Pictured: Leah Smith placed in all six field events, including winning the high jump.
By Robert Gustafson
Broadwater Academy’s girl’s and boy’s track teams won their home invitational track and field meet last weekend. The Viking boys scored 178 points with Atlantic Shores the next closest with 65.5 points. The girls scored 194 points with Holly Grove taking second with 49 points. Denbigh Baptist also competed.
The meet is one of the few in the United States contested on a grass track and all the running events were in relay format. Broadwater won the boys 4×100 relay with a come from behind finish by Senior Captain Gunnar Gustafson. The Broadwater girls won the 4×400 relay event.
The Broadwater girls and boys shone in the field events with senior Gunnar Gustafson winning five events — long jump, triple jump, pole vault, high jump and discus — and placing second in shot put. Senior Reade Nicolls placed second in discus and high jump and third in shot put.
Braden Carlsen placed in the long jump, high jump and triple jump. Seventh grader Noah Pruitt placed fourth in discus and fifth in shot put followed by Thor Whitaker in sixth. Miles McIntyre placed second in pole vault and will compete at the state meet in the event.
Eight grader Leah Smith and senior Hannah Davis qualified to compete in the state meet in pole vault. Smith also won the high jump and scored in the long jump, triple jump, shot put, and discus. Davis also placed second in long jump in her first track meet ever.
Rylee Coates concluded her outstanding season with wins in the pole vault, triple jump, and high jump. Coates is currently ranked first in VISAA Division II in pole vault but is ineligible to compete in the state meet because she is only in seventh grade.
The meet concluded with the seldom-contested “weight-thrower’s relay.” Participants are limited to athletes who competed in shot put or discus. Instead of batons, the runners pass a shot put, discus, tape measure and implement bag to each other. A quartet of Broadwater seventh graders — Noah Pruitt, Logan Arnold, Grayson Ross, and Connor Stokes — won the event.
The meet was characterized by good sportsmanship and good spirits as students and masked and socially-distanced family members appreciated the opportunity to be together outside in the sunny spring weather.