When North Augusta senior Will Rudisill crossed the finish line of his 3,200-meter race during the South Carolina High School League State Track and Field Championships on Saturday in Columbia, he headed straight for the infield grass to lay down.
"My legs were on fire," he said.
Rudisill had just bested second- place finisher Will Powers, of Wando, with a time of 9 minutes, 45.69 seconds to earn his first state title in his final race as a member of the Yellow Jackets.
"I'm pretty excited," Rudisill said. "I've been waiting my entire high school career for this."
After receiving the championship medal he had waited so long for, Rudisill noticed one of his mentors, North Augusta school board member and former runner Ray Fleming, in tears.
"He told me 'Will, you did it. You went out there and did what you have to do. You made me so proud,'" Rudisill said.
"That meant a lot to me because he was such a great runner."
Rudisill will attend Clemson next year and has received an offer from the track team as walk-on.
In the Class AAAA girls meet, Aiken's Bree'Ana Perry was runner-up in shot put with a throw 40 feet, 71 inches.
In the Class AAA girls competition, South Aiken's Ashley Cady and Hope Bennett tied for third in the pole vault with jumps of 10 feet.
On Friday, Warren County's Candace Warthen and Lakerria Williams took home Class A titles at the Georgia High School Association Girls State Track and Field Champ-ionships in Albany, Ga.
Warthen won the long jump with a distance of 18-62 inches, while Williams took the triple jump (36-8). The two joined Tyke Johnson and Tiandra Harris for the 400-meter relay, which they finished third.
In Class AAAA, Westside's Audrey Seigler shattered a state wheelchair shot put record with a throw of 17-11. The previous record was 14-7. Her teammate, Aishya Wofford, finished third in the discus with a throw of 121-8. Lakeside's Anna Bowles was second in the 1,600 meters, finishing in 5:07.94. She was the runner-up in the 3,200 meters Thursday, with a time of 11:09.64 seconds. Evans' Ivana Hughes took third in the 800 meters with a time of 2:19.61.
Greenbrier's Jasmin Brown placed second in the Class AAAAA long jump at 18-7.
Washington County's Ashley Ivey took second in the Class AAA high jump competition at 5-2.
Symphony White, of Screven County, placed third in the Class AA long jump at 35-7.
Reach Joey Jones at (706) 724-0851 or email@example.com.