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Young Watauga team with significant performances at Mt. Tabor Mile & Throwing Thunder event; 56 schools competing

By David Rogers. WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — In a field of 21 women’s shot putters,  Watauga’s Olivia Burroughs and Emma Pastusic placed No. 4 and No. 6, respectively, in the Mount Tabor Mile & Throwing Thunder 2023 event hosted by Mt. Tabor High School on March 24.

More than 50 schools sent male and female athletes to compete in the Mt. Tabor meet that featured only six events: Varsity Men’s Mile, Varsity Women’s Mile, Varsity Men’s Shot Put, Varsity Women’s Shot Put, Boys Middle School Mile, and Girls Middle School Mile.

Maureen Cavanaugh of Forsyth Country Day won the women’s shot put event with a heave of 34 feet, 5 inches. She was followed by a pair of Dudley throwers in Shamilia Carpenter and Lyric Watkins at No. 2 and No. 3, both credited with 33-06 efforts. Watauga’s Burroughs recorded a 31-07 to claim No. 4 and Pastusic at No. 6 with 30-05, almost two feet further than the No. 7 performance.

Lake Norman freshman Kasey Dingman ran away with the Women’s Varsity Mile Run, taking the No. 1 spot with a time of 5:02.32, in a large field of 161 competing athletes. Watauga freshman Sydney Cate Townsend was the lead Pioneer at No. 41 (5:39.73), followed by senior Gwendolyn Anderson at No. 55 (5:45.40), senior Andriana Rink at No. 57 (5:46.87), senior Virginia St. Clair (No. 59, 5:47.41), senior Brianna Anderson (5:50.04), freshman Janie Beach-Verhay (5:50.60), junior Ellary Smith (5:57.77), freshman Bailey Collins (6:18.31), sophomore Mia Libre (6:20.19), sophomore Hadley Carpenter (6:26.48), freshman Naomi Wellenstein (6:40.45), and freshman Sydney Moretz (7:51.16)

Watauga senior Jonathan Lutabingwa placed No. 12 in a field of 23 shot putters in the Men’s Varsity Shot Put. Other Pioneers included sophomore Caleb Dewey (No. 16), and sophomore Carson Gunnell-Beck (No. 18).

The Men’s Varsity Mile Run featured a whopping 283 runners. The event was won by Mt. Tabor senior Andrew Burrell in 4:16.63, with Lake Norman senior Logan Dingman an eyelash behind in 4:16.83 for the No. 2 spot. Watauga’s best finisher was junior Sam Nixon at No. 100 (4:51.97). Others competing for the Pioneers included sophomore Jonah Norris (4:56.26), freshman Elliott Taft (4:59.32), Jackson Ruff (4:59.89), freshman Zeke Walker (5:07.11), freshman Calvin Zwetsloot (5:14.62), freshman Silas Powell (5:16.57), junior Collin Anderson (5:16.70), sophomore Caspian Miller (5:19.27), freshman Cameron Nance (5:19.58), sophomore Haines Heistand (5:26.45), freshman Elijah Healy (5:31.59), sophomore Charles Langley (5:34.51), freshman A.J. McAulay (5:36.85), sophomore Mike Menchu-Yax (6:06.83), junior Raffael Vazquez (6:08.64) and freshman Doyle Casey (6:14.08).

Photo courtesy of NCMileSplit.

In the Girl’s Middle School Mile Run event, Watauga 7th grader Cali Townsend finished No. 3 out of 18 competitors, with a time of 5:30. Rachel Riley, an 8th grader representing Jefferson Middle School (Winston-Salem) won the event in 5:14.

Exactly half of the competitors in the Girls Middle School Mile Run were from Watauga, including Townsend, Maggie Visser (8th grade, No. 7), Lily Kimbrough (7th grade, No. 8), Eva Hannon (6th grade, No. 10), Savannah Moretz (7th grade, No. 12), Francis Davis (8th grade, No. 15), Carrie Bradbury (8th grade, No. 16), Claire Nance (7th grade, No. 17), and Madalyn Taylor (7th grade, No. 18).

In the Boys Middle School Mile Run, Watauga had three athletes competing, including a No. 6 placing by 8th grader Andres Roman. Other Watauga runners in the 22-man field included 8th grader Tallon Abrams and 7th grader Andrew Weikert. The field was dominated by runners from Jefferson Middle School and Forsyth Country Day.


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