Last week was one for the history books for the Northwood track and field teams.
Competing at the Central 3A Conference championship meet at Eastern Alamance last Thursday, the Chargers swept the team competitions. While the win marked the girls’ second conference title in a row, it was the first time the boys had earned the honor since 1985.
“It was really phenomenal to see them compete, especially after coming up just short last year. Having most of those guys back and competing was great to see. They worked really hard to get back to this point.”
The Charger boys won with a team score of 146, well ahead of second-place Eastern Alamance (14). Northwood saw three boys take first in individual events, led by junior Noah Nielson (800- and 1,600-meter races). Also claiming the top spot in their respective events were senior Ethan Wilson (110-meter hurdles) and senior Jack Nicholson (triple jump). Nicholson’s 28 total points earned were the most by any Northwood individual at regionals.
On the girls side, junior Rokia Sissoko took first in the 400-meter race to go with two third-place finishes in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. In the field events, junior Skylar Adams won the triple jump with a distance of 31 feet, 10 inches. In the pole vault, senior Sophia Cremeans claimed first with a final height of nine feet.
This marked the last tuneup for Northwood ahead of the 3A mideast regional championships, which take place at Franklinton High on Friday.
Seaforth sweeps MCC meet
Northwood wasn’t the only Chatham County team to sweep its conference championship meets last week. The Seaforth teams also accomplished the feat while competing at their home track last Wednesday.
In the boys competition, four Seaforth athletes — sophomore Will Cuicchi (800-meter), sophomore Jack Anstrom (1,600-meter), freshman Jacob Winger (3,200-meter) and freshman Ryan Yoder (pole vault). The only other county runner to win a boys individual event last Wednesday was Jordan-Matthews’ senior Ahmod McCrimmon, who took first in the triple jump.
“On the boys side, we came in knowing that in our events where we had a lot of strengths and a lot of bodies, trying to work with each other was the most important thing,” said Seaforth coach Tommy Johnson. “I think you saw that with our pole vaulters and how they supported Ryan Yoder to his win in the pole vault, and then also Jack (Anstrom) doing four events and making sure Jacob (Winger) and Johnson Brekke had good races in the 3,200-meter race.”
On the girls side, sophomore Malana Mclean won the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.20 seconds, freshman Cali O’Neill won the 800-meter run and sophomore Claire Morgan won the pole vault.
What stood out the most to Johnson was the way many of his girls grinded out points in their events, even if they didn’t make it on the podium.
“We had so many third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes,” he said. “Our girls were really trying to get us that extra point where they could get it, and that was really what was reflected in the final score.”
Also shining in the girls competition was Jordan-Matthews’ senior Jasmine Basillo, who took first in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races. The Jets also saw sophomore Rachel Woods win the 400-meter run.
Seaforth will compete as a team this Friday at the 2A mideast regionals at Franklinton High. Last season, the Hawks placed 11th in the girls competition and seventh in the boys competition.
Sports Editor Jeremy Vernon can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @jbo_vernon.