Fort Mill Times

Runners tame Stallions

Fort Mill runners Alex Schmidt passes the baton to teammate Daniel Kalshoven during the team's meet against South Pointe.
Fort Mill runners Alex Schmidt passes the baton to teammate Daniel Kalshoven during the team's meet against South Pointe.

The Lady Yellow Jackets added another win to their record last week with a blowout over South Pointe ending in a final score of 122-19.

"We did well at the meet," said head girls coach Steve Mullinax. "But we are also pushing our kids to improve their overall personal running times and jumps at every meet, and not everyone did that."

Strong performances from Tiayonna Blackmon and Ashley Potts including four first place finishes for both girls, helped lead the team to victory.

"Our hurdlers, Hallie Wright and Katelyn Hnat, did well," Mullinax said. "We're counting on them to step it up this season and help carry us."

The team's sprinters did well, but did not improve their running times from last week. Freshman Sarah Owen finished behind two of her fellow teammates and ran well in the 1,600-meter.

Fellow freshman Lisa Nichols, who joined the team after finishing up the basketball season, has also been running good times and finished with a 1:05 in the 400-meter as well as running in the 4x400 relay. The team's 4x400 and 4x800 relays won each event, but the 4x100 didn't missed an exchanged and lost.

The team's jumpers had a good day as well. Junior Ceci Kryst won the long and triple jumps, and Hannah Mercer, Jaclyn Cika and Megan Crimi all scored personal bests in jumping for the day. Lindsey Jungels, who won the pole vault, performed well in the high jump, with Potts taking home the win.

Alisha Blackmon performed well in the shot-put and took home second in the discus, increasing her distance by a foot from last week.

"Alisha has really stepped it up and been a pleasant surprise this year," said Mullinax.

The Yellow Jackets will take on Clover in another region meet this week and Mullinax expects the team to do well.

"We will continue to focus on improving our hurdles, pole vault and the 400-meter - these are events we're capable of getting first and second places in," he said.

The team will travel to Columbia on Saturday in a closed meet, where they will compete with 40 other teams in 17 events. The Coaches Classic is a special invitational meet where team scores are not kept, but rather straight individual scores. Each team is allowed to take two athletes per event and Mullinax plans on taking Potts and Tiayonna Blackmon along, as well as the relay teams to compete.

The Fort Mill boys team did not fare as well against South Pointe, when they were defeated with a final score of 103-47.

"We have a lot of young runners on our team and South Pointe has a strong team to compete against," said head boys coach Mark Pyrc.

One of the Yellow Jackets' strongest athletes, Mark Blackman, an eighth grader who is coming off an knee injury he got while playing basketball earlier in the year, is winning every race he's running and is a strong distance runner for the team.

"We're racing him sparingly right now," Pyrc said. "We want to make sure he can compete later on in the season."

Senior Daniel Kalshoven scored big points for the team in the mile, 4x800 and pole vault, but it was younger brother John, a sophomore and also long distance runner, who defeated Daniel in the mile.

"John's a great athlete and is also starting to get the hang of pole vault as well," Pyrc said.

Jared Shaw, a senior and football player who did not run last year, is getting used to not being on a track for two years and is focusing on block work and finishing speeds, finished third against South Pointe in the triple jump.

Roshawn Dupree, a junior who just came out for the team, has proven to have a natural ability for the sport and is running a strong 400-meter and picking up the long jump quickly.

"He's our utility runner --we can put him anywhere and he'll do well for us," Pyrc said.

Josh Strickland also scored some points for the team placing second and third in the discus.

"We have a lot of young athletes running in roles that you'd like juniors and seniors to be in, but our sprinters are a core group of guys that want to compete," Pyrc said.

The boys will also face off against Clover this week and Pyrc expects them to do well. The team will also travel to Columbia with the girls for the Coaches Classic, but will not travel with a full roster.

"We'll probably take our more experienced sprinters, throwers, and distance runners."

Upcoming meets

• March 22 at Coaches Classic, TBA

• March 25 at Nation Ford, 5:30 p.m.

• April 1 at Northwestern,

5:30 p.m.