DANBURY — Mount Airy’s Kathlyn Mauck stunned everyone when she beat out 23 higher-seeded rivals and claimed the individual 1A/2A indoor track and field state championship in the high jump on Feb. 9.
In terms of the level of competition, the Lady Bear sophomore may have topped that feat on Saturday.
Mauck and several other local athletes were competing in the Mighty Viking Invitational, an annual track and field showcase held at North Stokes High School which annually draws competitors from much larger schools than North Stokes, the reigning 1A state girls’ outdoor team champions, and their conference rivals.
On Saturday, Mauck had to beat a field that included competition from 3A and 4A schools. It didn’t matter, as she won with a jump of exactly five feet that was just two inches short of what she’d claimed the state indoor title with — and this time, she wasn’t doing it indoors in perfect conditions.
She won the even by four inches over Janey Krenenbrink of Pine Lake Prep, Laila McGee of West Stokes and Lakayla Birst of North Rowan. At the same time, she was also competing in the pole vault and came in third there.
Another local sophomore who won an indoor title was the talk of the meet there. Surry Central’s Sarah Brown, who won the 1A/2A pole vault title, won the same title at the Mighty Viking, beating Ally Richardson and Mauck by 18 inches, 10’6” to 9’0”. Brown was six inches off her indoor title-winning effort, but again was facing more adverse conditions on Saturday. Richardson was placed second ahead of Mauck on a tiebreaker.
The event was a combined boys’ and girls’ meet, and as a team, the two-time defending state champion Granite Bears’ boys team also made a statement. Mount Airy placed fifth overall in the boys’ standings, but the four schools ahead of them were Page, Ashe County, T.W. Andrews and North Wilkes, all of whom play at higher classifications. The closest 1A competition to the Bears were East Surry and South Stokes, both Northwest Conference rivals, who placed eighth and 11th overall and well behind Mount Airy in points.
There was one other local winner of an individual event, and that came on the boys’ side, where Erick Ramirez-Ramos of Surry Central not only won the 1600-meter run, but broke the meet record by winning in 4:33.94, more than five seconds ahead of Jack Holbrook of R.J. Reynolds. Ramirez-Ramos also competed in the 3200 and came in third, narrowly trailing two runners from 4A schools who hadn’t also competed in the 1600.
On the girls’ side, North Stokes placed third overall, behind two 4A teams. Pine Lake Prep was a close fourth overall, with Mount Airy the next 1A team, coming in 10th. Mauck had 16 of the Lady Bears’ 35 points and would have placed 12th all by herself. Brown had all 10 points owned by Central’s girls and did come in 16th by herself.
Other notable performances on the girls’ side included a fourth-place finish for Katie Brintle of Millennium Charter Academy in the 400 meters; a third in the 1600 and a fourth in the 800 for the Lady Bears’ Hanne Cooke; and two strong efforts by Mount Airy sophomore Kamaya Rose, who was fifth in the triple jump and sixth in the long jump, finishing behind four competitors from 4A schools in the former event. Myia West of North Surry was representing Team Elite, rather than the Lady Hounds, and finished second in the discus and fourth in the shot.
On the boys’ side, East Surry’s Stephen Gosnell finished second in the 100-meter dash, behind only a 4A runner. In the 200, the Bears’ Austin Tumbarello was second and the Cardinals’ Joey Ray fifth, finishing 1-2 among the 1A athletes. Tumbarello also claimed a fifth-place finish in the 400.
North Surry’s Kaulin Smith, like West, represented Team Elite since the Greyhounds weren’t entered as a team. He placed fifth in the 110 hurdles. Two local athletes placed in the 300 hurdles, with Mount Airy’s Jackson Tumbarello in fourth and Central’s Nolan McMillen placing fifth. Dylan Sawyers of East Surry came in second in the discus to a 4A competitor.
The Bears placed fourth overall in both the 400- and 800-meter relay races. East Surry was third in the 400 relay.
Mount Airy’s Johnathon Smith was second in the long jump, and teammate Grayson Corbin matched that feat in the triple jump. In the shot put, another North Surry athlete competing for Team Elite, Ryan Eldridge, placed second overall to Mason Ellis of West Forsyth, one of the top 4A putters in the state. Eldridge, who won the state indoor title last month, was just six inches short of his indoor best, at 50’11”.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.