Cummings girls, Eastern Alamance boys win county track & field titles; Paylor claims four golds for Cavaliers boys
By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Cummings athletes provided many of the highlights on the track during the Alamance County track and field championships Thursday.
The Eastern Alamance boys spread out their good work to many of the field events as well in competition among seven schools in one of the area’s first big meets of the season.
“The first chance we got to test the lineups that we’ll eventually run,” Cummings coach Donnie Davis said.
The Cummings girls and Eastern Alamance boys were team champions, though there were plenty of dominating individual performances.
Those might have started with Cummings junior Jonathan Paylor, who’s already an indoor and outdoor state champion. He won the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes and stormed ahead to complete the Cavaliers’ winning 800 relay.
“The best part was the 100 and seeing what my time would be,” he said.
Paylor pulled ahead of Eastern’s William Ratliffe in the 100. Paylor posted a time of 10.60 seconds to Ratliffe’s 10.88, with Cummings’ Khavarie Hightower (10.89) also under 11 seconds. Ratliffe won a state indoor title at 55 and Paylor at 300.
“I really haven’t got pushed in the 100,” Paylor said. “This was a little competition I love.”
Paylor won the 200 in 22.24, the 400 in 49.88 and burst past Williams’ Jaxon Goforth to give the Cavaliers the victory in the 800 relay. He was joined by Hightower, Jamear Clements and Bramond McRae in the relay (1:30.46).
In his various races, Paylor said he figured he’d be tested by Ratliffe and Josh Murray from Eastern and Caleb Fogleman of Williams.
“This was some competition,” Paylor said. “It’s a little bit more challenging.”
Eastern Alamance’s boys racked up 174 points for a comfortable margin on Cummings, which had 120 followed by Williams (103), Burlington Christian Academy (43), Western Alamance (27), Southern Alamance (26) and The Burlington School (0).
First-year coach Kenneth Moore liked what he saw from the Eagles, who last week topped Williams and Western in a tri-meet.
“Getting in a good rhythm to start the season,” Moore said.
The Eagles’ championship effort might have been best displayed by junior Jalen Alston, who was seeded fifth in the 800.
He used a strong finishing stretch and edged the Williams duo of Josiah Love and Corey Reaves in perhaps the closest race of the day. Alston posted a time of 2:18.23, with Love (2:18.29) and Reaves (2:18.90) in contention. It was Alston’s first first-place finish of the year, perhaps an example of the grit the Eagles demonstrated.
“It shows out here,” Alston said.
He heeded the advice of his coaches.
“They told me to kick at the end and that’s what I did,” Alston said of the race strategy.
The Eagles won the 400 relay (44.09) with Matthew Moore, Murray, Tajon Roberson and Ratliffe. Eastern’s time of 3:53.92 came was the lone entry in the 1,600 relay with Jabrele Ray, Michael Reaves, Cedric Morgan and Alston.
Eastern’s Trynton Wiley won the long jump (21-8) and triple jump (39-11), while teammates Reaves in the high jump (5-6) and Gabe Ocampo in the pole vault (13-6) were also winners.
Clements of Cummings won the 110 hurdles (16.33) and 300 hurdles (43.38).
BCA won four boys’ events. Alexander Hyatt claimed the 1,600 (5:00.76) and 3,200 (11:31.10), Connor Johnson was the winner in the shot put (41-0) and Jadon Gabriel captured the discus (110-7).
Western’s Caedmon Gresham, Jacob Garrison, Noah Rouse and Cohen Greshem combined for the victory in the 3,200 relay (10.01.18).
Cavaliers girls collect golds
On the girls’ side, Cummings freshmen D’Anna Cotton and Diamond Moore left with multiple medals.
Cotton won the 100 hurdles (15.26), 300 hurdles (45.57), triple jump (37 feet, 6 inches) and high jump (5-3). Her time in the 300 hurdles marked a personal best.
“Love winning as a group and by myself,” she said. “There was more competition here. I like to see where I stand against more people.”
Moore placed first in the 100 (12.73) and 200 (26.74), took third place in the long jump and was part of Cummings’ runner-up spot in the 400 relay.
“There were some good (personal bests),” Moore said of the team’s performance. “We just get to see where we are. We get to see new competition.”
Brooke Packingham of Cummings won the long jump in 16-8¼ and she was just 0.01 behind Moore in the 200.
The Cavaliers are a youthful bunch, but they’re unfazed.
“All of this is relatively new to them other than indoors,” Davis said.
Cummings had 149 points, with Eastern next with 112. Williams was third with 104, followed by Southern (58), BCA (32), Western (23) and TBS (10).
Eastern’s Catherine Parker was a triple winner by finishing first in the 800 (2:36.99), 1,600 (5:44.84) and 3,200 (12:25.47). Parker ran the final leg of the Eagles’ winning 3,200 relay (12:09.92) following teammates Jaziah Ruffin, Keelyn Plunkett and Rayna Silberman.
Other girls’ winners included The Burlington School’s Keegan Lee in the 400 (1:06.62), Williams’ Eleanor Burbridge in the pole vault (6-6), Eastern’s Makayla Thompson in the discus (89-2) and Williams’ Jordyn Taylor in the shot put (27-5).
Eastern’s Mykeya King, Etta Krans, Jania Williams and Skai Fisher combined to win the 800 relay in 2:02.38.
The Williams 400 relay (53.05) of Aaliyah Godley, Ariana Miles-Pass, Kynnedi Hester and Taliyha Brown was a winner. The Bulldogs’ entry of Ivy Robinson, Lana Roberts-Jordan, LaNadia Pinnix and Hannah Ziecik won the 1,600 relay in 4:41.49.