BOONE — Watauga’s girls’ track and field team raced to a victory in a six-team meet held at Jack Groce Stadium on March 27.
Watauga racked up 190 points, well in front of second-place Ashe County, which finished with 117 points. Freedom was third with 96 points and West Caldwell was a distant fourth with 36. Avery was fifth with 27 points and North Wilkes was sixth with 23 points.
Watauga scored at least 21 points in all six categories of competition, including 50 points in the jumps. Ella Nelson won the pole vault with a vault of 10-feet, which topped Ashe County’s Melena Howell, who vaulted 8-6 feet.
Watauga’s Grace Watson was third with a vault of 8-6, while Sarah Goode was fourth with an effort of 8-0. Lauren Shaw was fifth with a 7-6 and Avery’s Salem Hudson was sixth with an effort of 7-0.
Brooke Byrd gave Watauga a first-place finish in the long jump with a leap of 15-2. Byrd was the only athlete to leap farther than 15 feet.
Ashe County’s Bella Potter was second with a jump of 14-11 and Watauga’s Kate Dailey, a freshman, was third with an effort of 14-3. Ashe’s Bella Powers was fourth with a 13-9 and Avery’s Hudson was fifth with a 13-5.
Potter also won the high jump with a 4-10, while Byrd was fourth with a 4-8.
Watauga’s Grace Horine finished second in the triple jump with a leap of 31-61/2. Ashe’s Holly Grant was third with a 30-73/4 and Rebekah Farthing was fifth with a 29-21/4.
“We have an athletic group of jumpers,” Watauga coach Randy McDonough said. “They’re not at the top of the conference, but they are right behind. There might be one or two people from different teams in front of them, but no one has our depth on that front.”
Watauga, led by senior Madelyn Furr, scored 21 points in the throws. Furr finished second in the discus throw with a toss of 72-4 and was second in the shot put with a effort of 30-8.
“She’s done well,” McDonough said. “She’s started to figure it out. There were a few things she had to work on through the winter and it’s starting to pay off.”
Briana Jones was fourth in the discus with a toss of 70-3, Lila Cantrell of Avery was fifth with a toss of 69-5 and Emily Fuller was sixth with a throw of 68-09.
In the sprints, Powers was second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 29.32 seconds. Watauga’s Juniper Peltz was fourth in the 200-dash with an effort of 30.02. Peltz was also fourth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 14.6, while Farthing was fifth with a time of 14.9. Abby Keller was sixth with a time of 14.19 in an event that saw Watauga run 18 sprinters.
“In the 100, we were trying to do a time trial,” McDonough said. “We were trying to build our relay teams for conference, so we were trying to see who our actual fastest people were.”
Ashe County’s Alexis Blevins was second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:10.72, while Horine was third with a 1:13.10 and Isabella Sibaja was fourth with a time of 1:14.33.
Watauga junior Emma Brown won the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.24 seconds. Brown was the lone athlete to break the 17-minute barrier. Howell scored six points for Ashe by finishing third with a time of 18.55 and Good picked up four points for Watauga by taking fourth with a time of 19.10.
Kendall Reece scored 10 points for Watauga by winning the 300-meter hurdles by posting a time of 52.25 seconds. Watauga’s Livia Coppedge was third with a time of 56.82 and Good was fifth with a time of 57.54.
Watauga also scored 29 points in distance running. But, Ashe County dominated the 800-meter run by grabbing the top three spots. Mahaley Cronk took first with a time of 2:39.60, while Malorie Eller was second with a time of 2:43.24. Ashe County’s Olivia Randolph was third with a time of 2:45.37.
Watauga’s Lena Miller was fourth with a time of 2:51.25 and Emma Tzotschew was sixth with a time of 2:58.28. Sidra miller was seventh with a time of 2:58.48.
Watauga dominated the 1,600-meter run by sheer numbers. The Pioneers entered 21 runners in the event, which was won by junior Sophia Ritter, who clocked a time of 5:43.60.
Isabellte Broman-fulks was second with a time of 5:52.59, while Miller was third with a 5:53.83. Emma Beach was fourth with a time of 5:54.40, Riley Fowler was fifth with a time of 5:55.78 and Miller was sixth with a time of 5:56.51.
“Basically everybody sprinted and ran the 100 and got to pick their events from there,” McDonough said. “They did a pretty good job picking what events needed to be filled. They saw what events were open and some of them tried new things.”