Led by Megan Goodson’s three-medal performance, Batesburg-Leesville finished as the Class 2A state track and field runners-up on Saturday at Lower Richland.
The Panthers scored 75 points to earn silver, while Bishop England won the title with 88 points.
“It’s a lot to ask of eight girls to come in and beat Bishop England,” coach Gary Adams said. “To come 13 short of Bishop England, with all that they have to offer down there in the Lowcountry and how they usually are such a strong team, we’ll definitely take that.”
The Panthers got four gold medal finishes from seniors Goodson and Kaliyah Andrews.
Goodson earned gold in the pole vault with a vault of 10 feet, 8 inches, and in the long jump with a 16-9.75 leap. She also took silver in the triple jump. Andrews won both the 200- and 400-meter sprints, with times of 25.83 and 57.86 seconds respectively.
“I take my hat off to my three seniors who stepped up and brought in quite a few points for us,” Adams said.
Batesburg-Leesville’s China Massop, a senior, won silver in the discus, and junior Asia Raiford won bronze in the high jump.
On paper, the Panthers knew they were at a 19-point disadvantage to the Panthers, but with several personal bests and school records set, they were able to perform slightly better than their seedings.
The Panthers had a chance to narrow the gap in the final event, the 1,600 relay. They were seeded fourth in the event, but finished eighth.
“I think by that point, we kind of knew there was no way we would win, and the emotion kind of got in the way in that race,” Adams said.
But the Panthers were nonetheless elated with their silver-medal finish.
“It was an incredible experience,” said Goodson. “We’re so blessed and honored to be in this position. I know God has great things in store for my team in the future.”
In boys competition, Bishop England also came out a winner, and Bishop field athlete Griffie Loy posted a state record 196-6 discus throw, the fifth-best mark in the country. He also won gold in the shot put.
Pelion’s Aubrey Hite was the top local finisher with a victory in the 800. Teammate Terry Davis placed second in the long jump. Pelion finished fifth in the meet.
Other local medalists were Fairfield Central’s Aliyah Miller, who took gold in 100 and silver in the 200; Eau Claire’s Omar Sharif, who took silver in the 1,600; Pelion’s Cole Martin, who tied for third and got a bronze medal on pole vault; and 3,200 silver medalist Antoinette Fulton, also of Pelion.