Last week, the women competed in the 35th Annual Porter Invitational Relay held at Hibriten High School. It was the 10th time in school history that the team has competed in the event, but this time, Ashe came out on top of all the other schools, tallying 75 points overall while West Wilkes and Hibriten finished tied for second with 64 points, East Burke came in fourth with 58.5 points and Hickory rounded out the top five with 49.5 points.
For the fourth straight year, the ladies took first place in the shuttle hurdle relay with Lexi Greene, Denise Calhoun, MacKenzie Domske, and Mikayla Shatley leading the way. The team mile event also went in favor of Ashe with Sarah Spanbauer coming in first overall with other team members including Kimmie Ring, Chelsea Eller, and MacKinsey Johnson.
The team also finished third place overall in the shotput, led by Mallary Clay who finished first out of 28 throwers. Domske and Madison Little also performed well in the event, good enough to score points for Ashe.
The distance relay medley team finished second overall with Amber Hare running the 400-meter, Sarah Gentry running the 800, Clay in the 1200 and Spanbauer in the 1600. The sprint relay team also captured second place with Greene and Domske running the 100-meter relays and both Aspen Domske and Lizzie Hanes running the 200.
Not to be left out, the 4x400 relay team captured third place overall for Ashe. Team members were Calhoun, Hare, Johnson, and Makayla Spencer.
“The coaching staff was elated to win such a big meet as the Porter Relays. Our girls’ team continues to improve and it’s exciting to see us compete this well against such fantastic competition. We thought we had a long shot at winning this meet before going into it and were extremely happy we performed so well,” said head coach Alex Rollins.
On Thursday, both the men and women were in action when Ashe played host to Starmount and North Wilkes. The ladies took first place overall while the men were narrowly defeated by both the Rams and Vikings.
Hanes, Greene, and Calhoun swept the 100-meter hurdles as well as the 300 hurdles while Calhoun, Aspen Domske and MacKenzie Domske swept the top spots in the 100-meter dash.
Johnson captured the top spot in the 1600, finishing the event in 6 minutes, 37 seconds. Eller finished second in the event just seven seconds behind Johnson. Ashe also swept the top two spots in the 400 with Spencer taking the top spot in 1:08 and Ring just behind her at 1:12.
In the 800 event, Clay and Gentry took the two top spots for Ashe while the ladies also swept the top three spots in the 200 with Hare claiming victory, followed closely by Erin Bingham in second and Shatley in third.
In the field events, Hanes won the long jump, Shatley took second in the high jump and both Gentry and Domske tied for second in the pole vault with a jump of 7 feet. Clay won the triple jump with a score of 28’8.25” and continues to dominate the competition in the shotput, taking first yet again with a throw of 33’6”. Little claimed second in the discuss throw with a toss of 94’5”.
While the men’s team may not have won the meet, they certainly had several good performances on the afternoon. The 4x800 relay team of Aaron Cronk, Jonathan Nichols, Dan Zeller, and Glen Bailey qualified the regionals and earned first place over both Starmount and North Wilkes with a season-best time of 8:57.
Brian Travers captured second in the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.75 seconds, and took second as well in the 300 hurdles.
In other track events, Cronk won the 800-meter event with Nichols placing second and Brandon Miller taking third place. Richard Isaacs took fourth in the 400 with a career-best time of 59.81 seconds. Bailey finished the grueling 3200 in a time of 11:11. Josh Rees-Jones and Mitch Rees-Jones both ran season-best times in the 3200 and finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
In the field events for the men, Jake Gardner achieved a personal best in the long jump with a leap of 19 feet 8 and a half inches, good enough for third. Garder also captured third in the high jump with a jump of 5 feet 10 inches. Zach Hudler had an outstanding day winning both the shotput and the discuss. The senior threw a career-best 46 feet in the shotput, qualifying him for regionals and just missing the school record by three inches. Hudler took the top spot in the discuss with a throw of 119 feet 9 inches.
“It’s exciting to see our boys team this close to the two most dominant teams in our conference. With more hard work and some strategic maneuvering we might be able to edge closer to these teams at our conference championship meet,” said Coach Rollins.