West competes in first regular-season indoor track meet
Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2018
In 2016-17 West Stanly High School revived its indoor track program with eight distance runners and a volunteer coach. The program doubled its team to 16 athletes for the 2017-18 season. The Rocky River Conference principals and athletic directors voted to make indoor track a conference sport for the 2018-19 season, so the Colts named John Herlocker head indoor track coach.
The sport has continued to grow in popularity as the Colts look to have near 40 athletes competing this winter. The NCHSAA sets qualifying standards for the indoor state championships so teams compete at polar bear meets on the outside tracks, while traveling to indoor venues when possible hoping to reach the marks to make the NC 1A/2A state championship meet in February.
On Nov. 28, the Colts joined seven other teams at Forest Hills High School to open the season.
With eight teams in the meet, the top six finishers were awarded points.
The Colt women did not take long to warm up the track as the distance team of Pierson McManus, Natalie Almond, Rachel Efird and Maddie Miller won the 3,200-meter relay, running a time of 11:18. The time was 12 seconds under the state qualifying standard and the best indoor time for the Colts in the last three years.
Miller and Efird will now join McManus and Almond in the state meet. They had already qualified in the 3,200-meter ran at the Dash for Doobie meet.
The Colt distance women continued to roll in the points as McManus ran away from the competition in the 1,600-meter run, winning easily in 6:08. Teammate Katherine Pollard ran a personal record 6:25 for third place, with Colt Brooklyn Simpson close behind in 6:28 for fourth.
West’s distance women also dominated the 1,000-meter race, taking the top eight places with more than 20 runners racing.
Miller was ready for track, racing to a 3:40 time for the victory. Miller led a contingent of Colts across the line with Almond second in 3:43, Efird third in 3:45, Brooklyn Simpson fourth in 3:48, Katherine Pollard fifth in 3:59, Kaylee Hartsell sixth in 4:03, Morgan Whitley seventh in 4:12 and McKenzie Whitley eighth in 4:23.
The Colt distance women got some help from Colt sophomore Madison Kee and freshman Onii Bivens.
Kee followed up her freshman outdoor season with a quality indoor opening. The sophomore jumped 13-feet, 4-inches for a first place in the long jump and leaped 29-7 for a second place in the triple jump.
Bivens started her high school track career with a second place 12-
9 in the long jump and a second place 47.8 seconds in the 300-meter dash. Senior Jordan Johnson also scored for the Colt women with a fifth place in the long jump.
As a team, Anson took first place with 104 points, followed by West (94.5), Monroe (42), Forest Hills (39.5), Piedmont (35), Central Academy (31.5), Sun Valley (27.5) and Porter Ridge (11).
The Colt men’s best performance also came from the distance group with the 3,200-meter relay team of Leo Martinez, Noah Almond, Daniel Brattain and Arturo Zelaya running 9:24 for second place.
Almond and Martinez came back to score in the 1,000-meter race, with Almond running 3:08 for fourth and Martinez running 3:16 for fifth place.
The Colt men picked up two third-place finishes, one from John D’Amici in the 500-meter dash 1:15.2 and one from Ashton Kennedy in the shot put at 35-11.
Other Colt points came from Christian Bowden finishing fourth in the 55-meter dash at 6.7 and Seth Turner finishing sixth in the 55-meter hurdles at 10.1.
Anson took the team event as well on the men’s side, finishing with 79 points. Sun Valley was second with 75, followed by Piedmont (66), CATA (65), Porter Ridge (44), Monroe (41), West Stanly (38) and Forest Hills (28).
The men team scores were Anson 79, Sun Valley 75, Piedmont 66, CATA 65, Porter Ridge 44, Monroe 41, West Stanly 38, Forest Hills 28.