Class AA, A Track
COLUMBIA — The Bishop England dynasty continued Saturday at the High School League's Track and Field State Championships, while St. John's Gregory Roper's winning streak reached dynastic proportions.
The Bishops girls won their eighth straight Class AA team championship with a 117 1/3-56 victory over second-place Emerald at Spring Valley's Harry Parone Stadium.
The streak should continue to grow because the talent pipeline is filled with talent.
Roper, a junior, won his third straight Class A state championship in the 400-meter dash. While some people might argue three championships in a row is not a dynasty, no one can argue his performance Saturday wasn't dynamic. He won the 400 dash with a time of 47.90. That was the fastest time turned in in the event at the state meet, regardless of classification. James Island's Raymond Eurie, Roper's biggest rival, won the Class AAAA championship with a time of 48.56.
"I know Raymond ran a 48.5, and I told myself I had to beat that," Roper said. "Today was my best time of the year and when it comes to a state meet, I'm more focused because the stakes are so high. I'd rather win the state championship than having the fastest time. It feels good to have both. Now, I'm ready to win my fourth title, but that's going to take a lot of hard work."
Roper finished second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.79 and claimed another gold in the 200 in 21.64.
Roper wasn't the only local athlete to have a busy and successful day. Bishop England's Ashley Tucker won the long jump and 400 dash, and finished fourth in the triple jump and was a member of the winning 4x400-meter relay to lead the Bishops to yet another crown.
"Coming in with seven straight state championships added to the pressure, but I feel like we handle pressure well," Tucker said. "We're pretty cool under pressure."
The Bishops dominated the meet with depth, especially in the distance events. But there was gold to go around as Tyler Mangan won the pole vault, Megan Hohenberger won the 800 in addition to Tucker's gold.
Woodland finished third in girls' Class A as Te'shell Britt won the shot and discus.
Andrews won the boys' Class AA title with 63. Broome was second with 52, Woodland third with 48.5 and Bishop England fourth with 42.
Allendale-Fairfax won the boys' Class A title with 139 points. Lamar was a distant second with 58.
Johnsonville won the girls' title with 82.5 points to edge Lamar, which scored 80.