Bethel, Wade highlight strong county performance at state
Kianna Bethel didn’t want to graduate and have to think about what could have been.
Quan Wade was seeking the perfect Mother’s Day gift.
Two different senses of urgency and additional motivation propelled the pair of Hanahan High School athletes to greatness at the state track and field championships Saturday at Lower Richland High School.
Bethel, just weeks before receiving her diploma, captured the title in the Class AAA high jump and Wade, a junior, was able to present mother Elainda Williams with his gold medal after winning the discus.
Wade arrived at Lower Richland High School with teammates around 7 in the morning, nearly five hours before the start of the discus event. He found it impossible to sit still.
“I knew we didn’t start until about 12 but ever since we got here, I was warming up and walking around,” he said. “I didn’t stop at all.”
With a throw of 161-feet, 8-inches, Wade bested the nearest opponent by over 11 feet and made good on a promise to his mother.
“I called her the (Friday night) and told her I was going to bring her home a Mother’s Day gift,” Wade said. “This is just amazing.”
Behind Wade, the Hawks placed fourth in the state in the team standings.
Wade, a junior running back/linebacker, now turns his focus to spring football practice for the Hawks.
“I’m really looking forward to that too,” he said.
Bethel’s conquest was more about locking down that one memorable moment that had been eluding her. She was third in the high jump last season and second the year before.
Her winning effort of 5-feet, 4-inches was a personal best.
“I’d been trying to reach it all year,” she said. “It was the greatest feeling in the world to reach it at the state meet.”
She needed a couple chances to clear five feet and also the next mark two inches higher before nerves started to set in facing a mark she’d never cleared.
“My coach just told me to go out there and have fun,” Bethel said. “I took a deep breath and did it. When I made it, I wanted to jump off the mat.”
Bethel concludes her Hanahan career with letters in basketball, track and field, volleyball and cheerleading.
“I want to continue to do track in college and maybe college basketball too,” Bethel said. “This is not something I can just quit now. This can’t be the end of my track career.”
Hanahan’s other top performances included third-place finishes by Rachael Austin (high jump, pole vault), Grant Kelley (pole vault) and the boys’ 1600-meter relay team.
Hanahan’s Kahlim Denmark was fourth in the 200-meter dash. He also placed seventh in the 100 meters.
The Hawks’ 3200-meter relay team was fifth.
The Hawks had three sixth-place finishers in John Torlay (pole vault), Greg Casselman (110 hurdles) and Jacob Garibay (discus).
Casselman added an eighth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles.
• The Berkeley Lady Stags represented the county with a state championship too. The 400-meter relay team of Jonnay Anthony, Marissa Pinckney, Donni Robinson and Ashlynn Smalls won in Class AAA with a time of 47.85 seconds.
• Another notable finish came from Goose Creek sophomore sprinter Deandre Daniels, who placed second in the 400-meter dash. He also placed seventh in the 200-meter dash and ran a leg for the 400-meter relay team that placed fifth.
• Cane Bay was represented in the Class AAAA state meet in two throwing events. For the boys, Henry Pryor was fifth in the shot put, while Tyrell Davis placed seventh in the discus.
For the Lady Cobras, Brookelynn Doctor was seventh in the shot put and eighth in the discus.
All three athletes were seniors.
• Stratford’s best finish was a third place in the discus by sophomore thrower T.J. Deveaux.
Freshman hurdler Destiny McKnight was fifth in both the 100- and 400-meter hurdles, while Brandon Mullins also placed fifth in the pole vault.
Senior Ross Jordan placed seventh in the 3200-meter run.
Senior Kaitlin Deloach was eighth in the shot put.