Cooper sparks Fike boys to 2nd place at Big East meet

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STANHOPE — The Northern Nash boys and Rocky Mount girls overshadowed entrants from Hunt, Fike and host Southern Nash as 2018 3-A Big East Conference track champions on a sensational Wednesday afternoon.

But no male individual was more outstanding than Fike junior Elijahwon Cooper.

Cooper staked the Golden Demons to a rousing start and a surprising second-place finish by capturing the high jump, triple jump and long jump. He also ran the first leg for the second-place 4x200 relay unit.

Cooper tied the school record in the high jump by clearing 6 feet, 8 inches on his first attempt. His height ranks No. 1 in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A ranks. He failed in three tries at 6-10.

Cooper utilized his 6-foot-3 frame to leap 43-4 in the triple jump and 21-2 in the long jump. He established personal bests in the high jump and triple jump.

“I just wanted to do my best,” Cooper said. “The (hot) weather made it great. I don’t feel like I could have done any better.

“I guess the high jump was the most satisfying because I tied the record at Fike. In the long jump, I couldn’t get my steps right. But I couldn’t be any more happy.”

Proclaimed the most outstanding female performer was Franklinton’s S’Smrya Seward, who won the 100, 200, long jump and triple jump.

Northern Nash’s boys won with 132.5 points, followed by Fike (105.5), Hunt (94), Rocky Mount (78), Southern Nash (75.5) and Franklinton (64.5).

Rocky Mount’s girls bested Southern Nash 158-127. Seward-led Franklinton wound up third (120.5), with Hunt fourth (112), Northern Nash fifth (78.5) and Fike sixth (59).

The Golden Demons other boys conference champion was Davis Nicol with a height of 11 feet in the pole vault.

The Hunt 4x200 relay team of Mark Bogle, Tyquez Taylor, Dayuanne Glenn and Elijah Anderson was awarded first place when the Southern Nash quartet was disqualified. Fike, with Cooper running the first leg, wound up second.

Northern Nash was sparked by Jordan Richarson with victories in the 1,600 and 3,200 and a runner-up effort in the 800. Teammate Jaylen Wilkins took the 800.

Highlighting Southern Nash’s showing was senior Nadir Thompson with first places in the 100 (10.81 seconds) and the 200 (21.55). The Firebirds’ 4x100 relay of Dae’One Wilkins, Zonovan Knight, Kendrick Bell and Darius Edmundson triumphed in 43.64 seconds. Franklinton’s Ekwon White captured the discus and shot put.

On the girls scene, the Ladybirds got championship performances from Tristian Foster in the 300 hurdles (50.74), Nya Manning in the 400 (1:02.24), the 4x200 relay of Jenira Mckoy, Manning, Carmen Carrigan and Foster; and the 4x400 relay of Manning, Foster, Aaliyah Newkirk and Symia McCalston.

Top Lady Warriors performers were Isabel Reed with firsts in the 3,200 (12:48.14) and 1,600 (5:47) and the 4x100 relay of Cynthia Harris, Kayla Kent, India Barfield and Carolina Vasquez (52.74).

Fike’s Nirrya Foster captured the 100 hurdles in 17.08 seconds, and Brianna Edwards claimed the pole vault at 7 feet, 6 inches.

Rocky Mount emerged with the team championship although Vanessa Ward registered the only first place in the shot. However, the Lady Gryphons placed second in 11 of the 18 events.