Watauga track and field

SAWMILLS — The Watauga boys’ track and field team used distance running and jumping to claim a victory in the Spartan Invitational held at South Caldwell High on March 30.

Watauga finished the meet, which involved eight teams, with 146 points. South Caldwell was second with 130 points followed by Charlotte Independence, which finished with 120.

Alexander Central was fourth with 91 points and Harding University High was fifth with 59.5 points. Freedom was sixth with 57 points, Hibriten was seventh with 41.5 and West Caldwell was eighth with 35.

“It went very well,” Watauga coach Randy McDonough said. “We weren’t rated as high as some of the other teams going into the meet. A few of our kids had personal records and the weather was almost perfect for it. Toward the end it got hot and the kids were enjoying being hot.”

Watauga dominated the distance events, starting with the 3,200-meter run. Freshman Gavin Sweeney won the event with a time of 10 minutes, 33.42 seconds. Rein Freeman, a sophomore, was second with a time of 10:57.96, and sophomore Spencer Cathey was fifth with a time of 11:56.72.

Watauga’s 3,200-meter relay team edged Freedom by finishing first with a time of 9:09.38. Freedom was second with a 9:11.99.

Sweeney also won the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:41.31. Watauga’s Avery Cannon was second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:04.03. Caleb Courtney was third with a time of 2:05.22 and Caleb Cox was fourth with a time of 2:07.38.

Watauga’s Luke Drummonds led a trio of Independence hurdles across the finish line in the 100-meter hurdles by winning the event with a time of 15:45 seconds. The Pioneers’ Grant Oliver was third in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 44.67 seconds.

Watauga sophomore Sebastian Best claimed second place in the triple jump with a leap of 41 feet, 21/2 inches, and second in the long jump with an effort of 20-5. Drummonds was third in the triple jump with a jump of 38-11 and fourth in the long jump with a leap of 18-0.

Watauga freshman Henry Coatney and sophomore Jayden Robbins finished with a tie for second place in the pole vault with an effort of 9-6. South Caldwell standout vaulter Carter Lewis finished with an effort of 13-0.

Sam Sappington earned Watauga a third-place in the discus throw with a toss of 133-5 and a fifth-place finish in the shot put with a toss of 40-4. Sappington qualified for the regional meet in the discus by throwing farther than 132 feet.

“He probably would have gotten in with the other marks he had this year, but he actually officially qualified,” McDonough said. “I think he will end up throwing 140 by the end of the year.”

Watauga girls’ track and field

SAWMILLS — The Watauga girls’ track and field team cruised to a victory in the Spartan Invitational held at South Caldwell March 30.

The Pioneers dominated the distance events to cruise to scoring 210.5 points. Alexander Central was second with 92.5 points, while Charlotte Independence was third with 84 and Charlotte Hardin University High was fourth with 80 points.

“We didn’t go into the meet intending to do that, but things kept happening,” McDonough said of Watauga’s high score. “The kids kept doing very well and, knock on wood, our relay handoffs for the girls are doing beautifully right now.”

Watauga scored 66 points in distance events, which was more than South Caldwell’s team, which finished with 58 points. Freedom was six with 29 points, followed by Hibriten with 26 points and West Caldwell, which settled for 11 points.

Watauga junior Sophia Ritter won the 1,600-meter and the 3,200-meter races. Ritter was the only runner to break the six-minute barrier in the 1,600 with a time of 5:29.86. Her teammate, Emma Tzotschew, was second in the 1,600 with a time of 6:09.37.

Ritter led three Pioneers in the 3,200 with a time of 12:09.87. Rebecca Anderson was second with a time of 12:14.59 and Sophie Beach was third with a time of 12:16.83.

Emma Beach gave Watauga a win in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:32.09. Riley Fowler was second with a time of 2:33.07 and Sidra Miller was third with a 23:34.46.

Watauga also won the 3,200-meter relay with a time of 10:45.83.

The Pioneers had their share of success in the jumps. Brooke Byrd won the high jump with a leap of 5-feet. Byrd was second in the long jump with a jump of 15-9, while Grace Horine was second in the triple jump with a leap of 30-0. Abby Keller, a freshman, was third in the high jump with a height of 4-4.

Watauga’s Ella Nelson captured the win in the pole vault with an effort of 9-6. Grace Watson was second with an 8-6.

Tegan Allan took second in the shot put with a toss of 28-11, while Briana Jones was fourth with a toss of 27-4. Allan was third in the discus throw with a toss of 80-11 and Jones was sixth in the discus with a toss of 76-6.

“All of the throwers improved on Saturday,” McDonough said. “It was a great day for throwing for us.”

Emma Brown contributed 18 points to the final totals by winning the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 47.93 and taking second in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.11. Sarah Good was fourth in the 100-hurdles with a time of 18:56. Kendall Reece was third in the 300-hurdles with a time of 50.43.

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