Peyton McCarter pole vaults at the Class A Upper State Championship on Saturday, May 5. Landrum won its eight consecutive Upper State title on Saturday. (photo by Joey Millwood)

Cardinals win eighth Upper State title

Published 4:13pm Monday, May 7, 2012

The Landrum track team has won the Upper State finals eight consecutive times.
On Saturday afternoon, Landrum hoisted another Upper State trophy and will head to Columbia to defend their title. The Cardinals scored 121 points to beat out North Central’s 90 points. Ninety Six finished third with 69 points and Christ Church finished fourth with 42. Blacksburg finished 13th with 20 points.
The Cardinals are the defending state champions, but the path to the state finals this year was a little different than last year.
“We have a different makeup of our team this year,” Landrum Head Coach Russell Mahaffey said. “The picture of our team has totally changed.”
Last year the sprinters were the strength of the team. Last year, the Cardinals qualified just four athletes in the field events. This year they qualified 10.
Two of those qualifiers are in the triple jump and they had a highly contested jump on Saturday.
Senior Cole McDowell, who was state champion in the triple jump last season, won the Upper State title again, but this time got some stiff competition from Cardinal sophomore Aaron Bryant. McDowell jumped a distance of 43-7 and Bryant jumped 43-4.
“I kind of scared him today,” Bryant joked after the event. “Just the preparation this last week to prepare my body to jump (was the difference).”
Bryant also finished second in the long jump with a jump of 20-5.
Other Cardinals that qualified were Sam Robins in the 400-meter hurdles (1:01.3); Kaleb Dill in the 400-meter hurdles (1:05.6); Troy Hodge in the 3200-meter (11:56); Derek Brittain in the shot (45’8.5”); Chasten Thomas in the shot (43-1) and discus (127-2); McDowell in the high jump (5-10); Hunter Conley in the high jump (6-2); Will Brown in the 800-meter (2:12); Danny Bruce in the 800-meter (2:13); the 4×800 team of Bruce, Hodge Brown and Kevin Human (8:43); Paul Miller in the 110-meter hurdles (17.4); the 4×100 team of Peyton McCarter, Bryant, JoJo Wilkins and McDowell (46.4); Luke Phillips in the pole vault (11); and McCarter in the pole vault (11) and 200-meter dash (23.5).
On the girls’ side, Southside Christian followed up a Region II-1A crown with an Upper State championship with 87 points. The Lady Cardinals finished fourth with 58 points. Blacksburg finished 11th with 28 points.
For Landrum, Daisha Whitmire qualified in the discus (88-10); Carla Bruce in the 400-meter hurdles (1:21.2); Holly Rickett in the shot (29-7.5); Bruce in the high jump (6’2”); Kim Brown in the high jump (4-8); the 4×800 relay team of Paige Herbst, Samantha Waters, Sarah Cash and Cierra Belue (11:13); Shelby Morris in the pole vault (8-6); and Alison Jouan in the pole vault (7).

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