For the ninth straight season, the Chester Eagles girls’ track team has taken the Southern Division crown. This year, however, it was a fight down to the final race in edging out a strong Matoaca team in the final Southern Division race in school history.
Chesterfield County Public Schools has made the decision to close Chester Middle at the end of this school year. The Eagles closed strong with Deja Powell, Tiara Royal and Shayla Johnson finishing third, fourth and fifth in the 200 meter and then running away with the 4 x 400 relay with a fine 4:30.6 time.
The Eagles romped through the regular season to complete a 41-meet winning streak. Along with their nine division championships, the Eagles have also taken two county meet championships and two runner-up finishes during the last decade.
Blessed with talent, a fine coach and an incredibly supportive community, the Eagles hope to make a run at next week’s county championship, which will be held at Midlothian High School.
Tiffany England and Sydney Johnson got Chester off to a good start as they won the triple jump and discus, but it was in the distance races that the team was able to pull away. Allison Jeter and Anna Crawford went one-two in the 3200 meter, while Carter McCants, Allison Jeter and Natalie Smith swept the 1600 meter. McCants’ 5:55.92 time set a new meet record. Jessica Watson won the 800 meter by edging out Davis’ Alisa Pratt. Lauren Breiner also won the 100 meter for the Eagles.
The upstart Warriors rode first place finishes from Brianna Hayes in the high jump, Sophia King in the 400 meter, and Kourtney Carr in the 200 meter to a second place finish. The Warriors finished with 139 points to the Eagles 157 in one of the closest division meets in memory.
Matoaca avenged a regular season loss to Davis with a fabulous all-around effort to take the boys division meet. Matoaca started strong in the throws in going one-four-five in the shot and one-three-four in the discus. Phillip Maxwell took the shot, while Scott Shook set a meet record in the discus. Collin Hahn continued to be unbeatable in taking the 3200 meter and 1600 meter, finishing just off record pace in both events. Resean Bolton won the 400 meter and Winston Reed took the 200 meter. The Warriors also took the 4 x 100 relay.
Runner-up Davis had first place finishes from Niles Tate in the hurdles and Josh Heine in the 800 meter to conclude a wonderful season in just the school’s second year.
The meet had a bittersweet ending, as long time Chester boys’ coach Bob Gulley bid farewell to Southern Division track. Gulley has been a mainstay and positive force in track in the Chester area. His retirement will leave a tremendous void in area competition.