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2A Track:Salisbury girls finish second

By David Shaw
dshaw@salisburypost.com
GREENSBORO — Salisbury’s girls track team brought home the hardware Saturday, even if it wasn’t the piece the Hornets wanted.
By earning 48 team points and finishing second in the 2A state meet at North Carolina A&T, SHS earned the runnersup plaque for the second straight season.
“It’s disappointing because we wanted first,” junior Summer Taylor said after the Hornets were edged by Carboro (55). “But considering how far behind we were, I’m happy. We all are.”
That included senior Alisha Bradshaw, who captured both the shot put (39-7) and discus (119-10) with subpar throws. A Western Carolina signee, she had eyes on a couple of state records.
“I could’ve done a lot better,” Bradshaw said after outdistancing Hanna Metzinger of Bunn (118-6) — despite fouling on four of her six attempts in the disc. “It was very unusual. I felt comfortable during the warmups, but when it counted I just couldn’t get my throws right.”
It was Bradshaw’s second consecutive state title in the discus. Teammate Bryce Ford placed eighth with a 96-7.
“Last year Alisha threw in the high-120’s,” Salisbury coach David Johnson said. “To her, she was going backwards. She’s her own harshest critic. So with her it’s probably more mental than anything.”
Later in the day Bradshaw won her first shot put crown, outgunning East Bladen basketball star Courtney Melvin (39-2 1/2). Once again her best throw came in an opening flight.
“Again I wanted to do better,” said Bradshaw, who also had the third- and fourth-longest throws in the competition. “That’s always a personal goal I set for myself. But I still wound up first. You can’t do any better than that.”
No you can’t. “She’s great at this,” said Melvin, best-known as a 6-foot-2 post player. “This is just something I’m doing for fun. She’s been doing it since middle school and today, it showed.”
Taylor got the Hornets six team points by placing sixth in the long jump (16-4) and 400-meter dash (1:01.65). And in the 800 senior Emily Shields finished second in career-best 2:20.04.
“My goal was to run that fast and look what happened — it got us eight points,” she said. “That was encouraging.”
Shields spent most of the race drafting behind Berry Academy sophomore Micalyn Zimmerman. But down the stretch both runners were passed by winner Grace Morken of Carboro, who crossed the line in 2:19.27.
“She came from nowhere, along the inside,” Shields said. “I tried but I couldn’t stay with her.”
Shields’ sister Katherine finished fifth in the 1600 run (5:23.31) but failed to score in the 3200, placing ninth in 12:28.36. Najwa Allison added a surprising sixth-place finish in the 200 dash (26.81) but was out of the running for a medal in the 100 (11th in 12.85).
In addition, Salisbury’s 4×400 relay team of Emily Shields, Talina Ross, Ayana Holmes and Taylor earned a fourth-place ribbon (4:14.66). The Hornets’ 4×100 relay team was eighth in 51.32 seconds.
“A lot of the girls did what we expected,” Johnson said. “Some of them did worse. Nobody came out here and did better than they did in the regionals.”
As for the team race, Johnson believes Salisbury got exactly what it deserved. “I knew whoever came out and performed its best would win.” he said. “And today, we weren’t that team.”

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