Its been a tough inaugural sports year at Westwood High, especially during the spring season.
But Redhawks fans finally had something significant to relish on April 24 at Memorial Stadium in Columbia when the Westwood boys and girls teams both emerged with Region 4-3A championships.
Westwood piled up 166 team points in the boys division, out-distancing Lower Richland (143) and Dreher (141.5) in the race for the top spot. The Westwood girls had a bit of an easier time, finishing with a 157.5-131 margin of victory over second-place Dreher.
Ereck Lewis and Anthony Friday were the Redhawks boys standouts. Lewis prevailed in the 1600 and 3200 distance races and added another gold medal for his contribution on the winning 3200 relay team. Friday dominated the throws, winning the shot put and discus events. His 52-2 effort in the shot put was a national elite mark.
Adonas Lee (high jump) and Raymond Hall (pole vault) were the other Westwood boys gold medallists.
Brianna Pressley and Jai Lykes headlined the title run by the Westwood girls. Pressley was first in the 200 (24.81) and second in the 100 (11.96), turning in national elite times in both races. Lykes, who finished second at state a year ago while competing for 4A Ridge View, swept the throws. Her 41-9 heave in the shot put met the national elite standard.
Kelsey Briggs also made key contributions for the Redhawks finishing first in the high jump, second in the long jump.
The rest of the highlights include:
Lower Richland - Jaylesa Boatwright was the iamond Hornets star, winning the 100 and finishing second in the 200 and 400. Boatwright produced national elite times in all three events. Taja King swept the boys hurdles events. Imani Boatwright, the defending 3A champion in the 800, won her best event and finished second in the 400 with a national elite time. Chelsia Telfair and Princess Hammett swept the hurdles.
Dreher - Bradford Lemmons, Jazmine Manning and Maria Johnson were the Blue Devils stars. Lemmond, who earned two gold and two silver medals at state a year ago, was the 200 and 400 region champ with two national elite times. Manning bagged gold medals in the long and triple jumps. Her 17-7.5 effort in the long jump was a national elite mark. Johnson had two national elite times while winning the 100 and finishing second behind Pressley in the 200. John Myers (long jump) and Shay Frieson (400) were the other region champs. Frieson had a national elite time in the finals.
Camden - Omar Mingo (triple jump) and Morgan Wilson (pole vault) were the Bulldogs region champs, and Cedrick Cook had a national elite time while finishing second in the 100.
A.C. Flora - Susannah Cate headlined the Falcons performance with a gold in the 3200 and a silver behind teammate Lillian Tribble in the 1600. Russell Pruitt (800) was the lone ACF champ in the boys division.