North Stokes added another state title to their track program on Saturday. Senior Laith Nickell picked up a first place finish in the pole vault setting a 13’00 1A/2A record at the NCHSAA state championship.
This marked his second state title in the event during indoor season along with an outdoor pole vault championship title last year.
“Laith loves the vault and brings a lot of knowledge and enthusiasm to the event. His dad vaulted in high school and his cousin Sean Nickell is one of our former pole vaulters and state champions. Sean got Laith vaulting at a young age,” said Vikings coach Rodney King.
Emma Frye broke her own school record in the 55 hurdles, setting a new time of 9.18 seconds.
In the long and triple jump she was the highest finishing 1A athlete in the events finishing sixth in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump.
“Every track athlete that qualified for the state meet did very well. For the ones who had been before they improved on their previous year performances,” King said.
Sophomore Morgan Cone ran the 500 meter and improved from last year to a spite a recent foot injury.
Brandon Boyles and Dawson Durham made their first trip to the indoor state championship.
Boyles finished eighth in the shot put. Durham ran the 1600 meter with a time of 5:00.09.
“It take dedication, commitment, hard work, and talent. These athletes have to be committed to the training regimen we put them through. All the runners that participated in the state meet have been working for this since the middle of June when we started cross country workouts. Laith and Brandon have both been working for several years to become good at their events to compete at this level,” King said.
The Vikings 4×400 relay team made up of Brandy Bolens, Frye, Cone, and Autumn Knight place 13th with a time of 4:41.00.
“The original team was going to be Brandy, Emma Stanberry, Emma Frye and Morgan Cone, but Emma Stanberry got sick. Madison Sexton is have some knee problems, so freshman Autumn Knight had to step in and run that second leg. She did very well,” King said.
The coach has seen significant improvements from last season until now.
“That’s going to pay dividends for us in the spring. The ones that have been out here are in shape to do some harder training. We’ll get the basketball players out this week and it will take us about a month to get them were they need to be. By April we should be rolling pretty good,” King said.
West Stokes set PR’s at championship
Kaitlyn Stone made her way to the podium after second place finishes in the 1,000 and 3,200 meter run at Saturday’s NCHSAA 1A/2A state championship.
Josh Adkins finished third in the 1,000 meter run.
“I’m so proud of Josh and Kaitlyn,” said coach Benji Knox. “They were disappointed in not winning but they both set PR’s. Kaitlyn ran a great 1,000. Josh ran really hard but got pushed to the back at the start of the race. He worked hard to get back to the top but was just short.”
The coach said the hardworking seniors were irreplaceable.
“They’ve both come a long way in the past four years. Their dedication and commitment is second to none. It’s hard to put into words what they have meant to me and the program at West Stokes,” he said.
In the 500 meter, freshman Erin Duke finished in eighth place.
“Erin ran well but missed some time with a foot sprain so didn’t do as well as she wanted. The sky’s the limit if she consistently works,” Knox said.
Chancey Gunnell set a PR and placed eighth in the 300 meter.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.