The rain held off this time, if just barely. Just minutes after the West Forsyth boys and girls track teams clutched their trophies and filled them with ice to dump on head coaches Clayton Tillery and Bill Ballard, fat drops started to fall on the Wolverines’ home oval, and it was pouring down soon after.
It was reminiscent of the first time that West showed what they could do against local competition, back at the county championship meet on March 26. The Wolverines won both team titles in that meet as well, but it was shortened by storms, and multiple events weren’t run.
The question remained, then, whether West’s advantage would hold up in a full slate of races, and with the addition of Milton. And it did, even if it was a bit closer both ways: The Wolverines won the boys title over second-place Lambert, 135 to 130.5, and the girls title over the Longhorns as well, 147 to 144. It was the first region championship for both programs since they won in Class 3A in 2010.
“I felt that we were going to get it done regardless,” Wolverines senior Abraham Camara said. “We did get rained out at county, but I felt we were really strong together, so region time, I knew we were going to show out.”
West stayed on top in both team standings for the majority of the meet. They were in first in both after the field events on the first day of competition: Camara won in the long jump and Kyle Brown won in the discus for the boys, and Abigail Robertson won in the pole vault for the girls.
The Wolverines girls quickly established their eventual first-place position on the second day, with a versatile performance by freshman sprinter Grace Mangan leading them. Mangan started her day in the 4x100 meter relay, which finished second, and she then proceeded to win the 100- and 200-meter dashes and ran a 57.08 leg in the winning 4x400 relay.
It was a somewhat tiring schedule for Mangan, but she looked to factors outside herself for motivation.
“I was just wanting it for my team,” Mangan said. “My 4x4 team, they’re all upperclassmen, and I really wanted to do it for them. I was really pushing myself to do it for them.”
The West boys, however, slipped behind Lambert after the boys 200, a race from which the Wolverines got no points. The Wolverines edged back in front after the 300 hurdles, which Camara won to give his team a boost, but the title was within Lambert’s reach heading into the 4x400 relay. West wound up pulling through, though, even with both relays finishing behind their Longhorns counterparts.
“I think the 4x4 was extremely important in the (team) event,” Ballard said. “It could have gone either way. Our kids dug in and did what they had to do.”
The next meet for county teams will be the sectional meet, set for May 4 at Archer.
West Forsyth, 147
South Forsyth, 90
Forsyth Central, 86.5
North Forsyth, 74
West Forsyth, 135
North Forsyth, 97
South Forsyth, 81
Forsyth Central, 76
Individual results to be updated here