WINSTON-SALEM -- Clayton senior Mollie Williams and Corinth Holders sophomore Arden Vessie had NCHSAA indoor state track and field championship performances they’ll never forget on Saturday at the JDL Fast Track.
Williams, a former indoor 55-meter hurdle state titliest, came within a hundredth of a second of winning another 4A state indoor hurdle championship, but an extremely close finish left the University of South Carolina signee third in the state.
The top four finishers finished within three one-hundredths of a second of each other, led by Southwest Guilford’s Hunter Roberts (8.10). Wakefield freshman Breanne Bygrave was second, followed by Williams (both at 8.11) and Jacklyn Howell of Southeast Raleigh (8.13).
Vessie improved on her finish in the 3,200 meters of the 1/2A/3A state championships, taking third.
Vessie, who was fourth last year, was part of a three-girls breakaway midway of the race with eventual champion Mary Grace Doggett of Cardinal Gibbons and West Davidson runner Callie Wynn.
Doggett broke for the lead after Vessie had led early in the race, pulling Wynn with her.
“I tried to counter when they made their moves but I just couldn’t catch back up,” Vessie said. “So I just kept my focus on what I was doing, running my race.”
Vessie finished with a time of 11:22.92 for third for a bronze medal. Doggett won in 11:13.85.
“Being able to compete in a race like this and bring home this medal, means the world to me,” said Vessie, as she took her state championship bronze medal in a hand and tilted it up so she could get a better look at it again. “To run with so many great people and champions was an unforgettable experience. I just want to thank my coaches for helping me get here.”
Marie Pickett of Corinth Holders brought home a fifth place finish in the high jump. Picket cleared five feet.
The Pirates also picked up an eighth place finish from Essence Scott in the long jump at 16-5.
Corinth Holders’ girls team was 12th in the team rundown with 11 points. West Carteret won the girls 1A/2A/3A team title, while Burlington Williams took the boys’ team crown.
West Johnston had a pair of 4A bronze medalists in Teri Strickland (55 meters, 7.21) and Jasmine Dawson (300, 40.85). Becca Meshaw finished seventh in the 3,200 for West.
West Johnston’s Xavier Carter finished fourth in the 55 meters in 7.67 seconds.
Wakefield’s girls and Knightdale’s boys both won their third straight team titles. Southeast Raleigh’s girls were second in the state.
South Johnston had two entries place in the 1A/2A/3A girls shot put. Chyann Ketchum was 11th at 30-8 ¼ and Alexis Massengill took 15th (29-9 ½).
Savannah Creed was South’s highest finisher at states, finishing ninth in the pole vault (8-6).