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West Florence boys win Class 4A, lower-state team championship

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West Florence’s Avion McBride placed fourth in the Class 4A, lower-state high jump.

FLORENCE, S.C. — West Florence’s boys won the Class 4A, lower-state team championship Saturday at Wilson High School. The Knights scored 72 points, beating runner-up Beaufort by two. The South Florence girls finished third in team competition with 62.

The Knight boys’ event wins were by Jamari Bennett in the 100 meters (10.68 seconds), Bakari Brown in the 400 hurdles (57.97) and Charlie Mazick in the 3,200 (10:08.41).

This is the second year the South Carolina High School League has featured upper- and lower-state formats. For a long time, previously, this stage was known as a qualifier.

Bennett won last year’s Class A 100 state championship while competing for Timmonsville. Saturday’s time set a personal best and school record.

“(Bennett) winning lower state just kind of set the tone, the mentality for the boys,” said Rich Wideman, West’s track coach. West also won region. “He has that type of personality. He gets along with everybody on the team and is just fun to be around. I love the kid. You have kids you enjoy coaching, and you have kids that you love coaching. I love coaching Jamari.”

Brown, in the 400 hurdles, closed in on the front two runners late and won in what was also a personal best.

“What really impressed me was his finish,” Wideman said. “He finished very strong. He was second or third going into that last hurdle and he overtook the leaders right after the last hurdle. The second-place guy finished at 58.16. That was a tight race.”

And Mazick, who is four seconds from tying the 3,200 boys’ school record and finished seventh in last fall’s state cross-country meet, is also hitting his stride.

“He works his tail off, but he likes to joke around a lot,” Wideman said. “He’s been a big-time catalyst for our distance running. His 3,200 today was not his best. This was more of a strategic race. His best time this year is 9:47, and he went 10:08 today – and he still won. We’re looking to next week to see what he can do. We’re hoping for a top-three or top-five finish out of him.”

Wideman was also proud of his overall team’s performance.

“We scored points in the sprints with several people; we scored well in the hurdles,” Wideman said. “But I was really impressed with the scoring in the distance and jumps. And, we also got some points out of the throws.”

The top four individual finishers from each event are guaranteed spots in next Saturday’s state track meet at Spring Valley High School. An additional eight athletes – the next, eight-best times combined from lower-state and upper-state times –also advance to state.

Complete list of lower-state/upper-state event winners from the Pee DeeLOWER-STATE

CLASS 4A GIRLS

South Florence (Jahmya Luckey, Mal Cornelius, Kwameci Marks, Triniti Green-Muldrow) won the 4x100 at 48.99. The Bruins’ Caelin Sloan won the 1,600 at 5:10.47. She also won the 3,200 at 11:10.60. Luckey won the 200 at 25.93, and Hartsville’s Amaril Jett won the long jump at 18-2.25.

CLASS 4A BOYS

Defending 110 hurdles state champion, Tyae McWhite of South Florence, set a personal best and school record by winning at 13.82. Hartsville’s Jonathan Flemister won the 400 at 49.53. Hartsville (Trista Wilson, Ethan Jeppson, Justin Canty, Jon Flemister) won the 4x400 at 3:29.70, and the Red Foxes’ Damarion Coe won the long jump at 22-2.25. Wilson (Montrel Goodson, Jyron Waiters, Deionte McClinton, Melvin Hunter) won the 4x100 at 42.19.

CLASS 3A BOYS

Lake City freshman Treshon Burgess won the 400 at 49.12; Manning’s Emmery Mouzan won the 110 hurdles (15.55); Lake City won the 4x100 (42.12) and 4x400 (3:28.87). Manning’s Xavier Evans won the high jump at 6-2, and the Monarchs’ Justin Daniels won the triple jump at 45-3.

CLASS 3A GIRLS

Lake City’s Mion Frierson won the 100 at 12.63; Manning’s Delaney Frierson won the 100 hurdles at 16 seconds; Marlboro County’s Jaila Bostic won the shot put at 32-2, and Bulldogs teammate I’Sheondra Powell won the 200 at 26.06.

CLASS 2A BOYS

Chesterfield’s Tyrell Melton won the discus at 146-8.

CLASS A BOYS

Carvers Bay’s Tevin Young won the 200 at 22.83; Hannah-Pamplico’s Ja’Marcus Williams won the high jump at 5-10, and Raider teammate Jatorri Bartell-Gray won the triple jump at 44-11.5.

CLASS A GIRLS

Defending long-jump champion, Jayla Graham (Hannah-Pamplico) won at 17-1.50. Raider teammate Artaisha Profit won the triple jump at 33-10.5.

UPPER STATE

CLASS A GIRLS

GSSM’s Elise Lanahan won the 1,600 at 6:06.87. McBee’s Emily-Jay Mixon won the 100 at 17.49. Panther teammate Diana Williams won the high jump at 4-10 and javelin at 95-5.

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Prep Sports Writer

A 12-time APSE national award winner, Scott authored, "70 Years of Thrills and Chills, Drama and Dents at Darlington Raceway." Scott has received several SCPA awards, 9 for 1st place since moving to SC in 2010 from his home state of Georgia.

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