It was quite a Midlands show at the Class 4A boys track state meet last weekend at Harry Parone Stadium.
Lexington emerged as the winner with 69 points, Spring Valley was second with 59 poinhts and Dutch Fork took third with 48. It is the only time three Midlands teams occupied the top three spots in the final standings in any classification. In 2001, Richland Northeast shared first place with Summerville, followed by Spring Valley and Dutch Fork.
It was the first state title for Lexington since 1971 and the first top 10 finished for the Wildcats since 1983. Depth was the key to victory. The only gold medal performance was a state record showing (7:48.95) by the 3200 relay team featuring Zack Kangston, Tony Morales, Eric Wendt and senior Colby Coulter. Individual medal contributors included Morales (2nd in the 3200), Taquan West (2nd in the high jump), Curtis Walker (2nd in the 400), Langston (3rd in the 1600) and Blake White (3rd in the 3200). The Wildcats 1600 relay squad also scored with a bronze.
Spring Valley came away with its third consecutive runner-up finish and its 11th top five effort in the last 14 years. Connor McCormack was the individual Vikings star with a silver medal in the 800 and a led on the gold medal 4x400 relay team along with Bradley Gibson, Terrell Simmons and Thomas Hoefel. Richard Fish (pole vault), Anthony Friday (triple jump) and Simmons were bronze medal men.
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Dutch Fork led the area with three individual champions – Roland Hakes (1600) and Phillipe Williams (long jump) and David Sutton (shot put). It was the second straight win in the 1600 for Hakes, and Williams picked up a silver prize in the triple jump.
Richland Northeast cracked the top 10 for the first time since 2003 – placing seventh with 41 points. Craishaud Foulks and Chavarius Curry-Felix put on quite a show for the Cavaliers. Foulks was the high jumper winner, finished fourth in the triple jump and joined with Curry-Felix on the third-place 4x100 relay team. Curry-Felix was third in the 200 and long jump events, and fourth in the 100.
The other Midlands medallist was Lugoff-Elgin’s Zack Connell, who was second in the high jump. Connell actually match the best vault of the day, by Northwestern’s Tyler Marsengill rated the gold medal nod because of fewer misses.