BOONE — What started out as a calm spring day in the High Country turned blustery with gusting winds at Jack Groce Stadium on April 29 for a four-team, high school track and field meet hosted by Watauga High School. The Avery Vikings, along with Alexander Central and Freedom high schools, were part of the event with the host Pioneers.
Alexander Central’s Cougars and Watauga’s Pioneers were strong overall in the boys and girls events. The visitors from Taylorsville won the girls meet with 99 points, followed by Watauga with 97 points, Freedom with 21 points and Avery with 14 team points.
In the boys overall standings, Watauga and Alexander Central tied at the top with 99 points each. Freedom (34) and Avery (27) had respectable third- and fourth-place team finishes.
In the girls 100-meter dash, Alexander Central swept the top two spots with Layna West (13.81) and Gracie Harrington finishing first and second, respectively. Avery picked up some valuable team points, as Carter Peterson placed third place overall with a time of 14.53 seconds. Watauga underclassmen Abby Keller (14.74) and Karla Ruiz (15.15) were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Sophomore Jocelyn Hernandez was high placer for Avery in the 200-meter dash, finishing in seventh place with a time of 32.39 seconds. Avery brought home third place in the 4x100 relay, finishing the race in 47.45 seconds. Alexander Central placed first in a time of 45.27, while Watauga placed second in 46.74 seconds. In the 300-meter hurdles, Avery’s Lillie Ward finished in first place with a time of 58.83 seconds, while Ward also placed sixth in the long jump.
In boys competitions, Elijah Holtsclaw was the highest Viking finisher, placing 14th in the boys 100-meter dash, as well as eighth in the long jump. Will Stanford placed fifth overall in the 200-meter dash, while Ryan Ingham was Avery’s best finisher in the 400-meter dash, placing in the top 10.
In the 4x200 relay, the Avery A team finished first overall in a time of 1:35.42, ahead of Alexander Central (1:41.42) and Viking teammates who comprised Avery’s B team (1:41.67).
In the 4x100 relay, the Vikings A team placed third with a time of 47.45 seconds, finishing just behind winners Alexander Central and Watauga.
Avery’s Jack Crenshaw placed third in the boys 300-meter hurdles, completing the race in a time of 49.29 seconds, while Viking teammate Landon Ingham placed second in the boys high jump, with a distance of 5-feet, 6-inches.
Avery’s boys distance relay teams continued to shine, as the foursome topped the field in the 4x400 meter relay with a time of 3:42.05, followed by Freedom (3:50.41) and Watauga’s A team (3:53.79). Chandler Berry placed third in the pole vault (9’6”) for the Big Red.
Lane Hoilman was the highest-placing Viking in the discus, throwing his way to a sixth-place finish with a distance of 87-feet, eight-inches. Teammate Cyle Hicks placed fourth in the shot put, with a distance of 37-feet, eight-inches.