Junior Warriors excel in Carter County meet

By Wes Holtsclaw

   Happy Valley High School has always had a sound track and field program, and from the look of things Thursday, its squads will be in good hands for years to come.
   In the annual Carter County middle school track and field competition on Warrior Hill, both Warrior boys and girls squads finished first in the total team competitions.
   Happy Valley's girls scored 49 total points, while Cloudland came in second with 32, Hunter in third with 25, Central in fourth with 15 and Unaka last with 11.
   The Warrior boys scored 39 points, Cloudland and Hunter tied for second with 21, Central had 14 and Unaka rounded out the group with four points.
   It was a successful event this year, with eight events for boys and girls groups.
   In the 880 relay, Happy Valley swept both the boys and girls competitions. Leading the way for the girls, Lady Warriors' Lindsey Toney, Samantha Canter, Calla Sanders and Stacey Williams finished on top.
   Hunter finished second place in the event behind Logan Wagenseller, Jessica Campbell, Brittany Westberry and Nikki Hyatt. Cloudland was third with Jeri Jones, Shelly Winters, Jessie Tester and Elisha Pritchard making the rounds.
   Nick Payne, Dustin Bardo, Tyler Blevins and Brandon Whitehead led the Warriors in the boys run.
   Cloudland was second with Rodney Hill, Jonathan Tolley, Michael Shadduck and Michael Lunsford, while Hunter was third with Hunter Taylor, Brandon Campbell, Cody Smith and Shane Heaton.
   In the mile relay, Cloudland's girls finished on top behind speedsters Santana Clawson, Tiffany Harrell, Bethany Bare and Jordan Woodby.
   Happy Valley was second with Ashley May, Lindsey Toney, Kirsty Ramey and Kelly Kincer. Hunter came in third with Emily Asher, Danielle Buck, Kirsten Davis and Brittany Westberry.
   With the boys mile, Garret Dykes, Adam Black, Jared Hale and Brandon Whitehead paced Happy Valley to the victory.
   Hunter was second behind Jeff Wilson, Brandon Campbell, Nick Papantonio and Steven Lapp; Cloudland was third with Billy Markland, Aaron Guinn, Kyle Heaton and Stacy Fullford.
   In the shot put, Hunter's Erica Wilson took the victory over Cloudland's Stachia Saults and Happy Valley's Tiffany O'Quinn in the girls competition.
   Paul Baker won the boys shot put for Cloudland, while Hunter's Terry Campbell and Central's Chris Hyatt round out the event.
   Cloudland swept the boys and girls long jump competitions, as Michael Ashley and K.C. Partington won the events respectively.
   Unaka's Stephanie Keranen and Lady Warrior Betsy Roper wound out the girls, while Central's Nick Sanders and Matt Moore were in the top three.
   Perhaps the toughest event of the afternoon was the Wheelbarrow Race. It takes much skill as one competitor grabs the feet of a person running on their hands up field.
   It was the Lady Warriors leading the way on this event as well with Sydney Skeans and Summer Ward taking the title. Hunter's Emily Asher and Logan Wagenseller were second, while Cloudland's Jessi Tester and Hannah Clawson came third.
   In the boys event, Happy Valley's Brandon Burchfield and Garrett Dykes took the win, while Central's Nick Sanders and Matt Moore took second with Cloudland's Adam Cole and Kyle Heaton taking third.
   Hunter dominated the girls softball throw, with Erica Wilson and Sallee Taylor finishing one-two and Lady Warrior Tiffany O'Quinn came in third.
   Cloudland's Jonathan Tolley won the boys, while Spencer Crawford placed in the top three.
   The Tug of War event was perhaps the most team skilled competition of the day and two schools battled their way to the top.
   Both Hunter and Cloudland finished in the top two of the boys and girls event, with Hunter winning the girls and Cloudland taking the boys. Happy Valley finished out at third in both contests.
   It was the last chance many of the eighth graders would get to compete at the Junior High level before moving up to the high school ranks next season.
   A fun time was had by all as the students got to spend the afternoon together celebrating their move to the next level.