BOONE — Watauga’s quest to crown some state champions will have to wait.
The NCHSAA 3-A State Track and Field Championships, scheduled for May 18, was moved to May 20 because of rain and lightning in the Greensboro area.
The meet, which begins at 11 a.m. at Belk Track at North Carolina A&T, will be run at the same time as the 1-A championships.
The weather forecast still calls for rain on Sunday, but there are expectations that the lightning won’t be a big problem, according to Watauga coach Randy McDonough.
“(May 17) was planned to just do a warm-up and let them go,” McDonough said. “We have to change it a little bit and do a little bit (May 18).”
Eight Pioneers qualified for the state meet. Four of them — Emma Beach, Emma Tzotschew, Carolina Edwards and Sophia Ritter — qualified in the 3,200-meter relay. Ritter, who also qualified in the 3,200-meter run, is a sophomore running in her second state meet.
Emma Brown qualified in the 100-meter hurdles by taking third place in the western regional, which was May 12 at Watauga.
The boys’ team is sending Bryce Satterfield, who will run in the 400-meter dash after turning in a personal best time of 50.26 seconds at the regional despite not feeling well. Josh Lamont also qualified for the 3,200-meter dash with a time of 10:09.82.
A Pioneer who almost had to miss the meet was Luke Drummonds, who had to take an exam on May 18. Drummonds qualified in the triple jump and will be able to jump on May 20.
It’s a young team going to Greensboro. Lamont is the lone senior, while Satterfield is just a sophomore.
“It’s very encouraging because we had more non-seniors who finished fifth, six and seventh place in the regional that we think can get up there in the next few years. When you look at the conference meet this year, most of the scorers were eight sophomores or freshmen with some juniors or seniors sprinkled in.”
McDonough is looking forward to see the younger athletes improve as they get older. He also likes what he sees on the middle school level.
McDonough also wants some of his busier athletes — McDonough named sophomores Brooke Byrd and Rebekah Farthing as examples — of bring promising athletes who were overused and needed more rest during the season.
Byrd and Farthing were long jumpers, triple jumpers and high jumpers. They also would run a race or in a relay if necessary.
Both athletes also played volleyball and basketball before participating in track and field.
“We’ve got some who make the progression just because they grow up,” McDonough said. “In the girls, we’ve got Brooke who had a little hard luck this year. We used her probably way too much and we’ve got to back off of her a little bit so she can get some rest.”
McDonough said Winston-Salem Parkland is an early favorite for the girls, with Cuthbertson, Weddington and Chapel Hill close behind. Weddington is the favorite to win the boys’ meet, followed by Parkland, Cuthbertson, Southern Durham, Kannapolis Brown and Southeast Guilford.
“It’s looking like Weddington as the team to beat for the boys,” McDonough said.