Ashe County took part in the annual Times-News Invitational, an event held each year at Polk County High School, featuring some of the top teams in the western and mid-western regionals.
The women’s team finished as runner-up to West Henderson while the men’s team placed ninth overall out of 13 teams. The top eight individual finishers were awarded points for their respective teams.
West Henderson won the women’s meet with 133.33 points followed by Ashe in second with 77, tied with Patton HS, Hendersonville in fourth with 73 points and Polk County in fifth with 68. East Henderson placed sixth (61 points), North Gaston was seventh (44 points), RS Central eighth (41.33), Bessemer City ninth (33) and Franklin HS captured 10th (27).
The men’s champion was West Henderson as well with 129 points. Shelby captured second with 106 points, Franklin HS was third with 82.5 points, Polk County fourth with 74 and Asheville rounded out the top five with 57 points. East Henderson and North Henderson tied for sixth with 46 points, Patton finished eighth with 39 points, Ashe came in ninth with 26 points and Chase HS finished 10th with 23.
Senior MacKinsey Johnson got the first points of the day for Ashe by finishing in sixth place in the discus throw. Her toss of 70 feet, 7.5 inches got Ashe three points. Paige Spell captured fifth in the high jump with a leap of four feet, eight inches. Teammate Mikayla Shatley was not far behind as her leap of four feet, two inches was good enough for seventh place. Sarah Gentry placed in the pole vault, earning a seventh place finish with a vault of seven feet even.
On the track, Erin Bingham took second place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.84 seconds and her teammate Spell brought home a fourth place finish in a time of 17.77 seconds. Bingham did even better in the 300 hurdles, winning the event in 49.74 seconds, the only person who finished under 50 seconds. Former Ashe track athlete Lizzie Hanes holds the all-time record for the Times-News Invitational, which she set in 2010.
In the 400-meter dash, Amber Hare finished in second place in 65.7 seconds. She also placed fourth in the 200 as she crossed the finish line in 28.17 seconds. In the mile run, Sarah Spanbauer picked up a fifth place finish, completing the run in 5:58.96.
The relay events were once again a strong point for the women’s team as Ashe placed third in the 4x800 relay, second in the 4x100, and fourth in the 4x400.
On the men’s side, Dominic Maxwell earned a point for the team, taking eighth place in the shot put with a heave of 37 feet, four inches. Jacob Blevins picked up a sixth place finish in the long jump, which measured in at 18 feet, eight inches. Blevins earned an eighth place finish in the 110 hurdles with a finishing time of 17.76 seconds and a fifth place finish in the 300 hurdles with a time of 46.54 seconds.
Glen Bailey was outstanding in the long distance runs again. The senior took second in the mile run with a time of 4:44 and placed fourth in the two-miler with a time of 10:30.