The Scotland High School track and field program doesn’t include pole-vaulting in its list of competitive events, so the boys and girls squads were forced to compete from 28 points down in last week’s 4-A SEC championship meet.
Even with that disadvantage, the Fighting Scots nonetheless finished just eight points behind Pinecrest, good for second place in the conference.
“It’s a testament to how hard these kids work when you’re down 28 points right from the start and battle back like that,” said boys first-year track coach Will Clark Jr. “We’re not too far off from where I’d like us to be this season and for future seasons.”
The boys and girls both finished second in the championship meet, with Pinecrest coming out on top in both brackets. After the event, six individual conference awards were handed out, with Scotland netting four: senior Seyyan Moody for Male Runner of the Year, Aatianna Williams for Female Field Event Athlete of the Year, Clark Jr. and David Brooks for Boys and Girls Coach of the Year.
“It was disappointing that we didn’t get to defend our conference championship this year,” said Brooks, referring to last year’s Scotland Girls championship victory. “I give Pinecrest all the credit in the world for performing when it meant the most, but I would’ve loved to see what would’ve happened if our senior leaders were not banged up.”
Combined, the Fighting Scots finished first place in 11 of 36 events. The boys relay teams collected first place nods in all four relay races (4x800, 4x200, 4x100, 4x400), while Moody earned first place honors in both the 110 and 300 meter hurdles. With a time of 39.45 in the 300 meter hurdles, Moody finished ahead of the second place competitor by nearly a second. Jauan Petty also earned first place in the high jump, while KwaShaun Quick finished first place in the triple jump with a leap nearly two feet longer than second place Pinecrest.
In the girls 100 meter hurdles, Ariana Jones and Aatianna Williams finished first and second place with times of 15.51 and 16.19. Williams would also finish first in both the long jump and triple jump events.
Up until the conference championships, Scotland had won all of their regular season meets. And glancing back at the season thus far, Clark Jr. sees it as a success, with a combination of senior leadership and the improvement shown by his long distance runners as keys to Scotland’s winning ways. Scotland’s long distance runners include Jared Torgerson, Kendall Romaine, Andrew Tietjen and Joe Prevatte.
“Success breeds success, and I think a lot of our senior football players carried over their roles as leaders on that team to the track season this year,” he said. “And if our long distance guys didn’t improve over the course of the season, we wouldn’t have put ourselves in the position to win all of our meets.”
Scotland is set to compete in the 4-A regional championships this Saturday.
“There is still a lot of work to be done as we prepare for regionals on Saturday,” Brooks said. “We have about 20 girls who have qualified as we look to improve on our fifth place finish last year.”