Last Saturday’s Chatham County track and field championships at Northwood were the site of some huge individual performances, as six different athletes won multiple events.
Dominating the boys sprints was Chatham Charter junior Lucas Smith, who won the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes. Smith played baseball last spring, and this is his first season running with the track and field teams.
“Lucas has been phenomenal so far this season,” Chatham Charter head coach Toby Holland said. “The way he takes coaching, the way he focuses on every single rep in practice — he really puts 100 percent effort into everything he does. It’s been amazing to watch him develop into the runner he is now.”
The other athlete to win multiple boys track events Saturday was Northwood senior Ethan Wilson, who won the 110-meter and the 300-meter hurdles with times of 15.44 and 43.83 seconds, respectively. Wilson also won both events at the county championships in 2022.
In the boys field events, Jordan-Matthews senior Ahmod McCrimmon claimed first in both the high jump and long jump. He was close to completing a clean sweep of the jumping events, but ultimately came up 1.4 feet short of Northwood senior Jack Nicholson (41.5 feet) in the triple jump. Nicholson also won the boys discus, finishing with a distance of just over 135 feet.
On the girls side, it was a big day for Seaforth sophomore Malana McLean, who won the 100- and 200-meter dashes and the long jump Saturday afternoon. McLean was the only athlete at the county championships to win both a track event and a field event.
Finally, Northwood junior Skylar Adams claimed first in both the high jump and triple jump on top of her third-place performance in he 400-meter dash. Adams was one of many multi-sport athletes competing Saturday. During the winter, she averaged 11.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game for the Chargers’ girls basketball team.
Speaking of basketball, Chatham Charter senior Tamaya Walden — the leading scorer in the history of both Knights’ basketball teams (1,866) — won the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:04.41 at Saturday’s county championships.
“Tamaya’s leadership and experience, the way her and Lucas understand technique and the technical aspects of the races we run, letting that kind of spill off onto the other runners had been instrumental for the younger runners getting faster and improving her times,” Holland said. “Her leadership, specifically, has been great, and we wouldn’t be where we are without her.”
Holland said Walden and Smith’s performances Saturday were another example of how crucial it is for student-athletes to play multiple sports.
“There’s no way you can be an elite athlete and not play multiple sports,” he said. “Some trainers talk about ‘muscle confusion,’ and playing multiple sports helps with that muscle development. You can’t develop without doing that. Playing multiple sports definitely helps both (Smith and Walden) in track.”
Sports Editor Jeremy Vernon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @jbo_vernon.