Thanks to first-place finishes in the 100 and 200-meter dashes, the triple jump and the 4x100 and 4x400 relays the Lady Chargers compiled 75 points to capture their first track-and-field state championship in school history.
“I’m still on cloud nine,” ELCA girls’ track coach Scott Queen said. “It was fun. A great bunch of girls. I thought we had a chance, but everybody had to do what they were supposed to do and they not only did that but they did more.”
Individually, the bright spot for the Lady Chargers was freshman T’aja Cameron. The 14-year-old sprinter ran the 100 in 12.03 seconds and the 200 in 24.76 seconds. She also leaped more than 37 feet in the triple jump.
“She has bought into everything that we are doing from a practice standpoint,” Queen said.
“She’s worked hard. God gave her some amazing ability but she has worked hard as well.
“If we can keep her healthy and keep training, there is no telling what else she can do.”
But Cameron wasn’t done yet. She also ran with Sydney Spencer, Taylor Aguillard and senior Alexis Ross to capture gold in the 4x100 relay. Then with Aguillard, Parker Pinholster and Ansley Goode, Cameron earned another first-place medal in the 4x400 relay.
“You don’t have to be a great coach when you have athletes like we have,” Queen said.
In other field events, Abigail Rogers finished second in the shot put and senior McKenna Henderson captured fourth in the discus.
“I couldn’t be any more proud of McKenna Henderson,” Queen said.
“She has competed for four years and hasn’t really gotten any accolades. I just wasn’t expecting her to finish fourth.
“Those types of things happened all day long. It just added to our state championship.”
With most of the team returning and some younger additions, the Lady Chargers could be in a similar situation in a year.
“It’s always hard to stay up there but all we can do is keep working and hopefully there is some more success for a couple of years here,” Queen said.