Hammond’s B.J. Bennett came away with three gold medals at the SCISA boys track state meet on May 7.
The Skyhawks sophomore swept the two hurdles titles and added a win in the triple jump to become the first Hammond athlete to claim three state gold medals in seven years. The last man in Red, White & Blue to do it was Jeff Parrish in 2004.
Bennett’s 36-point haul, which also included a third-place finish in the long jump, was easily the top Midlands story at the season-ending meet. Bennett’s major contribution helped Hammond scored 49 points and finish in a tie for fourth place in the team standings.
Heathwood Hall’s Alex Bueno and Ben Lippen’s Thomas Fisher were the other area notables.
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Bueno earned three medals for the Highlanders, who finished with just 37.5 team points, Bueno claimed silver for his second-place showing in the pole vault, an event dominated through the years by Heathwood Hall’s Whalen brothers. Bueno actually matched the best vault (10-6) of the day, but the nod went to Orangeburg Prep’s Michael Schriver who had few misses. Bueno also ran legs on two third-place relay teams.
Highlander Alec Gregg earned bronze medals in the pole vault and the 4x400 relay.
By winning the 800 meter title, Fisher became the Falcons’ first state champion in five years. His winning time (2:02.55) was close to matching the school record of 2:02.29 by all-time Ben Lippen distance great Graham Tribble.