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GREENSBORO -- Junior Jarrett Samuels of Charlotte Vance turned in an outstanding performance to lead his school to the men's team championship in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 4-A track and field championships at the Irwin Belk Track on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University on Saturday.
Samuels captured top honors in the long jump and 400 meters to earn the Most Valuable Performer award as Vance won its first team title since 2000, ending New Bern's string of consecutive team championships at four.
Vance held off a charge by Southeast Raleigh, tallying 60 points to 57 for the runners-up. Raleigh Broughton was third with 36, followed in order by Knightdale (35), Huntersville Hopewell (33) and Raleigh Wakefield (29). A total of 56 schools tallied in the men's meet.
Knightdale's Mar-Keo Jones, a junior, was also a double individual winner, taking first both the 100 and 200, and he ran the anchor leg on the victorious four by 100 relay team. Southeast Raleigh's Steven Bell swept to victory in both the triple jump and the high jump, while Wakefield's Mitch Mallory won the 3200 meters by a whopping 18 seconds.
The women's team race was extraordinarily close, with four schools entering the final event within five points of the lead. But Raleigh Wakefield, which led by a single point, won the four by 400 meter relay in a record-setting time of 3:49.83, breaking a 13-year mark held by Greensboro Grimsley. With that win, Wakefield took the team title by seven points with a total of 49 to 42 for runner-up Southeast Raleigh.
Matthews David Butler was third with 39, followed by Asheville T.C. Roberson (37), West Mecklenburg (31) and Raleigh Millbrook (29). A total of 59 schools scored in the women's meet.
Junior Keni Harrison of Clayton was the winner in both women's hurdle events and was named the meet MVP. Sanura Eley-O'Reilly of Fayetteville Jack Britt broke her own state all-classification record in the 400 meters in a time of 53.43 seconds.
The Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Greensboro Sports Commission served as the host city sponsors for the event.
COMPLETE MEET RESULTS, INCLUDING PRELIMINARIES, ARE POSTED ELSEWHERE ON THE NCHSAA WEB SITE UNDER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS, THEN CLICK ON TRACK