COLUMBIA – With two individual state champions, the Nation Ford girls track team finished second in the 5A state meet Saturday.
Nation Ford’s Katie Pou and Camryn Lorick won state titles and the Fort Mill boys’ 4×800 relay team won a state title as well. Nation Ford finished second with 68 points behind 5A girls state champion Hillcrest with 112 points.
“We knew we had a chance to finish high,” said Nation Ford head coach Jake Brenner. “We wanted everyone to have a good day.”
Pou won the 3,200-meters in 11:24.21 to give her a sixth individual state title in the past four years of running between cross country and track for the Falcons.
“When I first started, I wouldn’t imagine winning one,” she said. “I learned to chase my goals and put myself out there.”
Pou, who will be going to the University of Pennsylvania to continue to run in both sports, finished second in the 1,600-meters in 5:05. Mia Royall finished fifth in the 1,600-meters in 5:23.10 for Nation Ford.
“I didn’t get out as well as I wanted to,” Pou said. “I got boxed in. I didn’t have a strong second half (of the race).”
Pou, who raced in her last prep race for Nation Ford, added she wanted to make Saturday at Spring Valley High memorable.
“I wanted to make it special,” she said. “It was all about having fun and trying to make a memorable moment.”
Besides Pou, Lorick also had a long day competing in three individual events and one relay event. Lorick finished third in the 100-meters in 11.99 and third in the 200-meters in 24.70. Lorick won the high jump state championship clearing 5 feet, 6 inches. Lorick said she is used to being able to shift her attention from one event to another to compete.
“At this point in the season, I am used to it,” she said. “I am happy about today. It was a good day.”
Nation Ford’s Tessa Kramer finished second in the 400-meter hurdles in 1:04.52 and Ansley Archuleta finished second in the 800-meters in 2:20.16 for the Falcons. Nation Ford’s 4×100 girls relay team finished fifth in 48.61 and their 4×800 relay finished fifth in 9:54.52.
In the boys 5A meet, neither Fort Mill nor Nation Ford had a lot of representation, but Fort Mill made the most of what they had as their 4×800 relay team won the state title in 7:57.43. The team consisted of Alec Lootens, Devon Sibley, Oliver Jaeckli and Jackson Dawson. Dawson had trailed on the last leg of the 800-meters but found another gear to pull out a win.
“We knew we were close,” he said. “We all prepared well. My main goal was to just draft the guy in front of me. I knew if I can save my energy for the end, we could win.”
Dawson, Sibley and Lootens all participated in the 1,600-meters as well with Dawson finishing second in that event in 4:28.15. Lootens was fourth in 4:32.18 and Sibley was sixth in 4:34.98. Nation Ford’s Connor O’ Flynn was seventh in the race in 4:36.38.
The only other competitor in the 5A boys meet was the Falcons’ Clayton Rygol in the javelin. Rygol finished seventh with a throw of 125 feet, 5 inches.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @fortprep