Fort Mill Times

Track teams complete county meet, prep for regionals

Fort Mill's Quanika Blackmon and Adrienne Cuff lead the mile-run, followed closely by Nation Ford's Meredith Kilburn.
Fort Mill's Quanika Blackmon and Adrienne Cuff lead the mile-run, followed closely by Nation Ford's Meredith Kilburn.

Both the Fort Mill and Nation Ford track and field teams competed in the York County meet lat Thursday at Southpointe, a meet that acts as a good indicator of how athletes stack up in the region, since Gaffney was the only Region II 4A team absent from the meet.

The competition was held exactly one week before this Thursday's region championships at Winthrop University.

Northwestern girls and boys both won the meet. The Fort Mill boys finished in third place while Nation Ford finished in fifth place.

"Our goal was to come out and do our best, and to use this as a tune-up for next week," said Nation Ford Head Coach Victor Sanders. "Our guys are doing a great job getting ready for the region meet."

The Falcons' 4x100 relay team, made up of Dewayne Bunch, Adrian Jackson, Sam Johnson and John Chapman, set a new school record with a time of 45.49 seconds.

In the distance events, Falcons Kevin Ketner finished second in the mile run, less than one second behind Fort Mill's Mark Blackmon.

Blackmon, a favorite to win the state title in the event, ran a time of 4:36, part of a strong distance showing by the Jackets. Blackmon and teammate Jon Kalshoven finished in the top two positions in the 800-meter dash, both with times of 2:06, and Blackmon took second in the two-mile run.

Fort Mill's 4x800 relay team, consisting of Blackmon, Kalshoven, John Tennis and Alex Schmidt, also finished in first place.

Fort Mill sprinter Danny Till had a good meet, finishing second in both the 100 and 200-meter dash events.

On the girls side, Fort Mill took second place overall and Nation Ford finished in fourth.

The Fort Mill girls dominated the distance events throughout the afternoon.

Quanika Blackmon and Adrienne Cuff took first and second place in both the 800-meter dash and the mile, while Abby Lewis and Sarah Owen took second and third place in the two-mile run for the Jackets.

The girls 4x800 team - Blackmon, Cuff, Lewis and Erica Friddle, won their race by 19 seconds.

"They're all running very well," Fort Mill Head Coach Steve Mullinax said about the girls distance group. "We come in here hoping to win every time. Northwestern has a great team this year, it will be a good competition next week."

In the field events, Fort Mill's Ceci Kryst won the long jump with a distance of 17 feet 4 inches, almost a foot farther than the second place jump. Kryst also took second place in the triple jump and third in the 100-meter hurdles.

Although Northwestern ap-pears to be the frontrunner for both the boys and girls region titles, Fort Mill could contend for the championship, while both area schools will attempt to qualify numerous athletes for the state qualifying meet during Thursday's region championship.