old mark of 9:43.74 held by Casey Lyons.
“That’s a 20-second PR. I didn’t think I could do that,” said Nichols, whose previous best was 10:04. “My goal was sub-10; never thought it was going to be in the 30s. That was next year’s goal.”
For the second time in three days, North Caroline’s Ja’Mion Franklin left thinking about of his goal for next year — winning the 2A boys’ shot put and discus titles.
Second in the shot put Thursday to Hereford senior Mike Nash, Franklin finished runner-up to Nash again yesterday in the discus, with an effort of 156 feet, 10 inches to the eventual champion’s 160-11.
“This week the competition was definitely higher, which drove me more,” said Franklin, who had not lost in the shot or discus this season prior to states. “I had some practice coming into this week and that’s always a plus. I was really determined this week.
“I hate losing,” Franklin said. “I was second, so that was the first loser in both. I didn’t throw as good as I wanted to. I know I’ve got more in me and I know I’m capable of throwing better and performing better. It’s just driving me for next year. I got to get better.”
Cambridge-SD’s Destiny Frantum, Janee Qualies, Brianna Wongus and Ronke Oyerinde were leading the fast heat of the girls’ 1A 800 relay when a miscue on the baton exchang took them first to an eventual fourthplace finish. That same group rebounded though, to place second in the 400 relay in 51.42.
“They recovered from it and it’s great that they placed second,” Narr said.
North Caroline’s 1,600-meter relay team of Katie Saathoff, Kyra Schulties, Emily Lewis and Lizzy Walston came out of the slow heat to place second overall in a school-record 4:06.03 — with Liberty taking first place in 4:05.19.
Saathoff stayed in contact with a large crunch of runners at the first exchange and Schulties made a big pass, moving into second place before handing off to Lewis.
“I think I started way too fast, but I knew I needed to keep up just to keep my position,” Schulties said. “Then when we came around to the 300-meter mark I knew I just needed to push.”
Lewis needed about half a dozen steps before moving into the lead and keeping it before handing off to Walston, who wasn’t going to be challenged.
“After seeing how all my girls did, I just had to go out there and relax; run what I run,” said Walston, the lone senior on the relay. “Them running what they did motivated me so much more because I knew I needed to run for them. And (head coach Glen) Whiteley wanted us to break the school record and I knew I just had to go out there and do it.
“It’s unbelievable,” Walston said of the recordsetting performance in her final high school race. “I feel like I’ve worked so hard to get here and now I’m here and I can say I broke a school record.”
Like North Caroline’s Franklin, Colonel Richardson’s Darrion Speller was already looking forward to next year after placing third in the 1A boys’ triple jump with a leap of 42 feet, 7 inches.
“My second phase has to get better,” Speller said. “My first phase is terrific, but my second phase is not that good.”
Snow Hill’s Emily McAllister won the 1A girls’ 1,600 meters with a time of 5:16.67.
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Kent Island’s Brandon Nichols raises his arms in celebration after setting a new school record and finishing second in the 2A boys’ 3,200 meters Saturday at the state track and field championships.