Dover boys, Smyrna girls repeat as Henlopen track champions

Dover’s Tayshaun Chisholm wins the boys 100-meter hurdles final Friday at the Henlopen Conference track and field championships at Lake Forest. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

FELTON — Two teams repeated as champions at the Henlopen Conference track and field meet held at Lake Forest High on Friday.

Dover High won the boys’ title with 160.5 team points ahead of second-place Polytech (108). It was the second year in a row for the Senators, who have won the boys’ championship a conference record 22 times.

On the girls’ side, Smyrna won yet again. The Eagles tallied 211.5 points as Dover finished second with 106 points.

Lake Forest’s Jada Gourdine wins the girls 100-meter hurdles final.

Smyrna has taken the girls crown six years in a row.

“It always feels good because it’s always with a different group of girls so you always have a different dynamic and a different set of struggles,” said Smyrna coach Maura Schafer. “We really had to rally around a few setbacks early in the season. We spread out the talent and really had to force some girls to compete in some events they really haven’t ran before. It was a challenge early on but they really rose to the occasion.”

The Eagles ended the two-day meet with nine gold medals.

Naomi Bowser led the way with four of them. Bowser was first in the 800-meter run, the 1600 and the pole vault while also participating on the winning 4×800 relay team.

Freshman Lauren Summers also had a big day for the Eagles. She broke the meet triple jump record with a leap of exactly 38-feet. Summers also won the 200-meter dash and was on the 4×200 relay which won gold.

Caesar Rodney’s Joshua Turner competes in the boys pole vault finals.

Maddy Keister was first in the 300-meter hurdles. Keister, a senior, did not start hurdling until this indoor season. She also finished third in the 100 hurdles.

“A lot of messing up, falling and practice,” Keister said about learning to hurdle. “It was hard but some of my best friends on the team are hurdlers and they’ve helped me a lot.”

Smyrna’s 4×100 relay team also finished first as the Eagles won three out of the four girls’ relays.

“It’s awesome because it’s a lot of our last times together,” said Keister who was on the 4×200. “There’s a lot of seniors on this team and the team we have is like a family. It’s such a great feeling to experience it with these people.”

The Senator boys earned six gold medals en route to their team title.

Tayshaun Chisolm paced the Dover boys by winning three events. He swept the hurdles to take first place in the 110 hurdles and 300 plus won the 200-meter dash.

Gavin Williams won the 3200 meters for Dover while the Senators were first in the 4×400 and 4×800 meter relays.

Dover’s Tayshaun Chisholm wins the boys 4×200 final.

Coach James Solomon credited the depth of the Senators’ field event participants to why they were able to pull ahead in the standings as the meet went on.

“I have to give a lot of props to James Kilby because he’s our strength and conditioning coach as well as our jump coach,” Solomon said. “Then Mike Denny and Vanessa Perez who coaches the throws because they came up big. It was a total team effort. We made some mistakes but overall we did a great job.”

Polytech won five events on the boys’ side, including two relays (4×100 and 4×200). Lucas Besong took the 400 for the Panthers, Azel Foster won the pole vault and Chris Gordon was first in the discus.

Shane Massey won a pair of events for Lake Forest, taking first in the 1600 and 3200. Caesar Rodney’s Forrest Booker swept the long jump and triple jump for the Riders’ two championships.

Anthony Otero (Sussex Central) was first in the 100, Brandon Faulk (Laurel) won the high jump and Eli Taylor (Smyrna) won the shot put to round out the boys’ individual champions.

Caesar Rodney’s Destiny Bailey Perkins, left, wins the girls 100-meter dash final over Sussex Tech’s Lakendra Harpe, and Lauren Summers.

Caesar Rodney and Dover each won three events in the girls’ meet.

Destiny Bailey-Perkins took home a pair of gold medals to lead CR by winning the 100-meter dash and the long jump. Maleah Chumley earned the other gold for the Riders with a victory in the 3200.

Lindsey Wong and Q’Nijah Hudson recorded wins in the high jump and discus respectively for the Senators who also won gold in the 4×400 relay.

Lakendra Harpe (Sussex Tech) won the 400, Jada Gourdine (Lake Forest) was first in the 100 hurdles and Ceyra Middleton (Cape Henlopen) was the shot put champion for the other girls’ gold medal winners.

Full results from the Henlopen Conference Championships will be in Sunday’s edition of the Delaware State News.

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