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Albemarle sophomore claims 1A track title

North Carolina A&T hosted the 2019 NCHSAA track state championships last Friday and Saturday.

A number of athletes from Stanly schools earned top finishes, with one earning a state championship.

Hurdling to a Title

For the third straight season, a female student-athlete from Albemarle earned a win in the 1A 300-meter intermediate hurdles.

After Taniqua Knight earned back-to-back titles the past two seasons, sophomore Somajhe Porter won the event last week with a time of 46.76, beating Swain County’s Monica Riordan by 0.54 seconds.

Porter said she felt she was born to run the event, adding she “naturally knows how to jump hurdles and run.”

Porter ran the race some last season, finishing around the 49- to 52-second mark, but she improved her times this season. She worked a lot in practice with Josh Smith, who finished 13th in the 300-meter men’s race in 46.42 seconds.

Running withSmith was hard, Porter said.

“He’s so fast,” she said. “It made me go harder to try to keep up with him.”

Porter credited track coach Bernard Henry with pushing the team hard in practice, “which made the track meets easier.”

She said Henry told her she could be good.

“He always encouraged me and boosted my confidence.”

Porter, who also runs the 100- and 200-meter dashes along with being on the 4×100 meter relay team, said she would like to improve her times in those events and try to win a state title next season, along with defending her 300-meter title.

1A Results

In other results, Albemarle’s Julius Smith placed second in in the 100-meter (11.02 seconds) and 200-meter events (22.10 seconds).

Antonio Burns took third in the high jump for the Bulldogs at six feet. He also finished eighth in the long jump with a 20-feet, 7.5-inch effort. His teammate, Josh Smith, finished ninth in the long jump (20-feet-5.25).

For North Stanly, Taegan Lowder finished fourth in the 400-meter run in 58.98 seconds.

The Comets had two relay teams runs at states. North’s 4×400-meter team of Lowder, Colbie Lentz, Emily Almond and Alex Childress took fifth in 4:18.10.

In the 4×200-meter run, the Comets’ Lowder, Lentz, Almond and Brinn Kimrey finished eighth in 1:50.34.

Carlee Dixon placed 12th in the high jump for North at 4’6” while Chamar Watkins finished sixth in the men’s high jump at six feet.

Jitavis Huntley took second in the discus with a 148’ 2” effort, missing a state title by 1’6” to champion Matthew Swepson of Research Triangle. Huntley also placed fifth in the shot put in 46’ 9”.

Kyle Ziebarth also competed at states in the shot put, finishing 12th with a 42’ 3.75” throw.

2A Results

West Stanly freshman Onii Bivens, who set several school records this season, was the lone representative for the Colt women’s team at the state finals. She placed 14th in the 400-meter run with a 1:02.09.

On the men’s side, West’s 4×800 meter relay team of Arturo Zelaya, Korbin McNeill, Noah Almond and Leo Martinez set a school record in finishing fifth with an 8:26.30.

Jordan Poole finished 11th in the preminaries of the 100-meter dash with an 11.35 but did not qualify for the finals.

Martinez, a senior, placed ninth in the 800-meter run with a 2:03.41.

Sam Hinson ran in the 110-meter hurdles for West finishing 16th in the qualifying round. His brother, Jake Hinson finished 13th in the 300-meter hurdles with a 43.53 seconds effort, with Sam running a 48.05 good for 15th in the event.

Senior Dalton Hatley finished ninth in the discus with a 142’ 8” throw.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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