The host Spring Valley boys headlined the Midlands show at the annual Taco Bell Classic track and field meet at Harry Parone Stadium, while Craishaud Foulks of Richland Northeast and Jena Alston of Blythewood were the area individual standouts at the elite gathering that featured 68 teams from around the Southeast.
Spring Valley finished in second place behind Wando in the team standings with 39 poiints. The Vikings pulled off a major points haul in the relays – upsetting Lexington in the 4x800 race on Friday night and closing out the meet on Saturday with a win in the 4x400.
Terrell Simmons and Bradley Gibson were the Vikings leaders. Both ran legs on the two gold-medal relay teams and both scored in the 400 – Simmons was fifth, Gibson sixth. Thomas Hoefel and Connor McCormick joined Simmons and Gibson on both winning relays.
Richard Fish accounted for Spring Valley’s other points with a third-place finish in the pole vault.
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Foulks and Alston both came away with one gold and one bronze medal. Foulks was the high jump champion (6-10) and finished third in the long jump. Alston was the winner in the 100 and placed third in the 200.
Lexington, Blythewood and Richland Northeast joined Spring Valley in the boys top 10.
Defending state champion Lexington was fourth with 27 points. The Wildcats had no gold medals, but came away with four silvers. Zach Langston was second in the mile run, Curtis Walker was second in the 400 and James Drummond was second in the 200. Langston anchored the second-place 4x800 relay team that also included Blake White, Erik Wendt and Tony Morales. Walker and Drummond placed in other sprint events, as well – Walker was sixth in the 200, while Drummond was fourth in the 100.
Blythewood earned one gold medal on the way to 22 teams points and a fifth-place finish. Devin Albert was the Bengals star with a silver-medal effort in the 100 and leading off Blythewood’s win in the 4x100 relay. Albert, who also ran on the eighth-place 4x400 relay, was joined by Austin Dodd, Dean Beckford and D’Andre Fletcher on the championship team. Mike Lantz chipped in a sixth-place finish in the 3200.
RNE finished with 19 points and shared 10th place with Beaufort.
Blythewood was the top Midlands girls team, placing 12th with 16 points. Ridge View (14 points, tie for 15th) and Dreher (13 points, tie 19th) were the other area teams to crack the top 20.
In other performances of note:
Pelion’s Terry Davis (triple jump) and Westwood’s Anthony Friday (shot put) had silver-medal performances, as did the runner-up Ridge View 400 relay team of Gary Bradshaw, Daryl Shamlee, Deandre Caldwell and Matthew Blake.
Dreher’s Jasmine Manning and the Ridge View 400 relay teams were the the only other Midlands medal winners on the girls side. Manning earned a bronze prize for a third-place finish in the long jump. Manning also ran legs on two scoring relay teams. The Blazers quartet Arlicia Bush, Amarrah Cooks, V’Aira Harris and Melinda McCallum also managed a third-place finish.
Hammond’s Taylor McGruder was the only SCISA entry to score. She finished in a tie for seventh in the triple jump.
Dutch Fork basketball star Alaina Coates was sixth in the girls shot out.