Smoky Mountain’s Me-Li Jackson qualified for the State 2-A Women’s Track Meet in two events, and two women’s relay teams also qualified in Saturday’s Western Regionals at Bandys.
The State Meet will start at 10 a.m. Friday at N.C. A&T in Greensboro.
Heavy rain fell during much of the Regional Meet, and there was a 90-minute lightning delay.
“It was horrendous,” Coach Pam Shuler said of the weather conditions. “It was like having a track meet in a monsoon. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that kind of rain at a track meet. The kids were out there suffering and trying to do their best.”
Jackson was third in both the shot put (35-9.5) and discus (103-7). She holds school records in both events, and broke her own record in the discus Saturday.
“I’m very proud of her,” Shuler said.
Despite the rain, the 3,200-meter relay team had its best time of the season and placed third in 10:41.2. Team members are Becky Pechmann, Katherine Scifers, Eliza Macaulay and Rebecca Fox. Their previous best time was 10:57.
“That’s a significant improvement,” Shuler said. “I’m very excited about that.”
Also qualifying for state was the 1,600 relay team of Pechmann, Fox, Lucy McRae and Macaulay. They were third in 4:24, which was a drop of eight seconds from their previous best time.
While no one from the men’s team finished in the top four to qualify for state, points were scored in two events.
Jared Hughes was seventh in the 200 dash in 24.11.
The 3,200 relay team of Ben Saunooke, Mitchell Russotti, Dalton Rogers and Tyler Watterson was eighth in 9:13.74. That’s 20 seconds better than their previous top time.
Others competing for the men were:
800 run – Saunooke, 14th, 2:22.
3,200 run – Watterson, ninth, 10:45.
1,600 relay – Ki French, Russotti, Rogers, Saunooke, 14th, 4:10.
“All of the girls who went to regionals qualified for the State Meet,” Shuler said. “I’m extremely proud of them and excited about the prospects of them performing Friday. Under the weather conditions, their performances were outstanding.”
The 1-A regionals just a few miles away at Lenoir-Rhyne in Hickory were postponed until Monday because of the weather.
“The state really wanted us to get it in and not put it off until Monday,” Shuler said. “It was frustrating. We probably should have postponed it until Monday, but we didn’t.”