DANBURY — There was only one way to stop the Mount Airy boys’ and girls’ track teams at the eighth annual Mighty Viking Track and Field Invitational held Saturday at North Stokes High School.
The only thing that stopped the Bears from running, jumping and vaulting over everyone in attendance was that several 3-A and 4-A schools were invited to take part in the competition. For the most part, that didn’t even make much of a difference, but two of the 4-A guests, West Forsyth and Alexander Central, did place 1-2 in both halves of the meet. The other 28 teams — 17 for the boys and 11 for the girls — all came up short against 1-A Mount Airy.
Among several Bears who didn’t get the memo that 1-A athletes aren’t supposed to whip up on the big boys and girls was sophomore Madeline Mayfield, who missed sweeping four events by a grand total of three inches. In the high jump, Mayfield placed second to Sarah Timberlake of West Forsyth, jumping 4’8” to Timberlake’s 4’10”. Timberlake entered the event seeded first and was rated a full eight inches ahead of Mayfield, but barely held on.
There was no holding on against her anywhere else. In her first event of the evening, the 200 meters, Mayfield beat West Forsyth’s Kendall O’Neal by nearly a full second (27.96-28.92). She faced O’Neal again in the finals of the 400 and again they finished 1-2, but Mayfield won by an even larger margin this time, 1:01.09 to 1:03.53. It was her season-best time and missed the meet record by just 0.43 of a second.
Toward the end of the meet, the Lady Bears turned Mayfield loose for a fourth time, taking on West Forsyth, Patrick Co. (Va.), Alexander Central and others in the 4×400 relay. It was no contest, with Mount Airy winning in a time of 4:18.08, outdistancing the Titans by nearly eight full seconds.
The Lady Bears achieved their third-place team finish even though they were unable to contest the finals of some of the events and three of the four relays. Mount Airy was five events into the meet before anyone but Mayfield had even hit the track. In the girls’ 800, sophomore Jo Snow became the second Lady Bear to score when she finished second to a West Forsyth senior and ahead of a Patrick County senior. She later added a sixth-place finish in the 1600 and also competed on the Lady Bears’ successful 4×400 team.
Jessica Bevard placed third in the triple jump, ran a solid fourth in the 300 hurdles and placed fifth in the long jump. Three Mount Airy girls scored in the shot put, Eliya Harvey-Brown (fourth), Tatyana Long (fifth) and Tanesha Smith (eighth).
The Mount Airy boys didn’t get on the board until three events into the meet, when sophomore Grayson Corbin tallied three points for the Bears in the 400 meters. Several events later, Quentin Jones-Frost put a single point up for the Bears by placing eighth in the 300 hurdles.
Starting with that point, the Bears made a charge in the second half of the meet. Mount Airy finished third in the 4×100 relay, fourth in the 4×200, fifth in the 4×400 (where they actually had an off-day), and then kept rolling in the field events. freshman Donovan Greene placed fourth to a trio of 4-A seniors in the high jump and behind two 4-A seniors in the long jump, missing second place by just 2.5 inches in the latter event.
Corbin returned to the field for the boys’ triple jump, where he placed third behind two seniors. Luis Salazar represented for Surry Central in that event, coming in fifth. Gabriel King appeared for the first time in the next event, the men’s shot, and the junior placed third. Teammate Malcolm Malone came in eighth for a point of his own. King was just getting warmed up. In the discus, he beat a West Forsyth athlete for first place by nearly five feet, while Malone placed fifth.
When it was all over, the Granite Bears had charged from the back of the field to third overall with 56 team points, and wasn’t far from runner-up Alexander Central’s 62. Surry Central was a solid sixth with 39 points, and East Surry placed 14th with 11.
Daniel Alvarez-Orlachia, a state champion at 1000 meters in indoor track this past winter, gave Surry Central an event win when he out-kicked several 4-A runners to win the boys’ 1600 in 4:41.38. The Golden Eagles’ Ricardo Lara scored a fifth-place finish in the boys’ 110 hurdles, then did even better in the 300 hurdles, where he finished second to a West Forsyth runner.
Demidrick Hargrave led a small contingent for East Surry, placing third behind a pair of 4-A runners in the boys’ 200 and fourth in the 400.
The girls’ half of the meet was a battle for first and second, rather than second and third. West Forsyth beat Alexander 130-120, with the Lady Bears next at 75, 8.5 points ahead of Patrick County.