Girls track and field: Distance the difference for South

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 16, 2023

By Mike London

GRANITE QUARRY — It had been long enough since South Rowan’s girls had won the Rowan County Championships that coach Rebekah Julian couldn’t recall when it last happened.

Neither could South Rowan AD Angie Chrismon.

Chrismon coached that championship team to local glory and remembered the victory celebration, but not the exact year it occurred.

For the record, it was 2012 when the Raider girls last topped all of their county rivals in track and field. Eleven years ago, South had distance dynamo Hannah Houston, versatile field performer Talvanisha Lawing and thrower Jaquasha Littlejohn, among others.

The good times and the smiles returned to the South tent on Wednesday at the East Rowan track. The Raiders settled for zeros in the throws, but they were quite good everywhere else. They showed enough depth and pulled off enough wins to hold off the sizzling relay teams and sprinters boasted by second-place Salisbury.

The final point totals: South Rowan 129, Salisbury 120,  North Rowan 102, East Rowan 96, West Rowan 61, Carson 40.

“Salisbury has those sprinters, but we knew we had a chance to do this if we got a full-team effort, and that’s exactly what happened,” Julian said. “I’m very excited for our team, and it’s such a young team. We don’t have any seniors.”

Things can swing quickly in track and field. East was the defending champion, but Rowan girls track is young. Talented freshmen swung the balance of power toward South and Salisbury.

The individual standout for South was freshman runner Madalynn Gulledge, who gutted out a pair of tight and critical wins — over West’s Katie Roberts in the 1600 and over Salisbury’s Millie Wymbs and West’s Katelyn Lentz in the 800. Gulledge also anchored South’s first-place finish in the 4×800, a victory that also benefited from strong legs turned in by Madison Beaver, Brinley Patterson and Lindsey Beaver.

South junior Macy Miller has been a state-level performer in the high jump for years, and won that event, as expected. She cleared  the bar at 5 feet, 2 inches and is one of the state’s top 10.

South freshman Adyson Howard had a personal best in the triple jump for a surprise victory, and added a second place in the long jump.

Junior Mesiyah Howell took the 100 meters.

“We had big individual wins, but more than that we piled up the team points we needed a little bit at a time,” Julian said. “The 3200 was huge for us — we didn’t win it, but the Beavers and Blythe Elliott got second, fourth and fifth. Big points. Mesiyah Howell had a fantastic day. Besides winning the 100, she was second in the 200 and fourth in the 400.”

Howell deserved to take a bow, but South’s distance people were the difference. The Raiders’ 45 distance points provided too much of a cushion for Salisbury (8 distance points) and  third-place North (zero distance points) to overcome.

It was Howell, who finished off the championship for the jubilant Raiders, bringing home the baton on the anchor leg in the 4×400, the traditional closing event.

Salisbury’s standout was freshman sprinter Christyonna Lewis, who took the 200 and 400 dashes. Salisbury also got a first from Arnasjelle Corpening in the long jump.

Wymbs was second in the 400, in addition to her silver in the 800.

As expected, the Hornets ruled the relays. Their sprint crew won the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400.

North’s strong showing was achieved on the strength of some brilliant individuals.

The two most scintillating performances of the meet were turned in by Cavaliers, which bodes well for them as they take aim on the 1A State Championships.

Junior Brittany Ellis threw the shot put 38 feet, 4 inches for a PR and a top-1o ranking in the state.

Ellis was the field events MVP for the meet. She also won the discus. Her discus fling of 107 feet, 5 inches wasn’t quite as elite as her shot put effort, but it was another PR and placed her among the state’s top 25.

Junior Tai’lah Ward’s 46.07 clocking in the 300 hurdles also was good for top-10 status in the state.

Junior teammate Aniya Brown finished second in the event to Ward, and also cracked the top 10 in the state. Brown won the 100 hurdles.

West had one individual win — from Roberts in the 3200.

East had an individual winner in pole vaulter Jasmyne Brown, who also placed in the top five in the high jump, triple jump and long jump.

Aside from Brown, East’s biggest impact came in the hurdles, where Peyton Whicker and Sadie Featherstone placed well at both distances.

Carson’s top individual was Makayla Borst, who took third in the 1600 and 3200.

While South hadn’t won in a while, the Raiders still have won the event more than any school — 12 times. Salisbury and North have 10 wins each. East has won six.Carson has won four times. West’s only win was 20 years ago.


Results (top 5)

Shot put — 1. Brittany Ellis (NR) 38-4; 2. Skyy Ruben (WR); 3. Alannah McArthur (S) 32-3; 4. Holly Stowe (C) 29-9; 5. Xaniyah Price (S) 27-0

Discus — 1. Brittany Ellis (NR) 107-5; 2. Badyn Sweatt (ER) 825.2.5; 3. Xaniyah Price (S) 84-5; 4. Skyy Ruben (WR) 82-7; 5. Emily Kann (C) 79-3

High jump — 1. Macy Miller (SR) 5-2; 2. Kimora Chawlk (S) 4-8; 3. Isabella Sharpless (WR) 4-6; 4. Jasmyne Brown (ER) 4-4; 4. tie, Aamaiya James (NR) 4-4

Pole vault — 1. Jasmyne Brown (ER) 8-0; 2. Anna Harrison (WR) 7-0; 3. Jadyn Featherstone (ER) 6-6; 4. Bella Turner (ER) 6-6

Long jump — 1. Arnasjelle Corpening (S) 17-1; 2. Adyson Howard (SR) 15-11; 3. Kimora Chawlk (S) 14-3.5; 4. Jasmyne Brown (ER) 14-1.5; 5. Jade Sankey (NR) 14-0.5

Triple jump — 1. Adyson Howard (SR) 32-10.5; 2, Aniya Brown (NR) 32-9.75; 3. Devyn Lee (C) 32-5-5; 4. Brinley Patterson (SR) 30-1.5; 5. Jasmyne Brown (ER) 29-10.5

4×800 — 1. South 11:04; 2. West 11;10; 3. Carson 11:27; 4. East 12:51.18; 5. Salisbury 12:51.89

100 hurdles — 1. Aniya Brown (NR) 15.82; 2. Peyton Whicker (ER) 17.41; 3. Sadie Featherstone (ER) 17.78; 4. Railyn Wright (SR) 18.30; 5. Jami-ya Forte (S) 19.88

100 — 1. Mesiyah Howell (SR) 12.62; 2. Arnasjelle Corpening (S) 12.81; 3. Tai’lah Ward (NR) 12.85; 4. Savannah Wise (ER) 13.15; 5. Mya Noble (S) 13.22

4×200 — 1. Salisbury 1:45.42; 2. North 1:48.34; 3. East 1:55.15; 4. South 2:04.94; 5. Carson 2:11.94

1600  — 1. Madalynn Gullege (SR) 6:04; 2. Katie Roberts (WR) 6:06; 3. Makayla Borst (C) 6:07; 4. Madison Beaver (SR) 6:10; 5. Lindsey Beaver (SR) 6:34

4×100 — 1. Salisbury 51:11; 2. North 51.25; 3. East 53.12; 4. South 57.87; 5. Carson 1:02.25

400 — 1. Christyonna Lewis (S) 1:00.73; 2. Millie Wymbs (S) 1:02.53; 3. Iysiss Kelly (NR) 1:04.66; 4. Mesiyah Howell (SR) 1:07.10; 5. Haylee Williams (NR) 1:07.78

300 hurdles — 1. Tai’lah Ward (NR) 46.07; 2. Aniya Brown (NR) 47.54; 3. Sadie Featherstone (ER) 49.36; 4. Peyton Whicker (ER) 49.89; 5. Dashia Canada (S) 50.91

800 — 1. Madalynn Gulledge (SR) 2:38.72; 2. Millie Wymbs (S) 2:38.77; 3. Katelyn Lentz (WR) 2:39.14; 4. Brinley Patterson (SR) 2:43.44; 5. Emily Landaverde (C) 2:50.28

200 — 1. Christyonna Lewis (S) 25.76; 2. Mesiyah Howell (SR) 26.80; 3. Savannah Wise (ER) 27.40; 4. Tai’lah Ward (NR) 27.46; 5. Kendall Henderson (S) 27.51

3200 — 1. Katie Roberts (WR) 13:19; 2. Madison Beaver (SR) 13:30; 3. Makayla Borst (C) 13:48; 4. Lindsey Beaver (SR) 14:28; 5. Blythe Elliott (SR) 14:34

4×400 — 1. Salisbury 4:18.14; 2. East 4:29.89; 3. South 4:32.30; 4. North 4:34.15; 5. West 4:52.78

See photo gallery from the meet here