ROCK HILL — Despite end of year logistical hurdles, local middle school track teams finished the season strong when Banks Trail, Fort Mill, Gold Hill, Oakridge and Springfield middle schools came together last Thursday night at Winthrop for a conference track meet.
Springfield’s girls and Banks Trail’s boys both finished first.
The York County Middle School Athletic Conference Championship Track Meet had been scheduled for April 29-30 at Castle Heights Middle School, but was rescheduled for Monday, May 4. That date conflicted with state-wide PASS testing, forcing many schools to pull out of the meet. The compromise was May 1 at Winthrop.
“That is the beginning of PASS testing so we opted to create this meet so our athletes could compete and not have distraction during their testing week,” Springfield coach Jason Byrne said. “It is Fort Mill policy to not have athletic events during PASS testing.”
The Fort Mill teams were joined by Clover’s Oakridge Middle School.
“It was great to give these kids a last chance to do a conference meet, especially since we had to pull out of the original conference meet,” said Banks Trail track coach David Helms, whose boys’ team came in first Thursday night.
“It let the kids have their last hurrah and gave a finale to the season.”
The Springfield girls’ team landed in the top spot with first place wins by Addy Rogers in the 1600 at 6:13.28 and 800 at 2:49.00, Elaine Griffith in the 400 at 1:03.25 and Carly Berkeland in shotput at 26’9. Springfield won the 4x4 at 4:14.38.
Gold Hill took the 4x1000 at 53.85, 100 by Havenae at 12.88, long jump by Amber Jacebson at 14’1, and medley at 2:08.94.
Springfield’s girls’ 4x4 relay runners lingered on the field after the meet, posing for photos for parents and discussing their plans for next season. Berkeland and most of her classmates will go to Nation Ford, although a few will find themselves at Fort Mill High. The seventh-graders, including long jumper Elaine Griffith and Rogers, also a varsity cross country runner, remain to lead Springfield’s 2015 team.
“When we all get in high school we’re going to run together again,” seventh-grader Camryn McDonagh said. “That’s what we’re hoping.”
Springfield 85, Gold Hill 68.5, Banks Trail 50.5, Oakridge 24, Fort Mill 21.
Banks Trail 94, Springfield 53, Fort Mill 43, Oakridge 34, Gold Hill 25.