It’s not often that all five of the high schools that represent the various communities in Surry County all go at it on the same day, but that was the idea on Monday afternoon at the Surry County Track and Field Championships.
The only teams invited to this showdown were East Surry, Elkin, Mount Airy, North Surry, and Surry Central. Athletes from all five schools earned individual event victories during the course of the four-hour long meet, but it was the host Granite Bears who came away with county bragging rights in both the boys’ and girls’ portions of the event.
The Mount Airy girls won their half of the meet easily, with the Lady Bears racking up 129 team points to easily outscore runner-up North Surry, who tallied 50. Rounding out the scoring were Elkin (27), East Surry (16) and Surry Central (14).
On the boys’ side, the Bears came out on top with 123 points. They got a bit of a fight from Central, which placed second with 98. The other three teams all had similar scores but never challenged for first. The Greyhounds were third with 49, followed by the Buckin’ Elks with 44 and the Cardinals with 43.
Mount Airy athletes won seven of the first eight events of the meet, which began with the field events. Eliyah Harvey-Brown and Gabriel King gave the Bears both wins in the shot put, then repeated their respective victories in the discus as well. Elkin’s Brandon Loredo beat Mount Airy’s Jeremiah Rosser by two inches in the boys’ high jump to end the streak, but then Jessica Bevard and Grayson Corbin made it a Bear sweep in the triple jump. Bevard went on to claim victory in the girls’ long jump. Luis Salazar, who had been second to Corbin in the triple jump, then won the long jump for the first Surry Central event victory.
Needless to say, Mount Airy already had the team lead in both halves of the meet, and they would maintain it the rest of the evening. Surry Central’s Tyler Fitzgerald made it two in a row for the Golden Eagles by winning the pole vault, but the Bears’ 4×800 relay team of Dalton Mayes, Jack McCluskey, Wesley Frye and Gregory Green answered with a win of their own.
Next up was the first of the two hurdles events, where East Surry senior Priscilla Gosnell established herself as Surry County’s queen of the hurdles for 2016. She won the 100 and later claimed the 300 as well. After Gosnell’s win in the 100, Surry Central’s Ricardo Lara won the boys’ version of the event, and then the Lady Bears’ Shalin Revels established herself as Surry County’s fastest woman by taking the 100 in 13.31. The Bears’ Cordell France then took the male version of that title by out-kicking teammate Malik Frost 11.06 to 11.32. Frost, Corbin, Donovan Green and France paced their team to the 4×200 relay crown not long after.
One noteworthy, and impressive performance came in the boys’ 3200 meters, where Surry Central’s reigning indoor 2A track state champ at 1000 meters, Daniel Alvarez-Orlachia, had a rare challenger. Elkin’s Jacob Parker, who finished fourth and fifth in the state in the 3200 in 2014 and 2015, was entered in the race and was strong from start to finish, winning in a time of 10:14.71. Alvarez-Orlachia stayed with Parker for the first two laps before falling off the pace. He finished second in 10:59.56.
However, the Central standout is more in his element in the middle distances, and he won the 800 in a time of 2:15.69, outdistancing his teammate Arturo Lopez, who was second in 2:17.36. He also won the 1600, where his main opposition was none other than Parker. Alvarez-Orlachia trailed him for most of the race, but surged past the Elkin runner in the stretch for the win, 4:41.63 to 4:42.32.
Mount Airy’s Jo Snow won the girls’ 1600 by five seconds over teammate Hanne Cook, and then it was time for the 4×100 relay. No one contested Myia West, Allyni Tate, Kaniah Robinson and Dixie Fulk of North Surry on the girls’ side, and they ran their race alongside the boys. The Cardinals won that half of the race, on the legs of Demidrick Hargrave, Joey Ray, A.J. Bruton and Mitchell Edwards.
Mount Airy had a 1-2-3 sweep in the girls’ 800, with Madeline Mayfield winning by eight seconds over teammate Shelbey Taylor. Anna Ilyasova was third. Hargrave won the boys’ 400 over the Bears’ Corbin and Austin Tumbarello.
The girls’ 300 hurdles was next. Gosnell beat Bevard by .68 second and Revels by .76 in one of the most competitive races of the meet. In the boys’ version of the event, Elkin’s Chris Lomax beat Central’s Lara by a second.
Next up were Snow and Alvarez-Orlachia’s triumphs in the 800, and then Mayfield prevailed again, beating teammate Revels in the girls’ 200. France, Frost and Green finished 1-2-3 in the boys’ 200 for Mount Airy.
The 3200 was run as a joint event. While Parker was making his spectacular run to victory for Elkin’s boys, North Surry’s Alma Rodriguez took first place for the girls.
The final event of the evening was the 4×400 relay. No one even bothered to compete against Mount Airy’s girls, who are the reigning state 1A champions for this event in indoor track. Revels, Snow, Bevard and Mayfield took the eight points unopposed. On the boys’ side, France, Corbin, Green and Tumbarello beat the Eagles’ Salazar, Na’Shon Smith, Arturo Lopez and Alvarez-Orlachia by four seconds.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.