UP track claims meet win over Lee County

Apr. 6—Union Pines hosted Lee County for a track meet Thursday afternoon and scored team wins in both the men's and women's halves of the meet, although the visiting Yellow Jackets did post several individual wins.

The meet was part of the Sandhills Athletic Conference slate, although a guest team from non-SAC school Sandhills Classical Christian School was also invited and participated in the meet. Union Pines won the men's half of the meet with 99 points, compared to 46 for Lee County and 13 for Sandhills. On the women's side, the Lady Vikings prevailed with 81.50 points to 41.50 for Lee, and 23 for Sandhills.

The women's meet actually opened with a 1-2 finish for the Lady Jackets, as Kaleah Cotton and Allison Johnson topped the chart ahead of Union Pines' Leilani McDonald. Johnson then picked up another second-place finish in the 200, which was won by UP's Melody Brown, with Mia Bailey of Sandhills in third. Bailey then went on to win the 400, where she led a SCCS 1-2 along with teammate Ayla Roberto. Marie Weber of Union Pines took the 800, but runner-up Veronica Cheechov of Sandhills took the win in the 1600, beating Lee County's Sarai Laureano-Perez.

Brown got her second win of the meet in the 100 hurdles, but Lee County's Emmanuelle Whitehead beat six Union Pines runners to take the 300 hurdles.

Union Pines swept all four women's relay events and no other team contested any of them.

Ellie Chapin, Savannah McCaskill and Clara Kellner posted a 1-2-3 sweep of the high jump for the Lady Vikings, all with the same height but were placed in that order on a tiebreaker. UP's Riley Bauer won the pole vault uncontested. Cheechov won the long jump over Cotton, with Kaylin Bryant of Union Pines in third. McCaskill won the triple jump uncontested.

Jakira Jacobs of Lee County won the women's shot put by nearly eight feet over teammate Lanysha McIver, with Lee's D'Zanrey Jennings third. In the discus, Carolyn Coffee of Union Pines beat Jacobs by three feet, with Janae McLean of Lee County not far behind.

The men's half of the meet began with much the same start as the women's. The Jackets opened with a 1-2 finish in the 100, behind Kevin Rollins and Aundre Gray, with Union Pines' Curnie Sanders in third. The the Vikings' Roger Patterson won the 200, with Brayden Elder and Rollins behind him for Lee.

Union Pines went 1-2-3 in the 400, thanks to Braiden Benedict, Robert Johnson, and Jack Binon. Sandhills got its first wins in the 800 and 1600 behind Jones McCall, but he didn't run the 3200 and Union Pines' Corbin Weeks won it.

The Vikings won the hurdles uncontested by any other school. Caleb Milton won the 110 and Cameron Hogan, who was second in that race, prevailed in the 300.

Lee County won the 4x100 relay, but Union Pines took the 4x200 over the Jackets, and 4x800 uncontested.

The high jump was a close battle won by Union Pines' Christian Hackett, who prevailed by two inches over Lee's Julian Best and the Vikings' Kiser Zion. Best was placed second on the tiebreaker. However, Jack Binon beat UP teammate Harrison Knight for the pole vault win, and then Jaydon Sterling of Union Pines easily beat Lee's Zaiden McCrimmon in the long jump.

Best was best for Lee in the triple jump, beating UP's Tristan King, the only competitor to challenge him. He was then second-best to the Vikings' Grayson Theis in the shot put. Theis ended the field events by topping the list in the discus, where he beat Parker Evans of Lee County by 13 feet.