Individual championships for local athletes were going off like a pack of cheap firecrackers early in the Class AAAA track meet at Lower Richland High School.
It began with a handful of events on Friday and carried over when the meet reconvened Saturday morning. And as quickly as it started, it came to an end.
As expected, a pair of local athletes won the pole vault. On Friday night, Northwestern's Kimberleigh Riggs won her third straight girls title, clearing the bar at 11-feet, 4-inches.
Saturday morning, South Pointe's Brett Squibbs followed her lead with a winning vault of 15-00.
"Pole vaulting is a tradition in York County,'' Squibbs said. "No matter what school you go to, we all practice together and my dad (Bryan Squibbs) is our coach. We pull for each other and with both of us winning, that's pretty amazing.''
"Brett was here pulling for me last night (Friday), and I was here pulling for him this morning,'' Riggs said. "The pole vaulters in our area really are close, just like Brett said. We are rivals on paper but friends on the track. It's so good that both of us won.''
The biggest early story was Fort Mill's Meredith Kilburn. Friday night she teamed with Abbie Lewis, Nicole Nichols and Taylor Miller to win the 3,200 relay with a time of 9:29.55. Saturday morning, Kilburn was ahead of the pack at the finish line in the 1,600 at 5:09.29.
"It's crazy,'' she said of her two gold medals. "Our relay team got together and talked about what we could do if we gave all we have. It's been an amazing meet so far, but I still have to run in the 3,200.''
It was obvious in these races that Kilburn's best had been delivered in her two earlier events. With the sun beating down and with the clock headed toward noon, Kilburn finished eighth (last in the 3,200). Her win in the 1,600 earlier in the morning was the capper for individual titles by local competitors.
There was a third place by Rock Hill's Karis Watson in the high jump and another in the discus by Northwestern's Tierra Lewis. And it wasn't much better on the boys side with a third place by South Pointe's Jordan Fowler in the discus and three fourth-place finishes - Nation Ford's Kevin Ketner in the 1,600 and Adrian Jackson in the 400 hurdles, and York's Quastin Walker in the 100.
And with only the boys long jump left to cap the Class AAAA meet, Northwestern's 1,600 relay team was the last chance and the last running event that could produce another champion. The Trojans pushed hard just to finish third.
After two legs, the Trojans were in sixth place. The gap had closed a little when Tyler Blake was handed the baton for the final 400 meters. He quickly made up ground, passing two runners and held off another on the way to the finish line for third place. His three leg-mates were Nathan Parker, Shaquille Jenkins and Adam Weil.
"All I was trying to do was leave it all on the track,'' Blake said. "It was my last meet, and I didn't want to go out with nothing to show for it. This is not what we wanted, but we'll take it. We'll remember how we tried our best to come back and win.''
Chester was the lone local team with competitors in the Class AAA meet and even those were few in number.
The Cyclones competed in five events, one boys, and their best were a pair of second places - Shakita Davis in the 100 hurdles and the girls 1,600 relay.
Class AAAA girls
Top 5, locals
1. Dorman 77; 2. Summerville 58; 3. Sumter 51; 4. Wando 47; 5. Dutch Fork 36; 9. Northwestern 28; 10. Fort Mill 26; 20. Rock Hill 10
PV: 1. Kimberleigh Riggs (Northwestern) 11-4. 3,200 Relay: 1. Fort Mill 9:29.55. LJ: Danielle McFadden (Sumter) 19-04. TJ: 5. Karis Watson (RH) 37-00. 1,600: 1. Meredith Kilburn (Fort Mill) 5:09.29. 100: 1. Haley Allen (Sumter) 12:17. 100H: 1. Ashley Davis (Dorman) 14.81; 6. Nicole Alexander (Northwestern) 19.69. 400 Relay: 1. Dorman 49:02. 400H: 1. Leanna Morrison (Berkeley) 1:01.78; 6. Alexander (Northwestern) 1:07.07. 400: 1. Tyshonda Hawkins (Goose Creek) 52.26; 3. Sharmaine Barnes (Northwestern) 58.71; 8. Meredith Lenti (Rock Hill) 1:03.87. D: 1. Jalacy Green (Colleton Co.) 134-01; 3. Tierra Lewis 129.05. 800: 1. Breanna Blanton (Summerville) 2:15.88; 8. Nichols (Fort Mill) 2:29.59. HJ: 1. Taina LaPorte (Dutch Fork) 5-06; 3. Watson (Rock Hill) 5-04. 3,200: 1. Lauren DiNicola (Wando) 11:29.19; 8. Kilburn (Fort Mill) 12:31. SP: 1. Kaysee Sullivan (Fort Dorchester) 42-01.50; 8. Watson (Rock Hill) 33-07.00. 1,600 Relay: 1 Summerville 3:54.62. 200: 1. Allen (Sumter) 24.86
Class AAAA boys
Top 5, locals
1. Fort Dorchester 89; 2. Spring Valley 67; 3. Summerville 56; 4. Wando 44; 5. Gaffney 38; 12. South Pointe 18; 16. (tie) Northwestern 12; 18. (tie) Nation Ford 11; 26. (tie) Clover 7; 28. (tie) York 5; 32. (tie) Rock Hill 2.
3,200 Relay: 1. Spring Valley 7:53.00. PV: 1. Brett Squibbs (South Pointe) 15-00. 110H: 1. Kevin Baxter (Irmo) 14.57; 7. Danny Livingston (Rock Hill) 16.11. 400 Relay: 1. Fort Dorchester 41.63; 6. Northwestern (William Ray, Jadarius Boyce, Odaryl Davis-Douglas, Tyler Blake) 43:01. 400: 1. Carvin Nkanta (Summerville) 48.33; 7. Marquis Cunningham (South Pointe) 50.80. 100: 1. Joe Craig (Gaffney) 10.78; 4. Quastin Walker (York) 11.11; 6. Trey Childress (Clover) 11.24. 1,600: 1. Timothy Tyler (Wando) 4:20.81, 4. Kevin Ketner (Nation Ford) 4:23.47. SP: Marshall Williams (Dutch Fork) 54-06. 800: 1. Matthew Johnson (Spring Valley) 1:56.18. 400H: 1. Christopher Sievert (Fort Dorchester) 56.15; 4. Adrian Jackson (Nation Ford) 57.66; 5. Dennis Crawford (Clover) 58.01. HJ: Aaron Noble (Ridge View) 6-07. 200: Craig (Gaffney) 21.72. 3,200: Roland Hakes (Dutch Fork) 9:38.74; 8. Kevin Ketner (Nation Ford) 10:37.35. 1,600 Relay: 1. Spring Valley 3:20.99; 3. Northwestern (Nathan Parker, Shaquille Jenkins, Adam Weil, Tyler Blake) 3:23.87. LJ: Denard Smith (Gaffney) 22-07. D: 1. Tracy Jones (Fort Dorchester) 161-01; 3. Jordan Fowler (South Pointe) 158-08; 6. Keon Stowers (Northwestern) 147-11. TJ: 1. Dejon Wilkinson (Summerville) 47-03.
Class AAA boys (Chester)
D: 4. Everett Griffin 145-04.
Class AAA girls (Chester)
400: 7. Kaila White 1:00.64. 100H: 2 Shakita Davis 15.21. 1,600 Relay: 2. Chester 4:00.99. LJ: 3. Raven Feaster 16-08.50