Coach Rodney King is accustomed to this sort of thing. Millennium Charter Academy, not so much.
MCA’s high school girls’ track team won the first state team track and field championship in the school’s history on Saturday, as the Lady Lions captured the Carolinas Athletic Association for School of Choice (CAASC) state championship even though the team fielded just eight athletes in the various sports. Each of them competed in multiple events and brought home medals to help the team win the school’s first ever team state title.
All in all, the Millennium girls brought home 21 All-State performances, three individual state championships, and two relay team state championships on their way to the team crown.
Millennium’s championship was also a return to the top for King, who had led North Stokes High School to the NCHSAA 1A state championship in 2014 and 2015 before stepping down to become the Athletic Director and head track and field coach for Millennium Charter. Having taken the reins just before the start of the next school year, there was no way for King to three-peat in 2016, but after a year of building the program and getting the Lions’ sports teams into the CAASC, Millennium entered this spring with high hopes.
“I told the girls at the beginning of the season our goal was to first win the conference, which we did, and then go after the CAASC state title and they did just that,” King said. “Each one of these girls are natural track athletes and if they continue to work hard and be as dedicated as they are right now, there is no telling how good this team could be in years to come.”
Don’t tell that to the rest of the CAASC, though. Most of the MCA team is made up of underclassmen, but they won the state title handily, defeating conference rival Triad Math and Science of Greensboro by 25 points.
The Lady Lions saw individual state championship wins from freshmen Kathlyn Mauck and Katie Brintle, and junior Sarah Shepherd.
Mauck took home the state crown in the high jump and went on to finish fourth in the 400 meters. She was also a part of the runner-up 4X200 relay team and the state championship 4×400 relay team. Brintle took home state title honors in the 400 meters and was part of the 4X400 relay team and 4X200 relay. Shepherd took home the gold in the girls’ shot put, placed fourth in the discus, and was part of the state championship 4X800 relay team. Freshman Brooksie Lawson was state runner-up in the discus, took third in the shot put, and was part of the 4X800 team. Freshman Jessie Hinson was runner-up in the high jump and was part of the 4X200 and 4X400 relay teams. Freshman Emily Brooks took fourth in the 800 and was part of the 4X400 and 4X800 relay teams. Sophomore Claudia Cooke took third place in the 1600, was runner-up in the 3200, and was part of the 4X800 relay team.
“These ladies did an outstanding job,” stated King. “I am very proud of these girls! This is a historic day for Millennium, I hope these girls cherish this state championship.”
In middle school action, seventh-grader Sara Windsor continued her dominance in the middle school division. Back in the fall, Windsor took home the CAASC middle school state title in cross country. On Saturday, Windsor added home three more individual titles to her young running career. Windsor won the middle school girls’ 1600 meters in personal best fashion with a time of 6 minutes 15 seconds. Later on in the day, she won the 800 meters with another personal best time of 2 minutes 51 seconds. Thirty minutes after the 800, Windsor took to the track for her last race and won the 600 meters with another personal best time of 2 minutes and 4 seconds.
Due to her three dominating wins, Sara was selected as the Female Track Athlete of the Meet.
“Sara is an outstanding track athlete,” said King. “I can’t wait to see the success she is going to experience over the next several years in track and cross country. This year has been just a glimpse into what she is capable of.”
Also in middle school action, seventh-grader Anna Banas took home the gold in the 400 meters, running a personal best time of 1 minute 10 seconds. Younger sister Martina Banas took home third in the 1600 and fourth in the 800. Seventh-grader Mary Jones took third place honors in the 600 meters. The middle school girls team took home third place team honors, just five points behind second-place team Forsyth Home Educators.