GREENSBORO — Overall, Watauga track and field coach Randy McDonough was happy with the results of the state 3-A track and field championships held at Belk Stadium on the North Carolina A&T campus May 17.

The meet was held at the same time the 2-A championships were run.

Watauga did not win any championships, but had some athletes reach the top 10 in events.

“It was a great day for us,” McDonough said. “Bringing what we brought and scoring how we did. Starting out with the boys, three people and three places, two seventh and a fifth. I’ll take that any time.”

Watauga’s boys’ team got its fifth-place finish from Avery Cannon, who finished fifth in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:51.26.

In the field events, Sebastian Best finished seventh in the boys’ long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 2 inches.

Samuel Sappington finished seventh in the boys’ discus throw with a toss of 142-10. Alexander Central standout Lyndon Strickland won the event with a throw of 176-6. Strickland was also fifth in the shot put with a toss of 48-3.

“I was a little nervous at first,” Sappington said. “I got the last (qualifying throw) in and I made it to the finals, so I relaxed a little bit and started to actually throw better.”

It was Sappington’s first state meet, but it’s also his last since he’s a senior. Cannon, a junior, and Best, a sophomore, could get another chance at competing in a state championship meet.

“It’s something to build on,” McDonough said. “All but Sam come back next year.”

Watauga junior distance runner Sophia Ritter finished fourth in the girls’ 1,600-meter run with a time of 5 minutes, 11.10 seconds, which was a personal record. Ritter, a veteran of state championship meets, also placed fifth in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:24.98.

“I’m pleasantly surprised,” Ritter said after the 1,600-meter run. “I just wanted to run as fast as I can.”

Distance running provided Watauga with an eighth-place finish in the 3,200-meter relay. The team of Emma Tzotschew, Carolina Edwards, Sidra Miller and Emma Beach finished with a time of 1:01.99.

Watauga’s 1,600-meter relay team comprised of Brooke Byrd, Emma Brown, Kendall Reese and Kate Tuberty finished fifth in its heat, but did not finish in the top eight. Despite that, three of the four Pioneers finished the leg of their race under 64 seconds and the other finished under 65 seconds.

“My goal was to watch the person in lane two and keep up with her,” Brown, who ran the first leg of the relay, said. “I ended up passing her, which was great. My goal was also to try and get us the lead as best as I could.”

Weddington won the boys’ overall team championship with 102 points. Cuthbertson was a distant second with 53 points and Mount Tabor was third with 35. Watauga was 30th overall with eight points.

Winston-Salem Parkland won the girls’ team championship with 78 points. Cuthbertson was second with 71 points and Durham Hillside was third with 63 points. Watauga was tied with Franklinton in 23rd place with 10 points.

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