Superior depth made the difference for the Heathwood Hall girls at the SCISA track and field championships when the Highlanders nipped Hammond for first place by a less than a six-point margin.
The Highlanders returned to the top spot for the first time since 2005, winning five events and scoring a decisive 32.33-18 edge over the Skyhawks in the field events. Three of the five HH gold medals came in the field events as Carey Roth prevailed in the high jump and Arayael Brandner swept the throws after placing second in the shot put and third in the discus a year ago. Roth was the silver medallist in the high jump in 2006.
Roth and Emily Carson were Heathwood’s champions on the track. Roth was the winner in the 800 meters, while Carson took first place in the 100 hurdles. Carson was second in the 400 hurdles.
Roth came away with four medals, adding a silver and bronze prize to the haul She ran a leg on the Highlanders’ second-place 3200 relay team and finished third in the 1600.
Kristen Dickerson was vital to the HH cause by scoring in four events, while Louisa Lawton and Carter Warren scored in three. Dickerson was fourth in the 100 and 400 races, and handled legs in the scoring 400 and 1600 relay teams. Lawton was fourth in the 800 and 1600 races, and joined up with Roth, Ginger Hicks and Frances Ellerbe on the second-place 3200 relay team. Warren finished fourth in the both hurdles events and tied for fourth place in the pole vault.
On the boys side, Mac Whalen kept the pole vault a family affair. It was Mac’s second straight win in the event, and the fifth in a row for the Whalen family. J.D. Whalen was the champion in 2004 and 2005, followed by Brett Whalen in 2006. But Mac has topped older brother Brett at each of the past two SCISA finales. He had a winning vault of 12 feet this time after earning gold last year with an 11-6 effort. Brett Whalen retired with one championship, three runner-up showings and one third place finish on his resume. J.D. Whalen still owns the SCISA standard of 12-6, established in 2004.