad, especially on a short track, which slows you down. So I’m still happy with my time but I’m more happy with the win.”
Tucker is the reigning state outdoor 1,600 champion and a two-time 2A cross country state champion.
Other notable finishes included that of Orange’s Indy Reid Shaw, who finished fifth in the 3-2-1A girls’ 3,200 meters and teamed with Devon Allen, Christina Jones and Megan Joyner to take fifth in the 4 x 800 relay.
East Chapel Hill’s Will Buckley finished sixth in the 55 meters and Jesse Mechanic took 10th in the pole vault to help East earn 11th place out of 47 teams. Teammate Nina Pande was 15th in the 4A girls’ 3,200.
Mary Grace Doggett, a junior at Cardinal Gibbons, won her second straight 3,200-meter girls championship in the 3-2-1A meet.
Clay Best contributed to this report.
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