WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The T.W. Andrews women claimed their second-ever and back-to-back Indoor Track and Field State Championship behind a dominant performance from meet MVP Nicole Barnes. The Croatan men’s team claimed the school’s first Indoor Track and Field Championship, cruising to victory over second place Kinston by a 63-42 final count.
WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP
Nicole Barnes from T.W. Andrews was an unstoppable force in the 1A/2A Championship meet. Barnes claimed victory in all four events she competed in, the maximum number of events any single individual is allowed to participate in, on her way to being named the meet MVP.
Barnes displayed her versatility winning two field events, the Long Jump and the Triple Jump, while claiming a pair of track events, the 55 Meter Hurdles and the 55 Meter Dash. She set a new 1A/2A Classification Meet record in the 55 Meter Dash, posting a time of :07.14 seconds, breaking the record she set last year of :07.19.
Barnes pulled away in the 55 Meter Hurdles as well, crossing in :08.11 seconds. She took the Long Jump with a distance of 17’ 07.25” while claiming the Triple Jump with a performance of 36’ 01.75”. Barnes performance helped T.W. Andrews edge Croatan 47-45 in the final team count.
Croatan relay teams claimed two of the meet’s four relay events. Trinity White, Maleia Smith, Gracie Damico and Kaleigh Hanson cruised to victory with a time of 4:15.16 in the 4 x 400 Relay, well ahead of second place Polk County who finished in 4:22.46. Later Croatan’s Reese Hogan, Gwen O’Brien and Makenna DeLuca combined with Hanson to edge North Lincoln in the 4 x 800 Relay. The Cougars crossed in 10:04.02.
Surry Central’s Sarah Brown set a new 1A/2A meet record in the Pole Vault. She cleared 11’ 00” to win the event by six inches over Draughn’s Leanna Seagraves. Brown and Seagraves both cleared higher than the 2014 1A/2A classification record set by Danielle Brown of Franklin when she cleared 10’ 00”. Hobbton’s Lakelyn Bass and East Henderson’s Pearl Ballard both cleared 10’ 00” during the meet which tied the old record.
West Montgomery’s Araybian Lilly was a double winner, claiming victory in the 500 Meter Dash and the 300 Meter Dash. Lilly crossed in 1:17.99 for the 500 Meters while sprinting to a time of :41.34 in her 300 Meter triumph.
MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP
Croatan cruised to victory on the Men’s side, earning first place points in three events including the 4 x 400 Relay. Brendon Hodge, Noah Bibus, Joseph Bulfer and Michael Quispe teamed up to earn the Cougars the victory in the 4 x 400, racing to a time of 3:33.24, more than five seconds in front of the second place quartet from Atkins.
Quispe also was victorious for Croatan in the 500 Meter Dash, clocking in at 1:06.53, while his teammate Bibus claimed third in the same event, crossing in 1:09.74. First Flight’s Zach Hughes was second, crossing in 1:07.98.
North Lincoln’s 4 x 800 Relay team set a new 1A/2A meet record, powering their way to a time of 8:12.93, just ahead of the Croatan group that posted 8:15.40. Jason Risse led off the record-setting relay for the Rebels, teaming with Johnny Grant, Jason Thomson and Brian Risse to earn first place.
There were two other 1A/2A meet records broken on the men’s side as the 1600 meter and 1000 meter records both fell. Dakota Mendenhall from Forbush set the new mark in the 1600 meters, crossing in 4:25.45 and eclipsing the 2015 time of 4:27.14 set by Elijah Inuwa from Central Academy. Skylar Stultz from First Flight had the record setting time in the 1000 meters, finishing in 2:32.72 and shattering the 2016 time of 2:36.35 set by Daniel Alvarez-Orlachia from Surry Central.
There were co-MVP’s in the men’s meet as Nolan Hodge from Northeastern and Dakota Oxendine from St. Pauls shared the award. Oxendine won the High Jump, clearing 6’ 07”, just three inches off of tying the 1A/2A meet record. Hodge claimed victory in the Long Jump with a performance of 21’ 06.50”. Hodge also finished second in the High Jump, clearing 6’ 04” while Oxendine was second in the Long Jump with a performance of 21’ 04”.