High school boys track: Team effort for Mustangs
GRANITE QUARRY — There are 18 events in a standard high school track and field meet.
East Rowan’s boys won just two of them in Wednesday’s North Piedmont Conference Championships, but the Mustangs still grabbed the team title.
It was the ultimate cumulative effort, with East totaling 152 points to nip North Iredell’s 145. Carson (80) edged West Rowan (77) for third. South Iredell scored 71, while Statesville managed just 12.
East won the title in 2018, the first year with this conference configuration. West took the championship in 2019, with East tumbling all the way to fifth place.
There was no meet in 2020 due to COVID.
Now the Mustangs are back on top. They’ll be competing on a vastly different landscape in the revised and realigned South Piedmont Conference in 2022.
Scoring was through sixth place on a 10-8-6-4-2-1 scale.
Isaac Hinceman was East’s lone individual winner. He took the 400 in 52.34 seconds. He also placed second in the high jump.
East’s other first place came from the 4×800 relay unit of Brayden Self, Thomas Ferguson, Daniel Gonzalez and Preston Whicker.
The 1600 meters provided a boost for the Mustangs. East placed 2-3-5 in that event for 16 points. Ferguson led the way. He also took second in the 3200.
The pole vault was critical for the Mustangs. Only four competitors cleared a height and Mustangs placed 2-3-4 for 18 points. Seth Drake finished second.
Sammy Pinckney placed second in the 100 and long jump. Pinckney and Hinceman were part of East’s second-place 4×100 team, along with Tahj Young and Vincent Jones.
Dominic Dale and Matthew Downing gave East 3-4 placement in the discus.
The only event in which East didn’t get points was the 200.
Carson was led by Utah Brown, who won both hurdling events. He took the 110 in 16.09 seconds and the 300 in 43.96. Brown also ran on a second-place 4×400 team that included James Anderson, Alex Stewart and Cole Issacs. Brown had a big day and added a third in the 100.
Carson freshman Jack Nixon won the triple jump with an effort of 35 feet.
West Rowan lacked depth but won six events, with four of those firsts coming in sprints.
Sophomore Malachi Smith won two individual events, taking the 100 meters in 11.58 seconds and the long jump with a leap of 19 feet, 4 inches.
Smith also sprinted on the winning 4×100 relay where he teamed with Akin Robinson, Jaedeon Neal and Peter Simpson.
Smith placed second behind Simpson in the 200, with Simpson posting a winning time of 23.91 seconds.
West’s 4×200 relay of Robinson, Neal, Simpson and Mason Quarles took first place.
West got a win in the shot put from Ashton Matthews, whose best mark was 40 feet.
North Iredell made it a close race with the Mustangs. The Raiders’ effort was keyed by victories in the 800, 1600 and 3200 by sophomore Philip Riddle.