The final high school athletic event for the 2018- 19 academic year involving Hillsborough teams unfolded during a lengthy day in Greensboro.
Cedar Ridge and Orange both were represented on Friday during the NCHSAA 3A Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Irwin Belk Track at North Carolina A&T University.
In the final event of the day, Orange’s 4x400 men’s relay team of Keanu Mims, Thomas Kaltenbach, Jose Torres and Cameron Michalski finished 10th in the state among 16 teams with a time of 3:28.63. It was the final meet for Michalski, who qualified for the Mideast Regionals four times as a relay runner but had never made the state championships until this year.
“It was great going against this competition,” Torres, who started running at Gravelly Hill Middle School, said. “But we fell short of what we wanted to do. It makes you want to work harder and get better.”
Torres, Michalski, Mims and Kaltenbach worked with Orange track & field coach Jason Willix to perfect their timing in handing off the baton and staying in their lanes in order to qualify for the state championships. Along the way, Orange competed against powerful Hillside, who finished 3rd behind state champion Weddington and runner-up Asheville.
“For the past three weeks, every day after practice we spend a good 15-30 minute practicing handoffs,” Kaltenbach said. “If it wasn’t good enough, we would do it again until he got it right.”
In the women’s ranks, Cedar Ridge had two freshman qualify for the state championships in the pole vault. Caroline Fowlkes finished 9th after tying the school record by clearing ten feet.
Her teammate, Susan Smith, got over the bar at eight feet. Pole vaulting runs in the blood of Fowlkes, who moved to Hillsborough from Mobile, Alabama last summer. Both of her parents were pole vaulters in college and high school. Fowlkes says her goal is to break Cedar Ridge’s school record next year.
Smith started participating at track during her days at A.L. Stanback Middle School. This was her first year participating in pole vault after previously running hurdles and high jump.
“Pole vault is where it’s at,” Smith said. “I’ve always found it interesting. One of my cousins pole vaulted and she was amazing. She broke her school record (at a high school in Indiana) and she was my inspiration to do it.”
Smith is also gearing up for volleyball season. Cedar Ridge’s 4x800 relay team, consisting of Sarah Tucker, Zoe Wade, Jill Myler and Allison Musty, finished 10th in the state. They had a time of 10:10.70. It was the team’s best run of the season, shaving a second off their previous best set at the Mideast Regionals at Southern Lee High School in Sanford.
It concluded a strong running season for Cedar Ridge. Wade, Myler and Musty are members of the Cedar Ridge women’s cross country team that qualified for the 3A State Championships last November. Last season, Cedar Ridge’s 4x800 team, which included Musty, set the school record with a time of 10:08.78 during the Mideast Regionals.