By Ryan Bisesi
GREENSBORO — North Rowan’s boys track team was going for No. 3 Friday.
It got it in a sense.
The third-place finish at the state meet at N.C. A&T ended the Cavaliers rule of the 1A track world but not without a fight. The Cavs got points from a slew of top-five finishes in the relay and sprinting events but Heide Trask grabbed the lead six events in and Mitchell joined the party to place second.
North coach Todd Allen took solace in his guys ending the season on a good note with much of the team setting personal bests in the team’s last meet in the 1A classification.
“They gave me their all,” said Allen. “There may be a little disappointment from not winning, but I can’t be mad with them.”
Trask finished with 66 points and Mitchell had 50 to best North’s 46-point effort. The Cavs got a top-five finish in all but one event they participated in but were hurt from not having anyone in the jumping or distance events.
Speedster Hunter Walker led North by scoring 14 points and gained a runnerup placement in the 110-meter hurdles. Walker finished first in the preliminaries and had the fastest qualifying time entering the meet. Winston Salem Prep’s Sterling Jones fell across the finish line to beat Walker’s surge by three-tenths of a second. Nonetheless, Walker was pleased with his 14.77 time, a personal best.
“I felt like it was a really close, intense race the whole way through,” said Walker, who came out for track in his senior year after not running since the eighth grade. “Running has just come natural to me since I was a little kid.”
It looked natural again in the 300 hurdles, where Walker placed third in 41.21 seconds.
“He’s every type of athlete that you would want,” He goes out and works very hard.”
Walker was also a part of the 4×200 relay team (Walker, Xavier Robinson, Daylon Gray, Eric Gadson) that finished fifth in 1:31. The Cavs were fourth after a 3:34 4×400 (Darrius Wallace, Justin Kimber, Demiah Hawkins, Kenneth Frey) and a 43.84 4×100 (Robinson, Gray, Courtney Roseborough, Gadson), both of which were season-best times.
Sophomore Alexis Archie placed second in the shot put with a throw of 49 feet, 4 inches. It was his best throw of the year. Teammate Shane Parker came in fifth with a 45-6.
“I just wanted to get a PR,” Archie said. “I felt confident. I was expecting my greatest, but not to come in first place as a sophomore.”
Trask’s Wesley Porter won the shot with a 51-3 throw. The Titans also earned gold in the discus and 300 hurdles to pull away. Through 16 events, Trask had 57 points to second-place North’s 41.
In addition to helping the relay teams, Gadson placed fourth in the 200 run with a 23.01 time.
“Coming off the blocks, I felt pretty comfortable,” Gadson said. “I had to show my coaches that I could do my best.”
Gray Stone’s 4×800 girls relay (Rebecca Brickner, Kelsey Kiser, Sarah Goodnight, Caroline McLeod) finished third with a 10:19 finish.
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