Originally created 05/14/00

Sprinter captures state title



COLUMBIA, S.C -- Troy Williamson gave South Carolina coaches and fans something to look forward to seeing in the next two years.

Speed and strength carried the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Silver Bluff sophomore to first place in the 200-meter dash and second in the 100-meter sprint in Class AA action at the state track meet for all classifications at Spring Valley on Saturday.

Williamson also anchored the Bulldogs' 400-meter relay team to a state title as they ran away from the field with a time of 43.06 seconds. The sophomore clocked a 21.58 in the 200 and 10.66 in the 100.

Baron Glover took second in the 110 high hurdles and Dennis Boyd placed third in the 400 intermediate hurdles.

"Troy was amazing," head coach Jody LeCroy said. "To be just a sophomore, he's incredibly mature as a runner. His competitiveness level is that of a senior's right now. I thought we would have had more boys qualify, but everyone we brought made a statement."

Williamson wasn't the only local athlete to take stage on the championship podium.

Midland Valley flexed its muscle with senior Willie Butler and junior Tabatha McGee owning the shot put and discus events. McGee, who captured last year's Class AAA shot put championship, took first in the discus with a throw of 112 feet, 3 inches. Her closest competition fell four feet short of McGee, who also finished second in the shot put.

"I'm just happy I medaled in the shot. I was hoping to get two first place finishes, but if I get one that'll be fine," McGee said after the shot. After capturing the discus she said, "My furthest throw is usually when I get all of my nervousness out, and that happened to be on the first try."

Butler won the discus with a toss of 168 feet, 9 inches, which outdistanced the runner-up by 29 feet. Butler, who didn't qualify for last year's shot put, finished second.

"After my first throw in the discus there was really no pressure," said Butler, who finished second last year. "It feels pretty good to win state as a senior. I was kind of surprised that I even medaled in the shot, but still I didn't want second. I knew I had to go out and get the discus after I came up short in the shot."

South Aiken's TJ Simpkins was the favorite to win the Class AAAA long jump, but fell to sixth place after scratching three times. The junior would make it up later in the 100-meter finals, claiming third with a time of 10.78 seconds. The Silver Bluff girls' 1600-meter relay team took third place, while Barnwell's Orlando Rivera captured third in the boys triple jump.