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Lady Highlanders are 2017 Track & Field State Champions

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Heathwood Hall girls track team won the SCISA AAA Track & Field Championship today in Charleston, S.C. The Highlanders were led by an outstanding performance by senior captain Rachael Whittaker, who won 4 events (the maximum number one can compete in) for a total of 40 points! Whittaker finished 1st in the 100 meter hurdles, 100 meter dash, the triple jump, and the 200 meter dash. Junior Maryah Nasir also turned in an outstanding performance with 3 first places finishes (for the second straight year) in the distance events (the 2 mile, the mile, and the 800). Nasir also ran an outstanding leg on the 4 x 400 relay. In addition to Whittaker and Nasir, Heathwood received a first place finish from Nadia Deas in the long jump. Deas' long jump of 16’8” established a new school record! Deas also scored points in the 200 meter dash (3rd place), and the 100 meter dash (6th place).

The Highlanders would need more to defeat a very strong Ashley Hall team and picked up valuable points from Idalia Hanna, (2nd in the discus throw), Shaniya Parker (2nd in the shot put), and Louise Tester (2nd in the pole vault). Eighth grader Janie Hicks finished in 4th place in the high jump with a jump of 4’10” and scored additional points with a 5th place finish in the 400 meter dash. Senior Jaylen Davis ran a very strong 100 meter race and finished in 5th place. The  4 x 100 meter relay (Morgan Goodwin, Jaylen Davis, Nadia Deas, Taylor Smith) ran an outstanding race and finished in 2nd place and the 4 x 400 meter relay (Janie Hicks, Sarah Hudson, Louise Tester, and Maryah Nasir) ran the Lady  Highlanders' fastest time of the season and finished in 3rd place. The team’s balanced attack (48 points in the field events, 41 points in the sprints, 30 points in the distance events, 14 points in the relays) helped them to hold off Ashley Hall. Heathwood scored 133 points to Ashley Hall’s 125 pts.

After 4 consecutive runner-up finishes at the state championship, the Lady Highlanders captured their first title since 2009. The team has won three championships and four state runner-up trophies during the past 10 years. Senior captain Rachael Whittaker’s storied Highlander career ends with one of the best individual performances in SCISA history. Whittaker’s 40 points was the first by a Lady Highlander since 2006, and she becomes the first SCISA girl to win the High Point award three consecutive years.