COLUMBIA — Six local track athletes from Fort Mill, NaFo qualify for state
Four members of the Fort Mill track team and two from Nation Ford qualified for the upcoming S.C. State championship meet.
A handful of local athletes qualified for the 2013 state championship track meet this Saturday at Lower Richland High School.
Battling cold, wind and eventually rain, Fort Mill had three boys qualify in four events, but no girls qualify; Nation Ford, meanwhile, had one boy and one girl qualify at the 4A state qualifier at Spring Valley High School. Only the top eight in each event qualified for the state meet.
Leading the way for the Jackets was senior Lucas Stalnaker, who qualified for both the 1,600 and 3,200 meter races. Stalnaker finished seventh in the 1,600 event with a time of 4:32.32 and finished eighth in the 3,200 event in 9:49.13.
Fort Mill brought nine boys and eight girls to the state qualifier. Nation Ford brought seven qualifiers to the meet.
Besides Stalnaker, Fort Mill had a rarity in qualifying a sprinter. Senior Josh Lafoe qualified in the 100 meters by running an 11:17 and finishing second.
It has been a while since a Jackets sprinter has made it that far. Lafoe set the school record at the Region III-AAAA meet last week with a 10.81 in the 100 meters.
“I know we hadn’t had one in the 100 finals in the last 20 years,” said Jackets boys head coach Dave Thomas.
Also qualifying for the state meet was senior Ryan Tankersly, who finished fifth in the shot put, with a toss of 49 feet, 2 inches. Tankersly also qualified last year for the state meet.
“For Tank, making it again was good,” Thomas said of Tankersly. “It’s so much harder in 4A.”
Nation Ford had senior AK McCoy qualify in the long jump by finishing second with a jump of 22 fee, six inches.
And on the girls’ side of things, Nation Ford senior Leah Thornock was the only local qualifier after finishing seventh in the 800 meters in 2:25.00.
Fort Mill senior Monique Page just missed qualifying by finishing ninth in the high hurdles in 16.43. Fellow senior Maggie Boyd also finished ninth in the high jump clearing five feet even, but fell short in qualifying.