Ridge View’s Sierra Henderson closed out her stellar career with a two gold medal haul at the Class 4A state track meet last weekend at Lower Richland.
Henderson, who will continue her career at South Carolina, won her third straight 800-meter title and also anchored the Blazers' winning 3200 relay team that made a little history of its own. In terms of time, Henderson was a bit disappointed. But the results were pleasing enough. After all, she became the first 4A runner, male or female, to retire as a three-time champion in the demanding 800 event.
A year ago, Henderson became the first female in SC track annals to crack the 2:14.0 barrier at state, zooming home in 2:13.30. This year, she clocked in at 2:14.46 – the third fastest time in the event on the books. She retired with three of the six fastest times ever in the 800. Her winning time as a sophomore in 2007 was 2:15.43.
In the 3200 relay, Henderson teamed up with senior Eureka Jones and juniors Maya Adams and Tamara Smith to win in 9:29.93, which was mistakenly reported as a state record because the event mark listed in the program printed by the High School League was wrong. The mark of 9:27.24 established by Summerville in 2007 still stands by a comfortable margin. Regardless, it was an outstanding performance by the Blazers foursome. In fact, it was only the second time a winning team clocked in under 9:30.0.
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As a team, Ridge View finished sixth with 44 points. It was the seventh consecutive Top 10 effort by the Blazers girls.
The bulk of the scoring came in the relays where Ridge View came away with one gold and two silver medals. The same 3200 relay crew was second in the 1600 relay that closed out the meet. Fantasia Free, Brejahe Martin, Kiara Roberts and Tianna Davis joined forced for a second-place finish in the 400 relay.
Individually, Martin was fifth in the 100, and Smith was fifth in the 800 behind Henderson.
The RV boys closed with 16 points, and sophomore Joe Keitt was the lone Blazers to medal, picking up a bronze prize for a third-place finish in the 3200. Keitt was also on the fourth-place 3200 relay team.