Weddington Boys Win State Track; Cuthbertson Girls Takes Second

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As the high school track season hit the stretch run last month, Weddington High School track coach Rick Spencer was optimistic that the boys track team would improve on its third-place finish at the 2016 North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 3A Outdoor Championships.

At that time, Weddington was improving with each meet and Spencer thought the Warriors were peaking at the right time heading into the 2017 postseason meets.

Spencer was spot on.

Weddington won two relay races as the Warriors cruised past rival Marvin Ridge 68-34.5 to win the school’s first boys’ outdoor track state championship last weekend.

In the girls NCHSAA Class 3A Outdoor track Championships, Cuthbertson finished second behind state champion West Cateret while Marvin Ridge and Weddington took third and fourth-place, respectively.

Cuthbertson’s girls won the NCHSAA Class 3A Indoor Championships earlier this year and they finished six points behind West Cateret last weekend.

“It was awesome to go one (indoor) and then two (outdoor),” said Cuthbertson track coach Dustin Allen. “We did everything we could do on Saturday to get there. We landed where we landed.”

Weddington’s boys won two of the four relay races as the Warriors won the 4×100 relay and the 4×800 relay. Denison Livingston, Emerson Douds, Mark Connor and Doug Dracon won the 4×100 in a time of 42.04. Kyle Durham, Will Mazur, Carson Glatz and Stephen Larson won the 3200 relay with a dominating time of 7:58.75.

Warrior relays won the 3200 Meter Relay and the 400 Meter Relay. Stephen Larson, Carson Glatz, Will Mazur and Kyle Durham teamed up to take down the 3200 in 7:58.75. In the 400 Relay Denison Livingston, Emerson Douds, Mark Conner and Doug Dracon churned out a 42.04 second-place time.

Weddington also picked up points in the 200-meter dash as Dracon finished second in 21.95 while Douds was third in 22.12. Douds also took second in the 400 with a 48.76.

Weddington was also a force in the distance races as Durham (1:56.60) took second in the 800-meter run while Kyle Hinson (9:43.24) and Will Mazur (9:48.42) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 3200-meter run. Hinson was sixth in the 1600 in a time of 4:27.62.

Ben Shelley was a force for the Marvin Ridge boys as the Mavericks senior was crowned a state champion after winning the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 14.19. Shelley also finished third in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 38.77.

Cuthbertson also brought home state championship individual honors when Nathan Johnson, Bradon Black, Justin Crawley and Casey Stamper won the 4×400 relay in a time of 3:19.91.

“That was a new school record and I don’t know if anyone will touch that any time soon,” said Cuthbertson track coach Dustin Allen. “That was actually the meet record for the weekend. Class 1A, Class 2A, Class 4A, they would have won any division.”

Cuthbertson’s Sarah Latour was crowned a double state champion after the Cavaliers junior girls distance runner won the 1600 and 3200-meter runs. Latour won the 1600 in a time of 5:03.03 while she crossed in the 3200 with a winning time of 11:22.35. Weddington’s Sydney Burke finished second in the 3200 with a time of 11:31.56.

“Sarah did an amazing job,” Allen said. “She is very smart racer and it is really awesome that we get her back for another year.”

Cuthbertson’s Jaelyn Warren also picked up big points for the Cavaliers when the senior won the high jump with a jump of 5-04. Warren only started competing in the event late in her junior year.

“She has worked very hard,” Allen said. “She finished third at the indoor and she really wanted that outdoor title.

Marvin Ridge also had a pair of individual state champions as Jorja Medders won the 300-meter hurdles while Kamryn Henderson won the shot put. Henderson had a throw of 40-03.00 while Medders won the hurdles with a time of 44.36.

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at