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Trojans win The Herald/Bob Jenkins York County track meet with ease

Northwestern High School track coach Calvin Hudgins wasn't pacing, but he was all over the place and couldn't stand still.

The boys portion of The Herald/Bob Jenkins York County track meet at South Pointe High was over. But the crew doing the scoring experienced computer problems after the first three events and was trying to get them fixed.

It was to the point that instead of the events being entered and pressing the print button to get a copy of the tabulated team scores, the points were being counted manually while Hudgins was moving around like a water bug.

"I just don't know,'' he said in a low voice. "The field is very close this year and any of four teams stand a chance of winning. It looks like it will come down between us and Fort Mill.

It was "us'' (Northwestern). The Trojans were first with 145.5 points and were comfortably ahead of second-place Fort Mill, with 100. South Pointe was third with 91 points, Clover fourth with 63.5, Rock Hill fifth at 61, Nation Ford sixth with 55 and York brought up the rear with 35.

Hudgins' concerns were not without reason. He brought his team, which was the host, to South Pointe on Thursday afternoon minus his top two sprinters.

"This is unexpected,'' he said. "We're banged up and didn't know what to expect. But the key to a meet of this kind is scoring points, and we had a lot of guys picking up seconds, thirds and fourths.''

The meet marked the end of an era, The Herald is ending its partnership with the meet because of budget cuts in these tough economic times. But the coaches understand because times are just as hard for local schools. They said the meet will keep going.

That meant little, if anything, to the girls' and boys' athletes from the county's seven high schools. For them it was just another day on the track. Their biggest concern was not to be headed toward the finish line looking at another runner's back or seeing another athlete make a better throw or jump.

Fort Mill's Meredith Kilburn exemplified that, as did Northwestern's Nicole Alexander. Kilburn was first in three events - 1,600, 3,200 and 3,200 relay. Alexander won first in four - 100 and 400 hurdles, long jump and 1,600 relay.

The Lady Yellow Jackets prevailed late in the night, learning their fate when the girls' pole vault finally ended around 9:50 p.m. When the points were tallied, Fort Mill was ahead of Northwestern, 164-147, and took the title.

"We had an amazing meet,'' Kilburn said. "Our people who were supposed to win, won their events. It was a good night because there was so much competition. Our team is blessed in that we have good coaches.''

Rock Hill's girls were third with 88 points, Nation Ford fourth with 69, South Pointe fifth with 40, Clover sixth with 36 and York seventh with 31.

Alexander said competing in four events was not a problem for her. She added that her goal every meet is to keep her focus.

"I'm nervous before every race,'' she said. "Tonight, I made up my mind to settle down and do everything for the team. I'm usually not confident when I get down in the starting blocks. I felt a lot better tonight.''

Near the end of the night, York coach Eddie Sanders said he never knows what's going to happen in the 400 relay. Through the years, good teams have been disqualified for running out of their lanes, have dropped the baton and have had spills.

The event served up an unusual finish on Thursday. Coming around the final curve in the boys' 400 relay, only Rock Hill's Danny Livingstone made the turn.

Only four teams were entered in the event. On the second of four exchanges, Clover's runner went down and Northwestern's fell over him, knocking two teams out. At the third exchange, South Pointe had to pull up after missing the handoff.

Rock Hill came close to missing the exchange, but Livingstone held on and never let up on his way to the finish line.

The meet was started in 1987 by Jenkins, who retired from South Pointe last year after spending most of his career at Northwestern, and former Herald sports editor Buddy McCarter.

"I hate to see the partnership end,'' Jenkins said. "The Herald has done a great job with this event, as well as with the cross country meet in the fall.

"This is a special time for our teams; all seven of us getting together for one big meet. It gives fans a chance to see all the athletes at one place. But I understand. Newspapers are having a rough time right now, just like our schools. The economy has caused all of us to make hard cuts.''


Team scores

1. Northwestern (N) 145.5; 2. Fort Mill (FM) 100; 3. South Pointe (SP) 91; 4. Clover (CL) 63.5; 5. Rock Hill (RH) 61; 6. Nation Ford (NF) 55; 7. York (Y) 35

Top three individuals

3,200 relay: 1. Fort Mill (Jon Tennis, Alex Schmidt, Jon Kalshoven, Mark Blackmon) 8:34.87; 2. South Pointe (Devin Pearson, Jarvis White, Jamal White, Hunter Mitchell) 8:38.45; 3. Northwestern (Keith Bell, Anthony Dean, Adam Weil, Nathan Parker) 8:47.01. 400 relay: Rock Hill (Xavier McFadden, Jatavius Stewart, Dre Williams, Danny Livingstone) 3:28.24. 100: 1. Trey Childress (CL) 11.17; 2. Garrick Mackey (SP) 11:25; 3. Max Elliott (CL) 11:37. 200: Dwayne Granger (FM) 20.35; 2. Childress (CL) 22.51; 3. Kenderick Thompson (Y) 22.71. 400: Marquis Cunningham (SP) 49.92; 2. Rasheem Hall (SP) 51.54; 3. Weil (N) 52.47. 800: Mark Blackmon (FM) 2:00.91; 2. Alex Schmidt (FM) 2:01.50; 3. Alex Flores (CL) 2:05.25. 1,600: Blackmon (FM) 4:27.21; 2. Kevin Ketner (NF) 4:28.40; 3. Nathan Parker (N) 4:49.91. 3,200: Ketner (NF) 10:16.90; 2. Jeffrey Case (FM) 10:34.62; 3. Christian Ruppe (RH) 10:42.41. 110H: 1. Livingston (RH) 15.82; 2. Marshall White (N) 16.07; 3. Jamie Nichols (N) 16.12. 400H: 1. Adrian Jackson (NF) 59.14; 2. Nichols (N) 59.73; 3. Dennis Crawford (CL) 60.64. 1,600 relay: 1. South Pointe 3:28.24; 2. Rock Hill 3:30.59; 3. Clover 3:33.43. HJ: 1. William Ray (N) 5-10; 2. Dijuan Ussery (N) 5-8; 3. Robert Mills (RH) 5-8. PV: 1. Tyler Marssengill (N) 11-6; 2. Ethan Brown (Y) 11-6; 3. Sean Hooper (N) 11-6. LJ: 1. Ray (N) 21-05.50; 2. Malik Crawford (N) 20-09; 3. Jeffrey Williams (SP) 20-06.50. TJ: Ray (N) 42-04.50; 2. Chris Colburn (FM) 40-05-50; 3. D.J. Pendergrass (Y) 39-10. SP: 1. Tony McGriff (RH) 44-02; 2. Trevor Padgett (FM) 43-04; 3. Jojuan Thompson (SP) 41-10. D: Keon Stowers (N) 151-05; 2. Jordan Fowler (SP) 138-04; 3. Jake Wright (N) 113-09.


Team scores

1. Fort Mill (FM) 164; 2. Northwestern (N) 147; 3. Rock Hill (RH) 88; 4. Nation Ford (NF) 69; 5. South Pointe (SP) 40; 6. Clover (CL) 36; 7. York (Y) 31

Top three individuals

3,200 relay: 1. Fort Mill (Abby Lewis, Taylor Miller, Emily Lyons, Meredith Kilburn) 10:00.43; 2. Nation Ford: Leah Thornockm Alex Land, Imani Smith, Aubrey Gunnels) 10:39.49; 3. Northwestern (Juliana Hearn, Kimberlie Buchholz, Valerie Buchholz, Calli Hudgins) 10:51.64. 400 relay: 1. Rock Hill (Bre Yon Gladden, Gabrielle Lee; Britany Clark, Brittenee Mills) 50.85; 2. Fort Mill (Naomi Burrell, Mickayla Page, Natalie Harris, Monique Page) 51:31; 3. York (Alawna Orr, Jasmine Hinton, Lilasha Dervin, Courtney Aiken) 51.34. 1,600 relay: 1. Fort Mill 10:00.43; 2. Nation Ford 10:39.49; 3. Northwestern 10:51.64. 100: 1. Gladden (RH) 12.85; 2. Kennedy Vasquez (NF) 12.87; 3. Orr (Y) 13.09. 200: 1. Sharmaine Barnes (N) 26.63; 2. Gladden (RH) 26.98; 3. Natalie Harris (FM) 27.41. 400: Barnes (N) 58.84; 2. Meredith Lenti (RH) 60.49; 3. Taylor Miller (FM) 61.49. 800: 1. Miller (FM) 2:31.69; 2. Lisa Nichols (FM) 2:32.23; 3. Aubrey Gunnels (NF) 2:33.21. 1,600: 1. Kilburn (FM) 5:18.03; 2. Lewis (FM) 5:40.24; 3. Rachael Summers (N) 5:52.45. 3,200: 1. Kilburn (FM) 11:44.32; 2. Lewis (FM) 12:19.08; 3. Samantha Johns (NF) 13:05.12. 100H: 1. Nicole Alexander (N) 15.50; 2. Imani Wood (CL) 16.14; 3. Tiffany Allen (SP) 16.75. 400H: 1. Alexander (N) 60.50; 2. Amini Smith (NF) 1:02.05; 3. Kanesha Enabenter (N) 1:15.29. HJ: 1. Karis Watson (RH) 5-0; 2. Britany Clark (RH) 4-10; 3. Ashley Opel (SP) 4-10; PV: 1. Kimberleigh Riggs (N) 11-0; 2. Katie Jurewicz (FM) 9-6; 3. Kaitlin Pubentz (CL) 8-6; LJ: 1. Alexander (N) 15-6.50; 2. Clark (RH) 134-11.50; 3. Riggs (N) 14.06. TJ: 1. Watson (RH) 34-10; 2. Wood (CL) 33-01; 3. Clark (RH) 32.03. SP: 1. Tierra Lewis (N) 37-03; 2. Watson (RH) 36-0; 3. Alisha Blackmon (FM) 33-03; D: 1. Lewis (N) 109-06; 2. Blackmon (FM) 90-08; 3. Taylor Battle (NF) 87-07.