With a one point margin of victory, Lower Richland won its second consecutive boys Class 3A championship on Saturday at Lower Richland.
"It was harder this time than the first time," third-year Lower Richland coach Cedric Richie said. "Battery Creek was a strong team, and they had a lot of guys out here. We needed a lot of help from them today."
Lower Richland, with 58 points, eked out a narrow victory over Battery Creek and Daniel, who each tied for second with 57 point.
Diamond Hornets junior Devin Wannamaker led the team, winning the 400-meter hurdles, placing second in two events and scoring a fourth-place in the 200. Wannamaker won silver in the 100, with a 10.96 second finish, and in the 110 hurdles, where teammate Desmond Wallace took first.
"Devin had an outstanding day," Richie said. "We rode him, and he came through for us everywhere we needed him to."
"My day is going all right. It's not going exactly how I planned, but right now I'm just focused on winning points for my team. I'm running my heart out," Wannamaker said.
He knew the importance of his piling up medals. The Diamond Hornets won the state title in 2009 with just three athletes, including Wannamaker, competing. This year, the Diamond Hornets also scored points with the 400 relay, which finished sixth, and Marvin Smith and Derrick Duckett, who placed second and fifth, respectively, in the Friday discus competition.
"The throwers were big for us, coming in seeded seventh and eighth, and then to place second and fifth, that made up a lot of points for us," Richie said.
Dreher sophomore Brandon Sanders completed a second stellar season, repeating state titles in the 100 and 200. Sanders finished the 100 in 10.77 seconds, and was less than a tenth of a second shy of state record in the 200.
"I'm love that 200 time," said Sanders who ran it in 21.23. Airese Curry's 2001 record stands at 21.17.
"I was going for the record but it's still a really good time for me," he said. "I'm glad about how I did today. ... It's a good mark for now. Hopefully that will push me to beat some very big names this summer."
On the girls side, J.L. Mann senior Briana Nelson landed four gold medals to lead the Patriots to their sixth straight title. Nelson won the 100, 200 and 400 and anchored the Patriots' winning 1,600 relay team.
"I don't know what place we were in when I started, I just knew I wanted to run as hard as I ever had because it was my last race here," said Nelson, who has a track scholarship with Texas.
For Dreher junior Christal Green, finishing second to Nelson in the 100 and 400 was no small feat.
"I don't know what any of the other girls' times were, I just knew I wanted to come out here and go after her," Green said. "My coaches have been telling me all year that I could beat her, I just had to get in that mindset."
Green's two silver medals helped the Blue Devils place 11th, the highest of any Midlands girls team.