Girls Track Team Earns State Runner-Up
The Heathwood Hall girls track team battled throughout the day May 7 in what was a three-team struggle for the state title. The Lady Highlanders’ attempt to earn their third back-to-back state championship in 14 years came up short as the team finished 9 points ahead of Wilson Hall but 13.5 points behind Porter Gaud.
Heathwood Hall was just 1.5 points behind Porter Gaud going into the next to last event. However, Porter Gaud scored 8 points in the 200 and the Lady Highlanders scored 0 points, giving Porter Gaud a 9.5 lead heading into the final event, the 4 x 400 relay. Despite coming up short in the quest to win another state title, the girls continued the team’s strong track & field legacy and turned in some outstanding performances.
The Highlander charge was led by Gabby David, who finished 1st in the long and triple jump, 2nd in the 100 meter dash, and ran an awesome leg on the 1st place 4 x 100 meter relay. Gabby’s triple jump of 37’ 7.5” established a new school record and places her 6th in the state among private and public school girls. Madelyn Gomez, who missed three practices due to an ear infection the week of state, also helped lead the Highlander charge despite being less than 100%. She placed 1st in the 3200 and 1600 meter runs, and 3rd in the 800 meter run. Mary Frances Iseman got the 1st place 4 x 800 meter relay team off to a great start before coming back later in the day and finishing in 2nd place in the 800. Lydia Smith secured 8 points for the team with a 2nd place finish in the 1600 meter run. She also ran a strong leg on the 4 x 800 meter relay.
Niya Evans finished in 3rd place in the 100 hurdles and established a new PR with a time of 16.05. Niya now ranks third on the Heathwood All-time 100 hurdles list behind Rachel Whitaker (16.00) and Lauren Holland (15.01). Pamela Ann Pope turned in a strong performance in the pole vault earning a much needed 3rd place for the team. Pope finishes her high school career ranked as the third best pole vaulter in school history. Annabel Martin also earned points that were essential for the team to be in contention for a title. Martin finished in 3rd place in the 3200 meter run. Jasmine Trapp overcame the shock of being in a car accident the night before the state meet and turned in a courageous effort with a 6th place finish in the 100 meter dash. Also finishing in 6th place and scoring points for the team, Mary Ruskell (400 hurdles) and Nicole Craft (Discus).
The Lady Highlanders continued their tradition of strong relay performances in the state meet thanks to outstanding efforts by Daryn Binns, Niya Evans, Queseya Rhooms, and Gabby David (1st place - 4 x 100) and Reston Wood, Lydia Smith, Sophia Conner, and Mary Frances Iseman (1st place - 4 x 800). Additionally, Reston Wood, Mary Frances Iseman, Madelyn Gomez, and Queseya Rhooms led the team to a 4th place finish in the 4 x 400 relay.
The 2022 state runner-up performance gives the Heathwood girls track team 6 state championships and 6 runner-up trophies over the past 17 SCISA state track meets. Moreover, the Lady Highlanders hold state meet records in 8 of the 18 events contested in the state track & field meet.
The 2021 Heathwood championship team had 4 seniors score 65 of the team’s 144 points. Usually after such a significant loss of points a team goes into rebuilding mode. The 2022 Heathwood girls track team retooled and positioned themselves to compete for a title despite a huge loss of leadership and performance from the previous year. Congratulations to the Lady Highlander track team on their outstanding season and state meet!
2022 SCISA State Track Meet Girls Team Scores:
- Porter Gaud 126.5
- Heathwood Hall 113
- Wilson Hall 108
- Cardinal Newman 59
- Ben Lippen 57
- Hammond 40
- Augusta Christian 14
- Ashley Hall 13.5
- Pinewood Prep 12
- First Baptist 10
Trinity Collegiate 2