North Forsyth track coach Neal Matheson calls his team the ‘Road Warriors,’ not because they seem to perform at their best at meets away from Coal Mountain but because they only perform at meets away from Coal Mountain. Without adequate facilities – not enough seats, not enough bathrooms – the Raiders are forced to travel to compete.
So in some ways, the North boys’ team felt right at home Thursday at Lambert for the 2014 Forsyth County Track and Field Championships. The Raiders used their superior depth in the field events to score 143 points and edge Lambert (123.5) for their second county championship in three seasons.
South Forsyth (105), West Forsyth (77) and Forsyth Central (45.5) rounded out the team standings.
“All of our meets are away. The parents don’t get to see home meets. We’re always travelling,” Matheson said, “so I’m just proud of them because they’re always on the road but they’re getting better.”
North knew it couldn’t match other teams in most track events. West had Austin Reid, who swept the 100-meter dash (11.37) and 200 (22.93). Lambert had Zach Matthews, who won the 400 (50.17), and Jonathan Schwind, who swept the 800 (2:03.03) and 1,600 (4:30.15). Central had Max Warner, who finished second the 1,600 (4:30.96) and first in the 3,200 (10:00.74).
The Raiders made their strongest track events count, thanks in part to Tanner Riddle. The senior swept the 110 hurdles (15.11) and 300 hurdles (40.43) and ran the last lap of North’s first-place 400 relay team (43.72).
But North scored 56.6 percent of its points (81 out of 143) in the field events.
Coleton Holzer won the high jump with 6 feet 4 inches, just ahead of Riddle (6-2). Kansas Mullins swept the long jump (21-0) and triple jump (41-5). Michael Carter won the discus with a throw of 130-7.75, ahead of teammate Bennie Bates (123-9.25). Lenny Bishop and Jamal Davenport finished second and fourth, respectively, in the shot put.
All of which was enough for North to win its second county title in three seasons and go into next week’s Region 6-AAAAAA meet with optimism.
“I’m anxious to see how we do next week,” Matheson said. “There are four teams in the region in boys that are very close. Given how things go those days there’s the potential to be one of the top teams in the region.”