By David Rogers. April 5, 2017. BOONE, NC — Seventh grader Nyla Johnson started things off for the host Watauga middle school track and field team on Tuesday with an impressive win in the 55-Meter Hurdles, helping to jumpstart the overall team performance in outpointing four regional rivals with 108 team points.
COVER IMAGE: After four laps around the track, Watauga’s Maddie Parker (left) and Sophie Beach were neck and neck at the finish in the Girls 1600 Meters. Beach leaned across for the win. All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
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Watauga and Central Wilkes dominated the team scoring. The High Country’s favorite daughters were particularly strong in the sprints, distance races and jumps. Central Wilkes’ forte was similarly in the sprints and distance races, and picked up a generous portion of the team points available in the fhrows. Interestingly, North Wilkes picked up zero points in the individual sprints and distance runs, but led all comers when it came to the team relay events.
- 108 — Watauga
- 87 — Central Wilkes
- 26 — Starmount
- 21 — North Wilkes
- 8 — East Wilkes
Johnson posted the only sub-11 seconds performance in the 55-hurdles on the sometimes blustery, but sun-filled afternoon at Watauga High School track. Her 10.98 in heat 3 bested a pair of Central Wilkes athletes in 7th grader Abby McGroaty (11.06) and Cathy Chaquea (8th grade, 11.07). Two more Watauga girls finished 4th and 5th, respectively: Ella Nelson (8th, 11.08) and Sarah Goode (7th, 11.16).
In the Girls 100 Meter Dash, Starmount’s Keyona Reynolds nipped Cove Creek 8th grader Kendall Reece by one-tenth of a second. Reynolds was timed in 14.84, while the Watauga runner made the trip in 14.94. Both athletes were running in heat 1.
Just over three one-hundreths of a second was all that separated Watauga 7th graders Sophie Beach (6:49.51) and Maddie Parker (6:49.86) in the Girls 1600-Meter Run. The distance duo traded the lead coming down the straightaway before Beach leaned in front to take the checkered flag at the wire. Abby Curry (8th, 6:55.96) was third, ahead of 4th place finisher from Watauga, Carlton Dyer (7th, 7:12.53).
In the 4×100 Relay, a relatively close 4-way finish saw North Wilkes (58.16) get the win, with Central Wilkes (58.17) in 2nd and Watauga “A” (58.34) in third. Watauga “B” was a non-scoring entry, but finished in 4th, just ahead of Starmount and East Wilkes.
Central Wilkes went 1-2 in the Girls 400-Meter Dash, led by Zoe Susi (7th, 1:09.32) and Lauren Pyke (8th, 1:09.85). Watauga’s Lillie Jamison (8th, 1:10.74) and Ella Miller (7th, 1:12.99) were third and fourth place, respectively.
Watauga’s Parker was all that prevented Central Wilkes from sweeping the top three spots in the Girls 800-Meter Run. The 7th grader from Cove Creek School took second in a time of 2:59.45, but she was almost 13 seconds behind Central Wilkes’ Zoe Mathis (7th, 2:46.67) who dominated the race almost from the get-go. Central Wilkes’ Abby Curry (8th, 3:00.04), Sarah Lowe (7th, 3:02.99) and Watauga’s Beach (7th, 3:04.04) rounded out the top five.
A pair of Watauga 8th graders, Grace Horine (8th, 29.06) and Reece (29.31) took the top spots while running in heat 1 of the Girls 200-Meter Dash. Central Wilkes’ Ryleigh Parker (7th, 30.32) and Watauga’s Ella Triplett (7th, 30.73) finished 3rd and 4th, respectively. Starmount’s Reynolds also ran in heat 1, taking 5th place overall with a time of 30.77.
Watauga “A” blew past the field in the Girls 4×200 Meter Relay, finishing in 2:01.60. North Wilkes was almost 6 seconds behind in 2:07.21, followed by non-scoring Watauga “B” in 2:07.30.
In the Girls’ Discus, Central Wilkes Adia McCurdy (7th) posted a distance of 64-05, well ahead of Brianna Miller (North Wilkes, 8th, 59-02), Grace Presnell (Watauga, 7th, 58-11), and Wren Brown (Starmount, 58-03).
Watauga went 1-2 in the High Jump, with Victoria Cool and Horine both jumping 4-04. Noel Pratt of Central Wilkes jumped 4-02, and Watauga’s Maddy Watson led a gaggle of jumpers at 4-00, including Taylor Payne (Starmount), McKenzie Johnson (North Wilkes), Lilly Brown (East Wilkes) and Joryn Bailey (East Wilkes).
Rounding out the Girls’ competition, Starmount’s Emma Freed leaped 12-07 to take first place in the Long Jump, ahead of Kate Dailey (Watauga, 7th, 12-05), Ryleigh Parker (Central Wilkes, 7th, 12-04), Lilly Brown (East Wilkes, 8th, 12-02), and Starmount’s Licxy Jimenez (11-10).