High School Sports

Johnson brothers lead SV boys back to prominence

Spring Valley’s boys track team returned to prominence at the Class 4A state track meet after a rare stumble in 2008.

The Vikings scored 40 points and finished in fourth place at the season finale after missing the Top 10 cut for the first time in 12 years last season. Moreover, SV cracked the Top 5 for the 10th time in 11 tries since 1997.

The Johnson brothers – Matthew and Michael – played the starring roles for the Vikings last weekend at Lower Richland. Matthew beat other Michael to win the 800-meter championship by a scant 0.33 seconds. On Friday, Matthew and Michael teamed up with junior William Ivey and senior Jon Woods for a an impressive win in the 3200 relay. The foursome clocked in at 7:54.99 – the second fastest time ever in the event since its debut in South Carolina in 1998.

The Spring Valley girls missed the Top 10 cut for the second year in a row, but freshman Xylina McDaniel’s gold medal in the shot put salvaged some prestige for the once proud program.

McDaniel’s win, in fact, was the 64th by a Spring Valley entry through the years. No other school in any classification has more individual state meet wins on the books. McDaniel is the fifth Viking to win in the shot, adding her name to a list that includes Delana Dameron (2002), Tamara Washington (1997), Tracey Randolph (1991) and Jennifer Loomis (1981-82).