The Jordan boys and Hillside girls walked out of Durham County Stadium as champions on Saturday afternoon, winning the Durham County Track & Field champions.
For the second straight year, the Jordan boys easily outpaced the competition, finishing with 224 points, a full 105 points better than second place Hillside. The Hillside girls, who missed last year’s event due to a scheduling conflict, defeated last year’s champions, Durham School of the Arts by a score of 210-177.
The Hillside girls made the top of the podium their second home throughout the event, winning 11 of the 18 events.
“We all work together,” said Hillside head coach Jason Smoots. “It’s chemistry. A lot of the girls don’t come out in the fall due to other sports, but now we’re getting everybody together and they are starting to click.”
Kayla Beasley led them in the field events, winning the discus (122 feet, 5 inches) and shot put (39 feet, 8 inches) to put her school in the early lead. On the track, she was backed up by Alysia Johnson who won the 100 meter dash (11.88), 200 meter dash (24.19) and ran anchor on the winning 400 and 800 relay teams.
A proud Johnson said, “I thought I got out hard and pushed through in every event. I was a little tired and nervous, but once I was able to stretch and get loose, I felt good.” She also made sure to thank her mom.
Durham School of the Arts had a strong day in the field events as Alani Rouse won the long jump (16 feet, 4 inches) Dajanai Harper won the triple jump (33 feet, 10 inches), and Angel Bowden won the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches)
Only 12 points separated Jordan and Hillside after eight events, but the pole vault ended up being the deciding factor. Jordan had three competitors in the event, while Hillside had none. The extra 24 points ended up putting Hillside in a hole that they couldn’t climb out of.
First place finishers for Jordan included Caleb Wright in the pole vault (13 feet), Roman Spencer in the 200 (22.60), Matthew Staehle in the 1,600 (4:31.71), and the 400 relay team (45.35), which included Dyson Freeman, Kevin Peterson, Myles Speller, and David Thompson, and the 1,600 relay team (3:05.76) of Boyi Bokar, Tyron Edwards, Freeman, and Nicholas Gorham.
“We really work hard on creating a well balanced team,” said Jordan assistant coach Brendan Murray. “We have a well-rounded team that includes field. We have all of the events filled three deep, and the kids really buy into the philosophy that every point matters.”
Southern’s Marcus McDonald was the standout individual on the boys side. He won the long jump (20 feet, 10 inches) and triple jump (42 feet, 11.5 inches) on the field side. Then went over to the track and won the 110 and 300 hurdles with respective times of 14.83 and 40.01.
“I came in confident,” said McDonald. “I was confident in my ability and today I got to show it. I was able to PR in three events, which is obviously a bright spot.”
DURHAM COUNTY MEET
1. Hillside 210, 2. Durham School of the Arts 177, 3. Jordan 94, 4. Riverside 50, 5. Southern Durham 42, 6. NC School of Science & Math 32, 7. Northern Durham 21, 8. Research Triangle 20, 9. Voyager Academy 2
Discus - Kayla Beasley (Hillside) 122 feet, 5 inches; Shot put - Kayla Beasley (Hillside) 39 feet, 8 inches; Long jump - Alani Rouse (Durham School of the Arts) 16 feet, 4 inches; Triple jump - Dajanai Harper (Durham School of the Arts) 33 feet, 10 inches; High jump - Angel Bowden (Durham School of the Arts) 5 feet, 2 inches; Pole vault - Diana Hill (Jordan) 9 feet, 1 inch; 100 - Alysia Johnson (Hillside) 11.88; 200 - Alysia Johnson (Hillside) 24.19; 400 - Ashlan Bowdry (Hillside) 59.41; 800 - Sophie Green (Jordan) 2:35.55; 1,600 - Jordan Landis (Riverside) 5:25.39; 3,200 - Ceara Gannon (Jordan) 12:24.86; 400 relay - McKenzie Williams, Maya Daniel, Khira Harris, Alysia Johnson (Hillside) 50.48; 800 relay - Maya Daniel, Jessica Wright, Khira Harris, Alysia Johnson (Hillside) 1:42.55;1,600 relay - Emmaya Water, Gabrielle Ryan, Ashlan Bowdry, Jessica Wright (Hillside) 4:02.67; 3,200 relay - Aja Gardner, Courtney Goins, Joyceanna Howard, Emmaya Waters (Hillside) 10:47.77; 100 hurdles - Bailey McCray (Hillside) 15.75; 300 hurdles - Jessica Wright (Hillside) 44.79
1. Jordan 224, 2. Hillside 119, 3. Southern Durham 103, 4. Durham School of the Arts 87, 5. Northern Durham 42, 6. Voyager Academy 35, 7. Riverside 31, 8. Research Triangle 10, 9. NC School of Science & Math 8.
Discus - Montrell Webb (Northern) 144 feet, 1 inch; Shot put - Aaron McCullough (Hillside) 50 feet, 6 inches; Long jump - Marcus McDonald (Southern) 20 feet, 10 inches; Triple jump - Marcus McDonald (Southern) 42 feet, 11.5 inches; High jump - Hokasia Dixon (Southern) 6 feet; Pole vault - Caleb Wright (Jordan) 13 feet; 100 - Kamari Royster (Riverside) 11.06; 200 - Roman Spencer (Jordan) 22.60; 400 - Montrel Cooper (Southern) 52.08; 800 - Sam Bloodworth (Durham School of the Arts) 2:03.04; 1,600 - Matthew Staehle (Jordan) 4:31.71; 3,200 - Luke Bennett (Voyager) 9:58.62; 400 relay - Dyson Freeman, Kevin Peterson, Myles Speller, David Thompson (Jordan) 45.35; 800 relay - Corey Spell, Michael Bizzell, Simeon Johnson, Tahj Hall (Hillside) 1:32.33; 1,600 relay - Boyi Bokar, Tyron Edwards, Dyson Freeman, Nicholas Gorham (Jordan) 3:05.76; 3,200 relay - Ethan Barber, Andrew Harris, Ben Kearsley, Sam Bloodworth (Durham School of the Arts) 8:35.67; 110 hurdles - Marcus McDonald (Southern) 14.83; 300 hurdles - Marcus McDonald (Southern) 40.01.