Spring Valley coach John Jones could not be disappointed his team finished second in the Class 4A boys state finals Saturday at Lower Richland.
"I had us scored third," coming into the meet, Jones said. "But we scored more points than we did last week, and we were able to beat out Summerville."
Based on the seedings, Fort Dorchester and Summerville were favored to finish first and second. Fort Dorchester scored 89 points to win the title, and Spring Valley scored 67 points to edge Summerville's 56.
"The Fort Dorchester team had a great day. They scored 20 more points than we expected. There's no shame in losing to them," Jones said.
Never miss a local story.
Spring Valley brothers Matthew and Michael Johnson took gold and silver, respectively, in the 800, and Matthew Johnson earned silver medal points for the Vikings in the 400 meters. Michael Johnson's fifth-place finish in the event also helped boost the Vikings.
"We had several events where our kids were favored to win, so you can't do any better than that. But they held serve. They didn't drop any of those points we were counting on," Jones said.
Instead, athletes like Will Ivey stepped up their competition to make up the needed points.
Ivey was seeded sixth in the 1,600 but ran a personal best of 4 minutes, 22.69 seconds to win bronze and collect six points for the Vikings. Eighth-seeded pole vaulter Christian Lattimore placed fifth.
The meet also featured strong performances by Dutch Fork and Irmo, who tied for sixth place with 34 points.
Marshall Williams won the shot put with a throw of 54 feet, 6 inches. Williams, who was seeded seventh, was motivated by the recent death of one of his uncles.
"I was doing my best for my teammates, you know. We felt like we had a legitimate chance at winning, and I didn't want to let them down. But I also really wanted to win this championship for my uncle who died last week," Williams said.
In the 3,200, teammate Roland Hakes passed Ridge View's Joe Keitt on the penultimate lap to win gold.
"Joe's been slightly ahead of me all season, so the strategy was just to stay close by him and then give it whatever I had in those last laps," Hakes said. "As a team, we were hoping for top three, but we have to be pleased with the effort we put in today."
Irmo's Kevin Baxter won the 110 hurdles to lead the Yellow Jackets. Ridge View, led by junior Aaron Noble's championship in the high jump and Keitt's silver medal, finished eighth.
On the girls side, Taina LaPorte led the Silver Foxes to a fifth-place finish. The Dutch Fork junior won the high jump with a leap of 5-feet, 6 inches and earned silver in the triple jump. Teammate Samantha Hughes won silver in the 3,200, and Michelle Arms took sixth in that event.
Jemekia Wilson's two medals helped Irmo to seventh place. Wilson took second in the 400 hurdles, third in the 100 hurdles and also placed sixth in the high jump.