Spring Valley’s remarkable run of consistency under long-time coach John Jones was evident again at the 2010 Class 4A state championship meet.
Jones’ Vikings, with senior twins Matthew and Michael Johnson in the spotlight, finished in second place with 67 points. It was the 26th Top 10 finish for Spring Valley in Jones’ 31 years at the helm. Since 1987, the Vikings have missed the Top 10 cut just one time – in 2008.
Matthew Johnson emerged with three gold and one silver medal, while Michael Johnson came away with two golds and one silver. The Johnson’s teamed up with William Ivey and Jordan Snellgrove to set a new record while winning the 3200 meter relay. The brothers joined forces with Bradley Gibson and Andrew Levy to close the festivities with a win in the 1600 relay. Matthew nipped Michael in the 800 meters and also had a second-place finish in the 400.
As such, Matthew Johnson retires as the most decorated Viking ever with five state gold medals – two wins in the 800 and three relay triumphs.
Kamal Marshall’s silver medal in the discus was another key element in the impressive Spring Valley performance.
The Yellow Jackets finished in the Top 10 for the third year in a row, closing in a tiw for sixth place with 34 points. Kevin Baxter’s championship dash in the 110 hurdles was the highlight. It was the third straight win in the event for an Irmo entry. Baxter continued the run started by Rashad Mallette in 2008, and his 14.57 was faster than either of Mallett’s winning times.
Shaquille Counts was a bronze medallist in the shot put and the Jackets 3200 relay team – Jonathan Lewis, Evan Graczyk, Andrew Jordan, Aaron Skiro – also rated a bronze prize.
The Silver Foxes shared sixth place with archrival Irmo and made a little program history in the process.
Senior Marshall Williams, a two-time state wrestling champion, secured his first track title in the shot put with a personal record heave of 54 feet, 6 inches. Roland Hakes was the winner in the 3200 meters, giving Dutch Fork two state champions at state for the first time.
Dylan Cooper earned a bronze medal in the pole vault.
The Blazers returned to the state Top 10 for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 2005-06. Ridge View’s 24 points (8th place) came from three men – Aaron Noble, Joe Keitt and Avery Scott. Nobles finished first in the high jump, Keitt was second in the 3200 and Avery Scott scored in the long and triple jumps. Nobles is the first Blazer won win a state high jump title.