Chasing the Gold

Published 9:54 am Thursday, May 23, 2024

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AHOSKIE – If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

Apparently, that was on the minds of four young ladies from Hertford County High School when they qualified for the 2024 North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s Class 2A Track and Field Championships held May 17 in Greensboro.

There, Hertford County 4X100 relay team captured the gold medal, winning the event with a time of 49.34 seconds. The HCHS 4×100 relay girls finished in second place in this event last year.

The relay team composed of four standout athletes – Cashmere Cooper, Jada Lloyd, Jamiyah Valentine, and Gabby Hayes – each brought their unique strengths to the race. The team’s success can be attributed to their rigorous training schedule, strategic planning, and the unwavering support from their coaches and the school community.

That effort allowed these young ladies to win the school’s first-ever gold medal in a team-oriented competition.

“In a triumph of talent, teamwork, and determination, Hertford County High School’s 4×100 relay team has etched their names into the annals of school history,” said Ben Anthony, the HCHS girls track coach. “With an undefeated season and a stunning victory at the state championship meet, this remarkable group of student-athletes has brought glory to their school and community.”

With several talented relay teams vying for the gold medal in 4×100 event, the outcome was razor close. The top five teams crossed the finish line within 0.55 seconds of each other. Eastern Wayne (49.50 seconds), Hugh H. Cummings (49.52), Pasquotank County (49.88), and Shelby (49.89) were hot on the heels of Hertford County, but could not overtake the fleet-footed Lady Bears.

“From the starting blocks to the finish line, Hertford County’s relay team blazed a trail of excellence throughout the season,” Anthony stated. “Their unparalleled speed, precision baton exchanges, and unwavering commitment propelled them to victory after victory, culminating in their crowning achievement at the state championship meet.”

Hertford County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jesse J. Pratt expressed immense pride in the girls’ achievement.

“This victory is the result of months of hard work and dedication,” he said. “The girls have shown tremendous resilience and teamwork throughout the season. Winning the state championship is a dream come true. I am proud of each of them.

“Their victory not only highlights their athletic prowess but also underscores the importance of perseverance, teamwork, and community support in achieving success,” Dr. Pratt added.

As the first team state championship in HCHS history, Anthony stressed that the victory will be remembered and celebrated in years to come.

:”This remarkable achievement is not just a testament to the skill and athleticism of the individual athletes, but also to the strength of their bonds as a team,” Anthony observed. “United by a shared goal and fueled by a collective desire to succeed, the members of this relay team pushed each other to new heights and overcame every obstacle in their path.”

In addition to the relay team’s gold medal effort, Lloyd collected two individual medals by winning silver (2nd place) in the girls 100 meter dash (12.36 seconds) and bronze (3rd place) in the 400 meter dash (58.23 seconds). She placed fourth in the 200 meter dash with a time of 25.75 seconds.