The Outback Azalea Invitational track and field meet in Summerville is a good early indicator of what athletes and teams will be ones to watch as the spring sports season moves along.
Stratford High School turned in some strong performances on Saturday to place inside the top five in the team standings for both boys and girls.
Led by Brandon Mullins’ gold in the pole vault, the Knights placed second out of 21 teams on the boys side, while the Lady Knights were fourth among 24 teams behind first-place shot putter Aaliyah Deveaux.
Fort Dorchester was the boys team champion with 96 points, followed by Stratford (88), Summerville (66.5), Ashley Ridge (42.5) and Berkeley (40.5).
James Island was the girls team champion with 89.5 points, followed by Summerville (65), Fort Dorchester (55), Stratford (52) and Woodland (50).
Cane Bay’s girls also had an event winner, Danielle Cruz-Dennis in the 800-meter run, on the way to an eighth-place finish.
Silver medalists included Stratford’s Aaron Eldridge (400 hurdles), Stratford’s boys 1,600-meter relay team, Stratford’s boys 3,200-meter relay team, Cane Bay’s Brandon Brown (high jump), Stratford’s Cecil Smith (shot put), Stratford’s Alexandra Zimmer (1,600 meters) and Stratford’s Bethany Reeves (3,200 meters).
Bronze medalists were Stratford’s Chris Allen (110 hurdles), Stratford’s K.J. Givens (400 hurdles), Cane Bay’s boys 1,600-meter relay team, Stratford’s Parker Mullins (pole vault), Cane Bay’s Bianca McEwen (400 meters), Cane Bay’s girls 1,600-meter relay team and Cane Bay’s Sydney Hickert (pole vault).
Fourth-place finishers included Stratford’s Damein Nesbitt (100 meters), Cane Bay’s Nakil Tolliver (110 hurdles), Stratford’s Cecil Smith (discus), Stratford’s Chris Allen (triple jump), Cane Bay’s girls 3200-meter relay team, Stratford’s Aaliyah Deveaux (discus) and Stratford’s Eliana Gregorich (pole vault).
This upcoming Saturday, another notable track and field event for high school teams, the Mellow Mushroom Relays, will be held in Mount Pleasant at Park West.
The annual Coaches Classic will be held on March 29 in Columbia.