Ashley sweeps county track titles

Runners line up for the 3200m 4 by 8 relay during the New Hanover County Track Championships at Hoggard High School on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. (Photo by Mike Spencer)

Ashley’s girls track program has been waiting a long time for its first big win. Late Wednesday night, the Screaming Eagles finally got one.

Ashley swept the New Hanover County Track and Field Championship for the first time in school history and won the first-ever girls county championship, beating Hoggard in both meets.

The girls meet was neck and neck all night, and only after deadline on Wednesday did the results become final. Ashley won by six and a half points, edging Hoggard 122 to 115.5, with Laney in third place with 81 points.

The initial calculations by Hoggard’s home book held that Ashley’s girls had won 118-116. But when Hoggard coach Billy Mason and Laney coach Sam Bobbitt double-checked the final scores, they found three different results and a number of mistakes in the scoring.

That Ashley was in contention at all for the team title is a sharp turnaround from just a few years ago. The Screaming Eagles turned into a contender almost overnight with a collection of additions: Sophomore Jamie Durham took second in the long jump and won the 100-meter dash. Kaili Rich won the shotput and the discus, while soccer players like Charlotte Pearsall and Lindsey Williams played key roles in providing some extra depth for Ashley. Pearsall won the girls 400-meter dash.

“We’re really glad that the coaches let us do both,” Williams, a freshman, said. “They’ve each made sacrifices so we can contribute.”

Hoggard’s Amanda Gregory led the way for the Vikings, winning the long jump and anchoring Hoggard’s winning 400-meter relay. Sydney Pope anchored the Vikings’ winning 1600-meter relay.

“Mr. Mason pulled us over before the race and told us this is the real deal,” Pope said.

In the boys meet, Ashley’s recent dominance continued. The Screaming Eagles won six events outright and took the team title by 90 points to win the county championships for the fifth year in a row.

“Just seeing how good we’ve been over the years, it’s just good to know that we’ve won county all four years that I’ve been here,” senior David Roberts said.

Roberts was a big reason why Ashley won – he won the boys 400-meter run, the 800-meter run and ran on Ashley’s winning 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter relay teams.

“Our identity is changing year to year,” Ashley coach Ryan Hauck said. “And the kids are excited about it. That’s the most important thing they’re excited to be out there. They like wearing the track stuff. The girls know how close they are and are finally starting to say, ‘Hey there’s a girls program here too.’ The feeling of having them both up with us is pretty tremendous.”


New Hanover County Track Championships at Hoggard

Team Scores


Ashley    210.5

Hoggard    120.5

New Hanover    103

Laney    98

Coastal Christian    15


Ashley    122

Hoggard    115.5

Laney    81

New Hanover    48

Coastal Christian    1