King men, women win inaugural Conference Carolinas Championship
WINSTON SALEM, N.C. -- After the King women had the title all but locked up for their side of the inaugural Conference Carolinas Indoor Track & Field Championships, Jordan Noe's performance in the men's mile run tipped the scales and pulled King to the front of the pack in the men's team standings.
The Tornado took first place as a team, securing the conference's first Indoor Track & Field championships on both sides. Hannah Witt won two distance events and was crowned Female Track Athlete of the Year.
King crowned five individual conference champions during the day-long event, two claimed by Witt. She blew the competition away by finishing more than 10 seconds ahead of the next finisher in the women's 5,000-meter run. Her time of 17:53.87 earned first-place honors and 10 team points.
Witt followed that performance with another title in the women's 3,000 meters, defeating Lucy Schmitz by less than four seconds with a 10:22.63 finish time. Witt then completed her final event of the day in the one-mile run, where she placed second behind Schmitz. With her 5:18.26 time and runner-up finish in the mile, she added eight more points to the team total, finishing with 28 just in her events.
For her two individual titles and one runner-up finish, Witt was named the inaugural Conference Carolinas Female Track Athlete of the Year.
The Lady Tornado were well on their way to the first Women's Indoor Track & Field Championship with a well-rounded team performance that included a conference title earned by Maegan Henry in the weight throw (14.41m) and second-place finish in the shot put. Melissa Arnold (12.31m) and Kayla Gash (12.14m) took third and fourth, respectively, in the women's weight throw to set personal records and add an additional 10 points to King's team total.
Lanneickia Brewton earned the fourth individual title on the women's side in the 200-meter dash, defeating Barton's Breyuana Kittrell by 0.13 seconds. King stole three of the top-four positions in that event with Tia Nelson earning third place (26.27) and Alexis Robinson taking fourth (26.64).
The Tornado men faced a steeper challenge in earning their team conference title as they went back-and-forth with Limestone for much of the day before overtaking the Saints late. Jordan Noe's performance in the men's mile may not have earned a title but his second-place finish served as the turning point for the men's team in the penultimate event.
"Jordan [Noe] executed his race perfectly and almost stole the win," assistant coach Dave Milner said. "It represented a huge point swing in our favor since we expected the Limestone runner to win and us maybe sneak one or two pints out of this race."
Noe, ranked seventh in the conference coming into the race, moved up two positions from fourth place at the halfway point of the race to secure second-place honors and eight team points to overtake the lead.
Heading into the final event of the championships, the men's 4x400-meter relay team held on to their five-point advantage against Limestone with a second-place finish to secure the team title with 110 points. The team of Reggie Warren, Justin Newring, Alson Edgecombe and Jordan Tippens finished the relay in 3:25.14, just 0.73 seconds behind the event champions, North Greenville. Limestone finished second in the event to complete the meet with 103 points.
Aiding in the men's come-from-behind indoor meet championship was Forrest Stuart who earned an individual championship in the men's long jump. The sophomore out-leaped Mount Olive's Nick MacAdam and placed atop the leaderboard with a 6.79m jump.