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CHS girls win five Upper State titles
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CAMDEN’S IMANI WYATT qualified in three events for Saturday’s AAA state championship track and field meet. the Lady Bulldog sophomore won the 400-meter hurdle race at Saturday’s Upper State qualifier in Seneca. - photo by Tom Didato/C-I

Led by their defending AAA  state champion 4 x 400-meter relay team, the Camden High girls’ track and field team returned home from Saturday’s AAA Upper State qualifying meet at Seneca High School with five Upper State championships.

The Lady Bulldog quartet of Deniah Arthur, Staci Sumpter, Carleigh Vaughn and Imani Wyatt won the 4 x 400-meter relay in a time of 4:15.54, more than nine seconds ahead of their nearest competitor to secure a spot in the South Carolina High School League’s state track and field championships to be contested this Friday and Saturday at Spring Valley High School’s Harry Parone Stadium.

The top four finishers in each event from Seneca automatically qualified for the state championships.

Sumpter, Vaughn and Wyatt also won individual events on Saturday. Vaughn, a sophomore, won the 200-meter race in a time of 25.61 and then doubled by winning the 400-meter race in 59.03. Sumpter, a junior, won the 100-meter dash in a clocking of 12.31 seconds. Sumpter also qualified in the 200-meters as her time of 25.85 was good for third. Wyatt, a sophomore, won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:09.36 while also qualifying to run in the 100-meter hurdles with a third place finish of 16.25 seconds.

Caroline Cassidy was eighth in the 400-meter hurdles while teammate Nikki Snoddy was 10th in the 100-meter dash.

The Camden boys will send qualifiers from two events to Spring Valley. Senior Darrion Allen, the Region 4-AAA champion, was second in the shot put with a throw of 46-7.5 feet. The Bulldogs’ 4 x 100-meter relay team, consisting of Jalen Johnson, Shymeik Corbett, Joseph Byrnes and Matthew Cassidy, were third in the Upper State meet finishing in a time of 43.54 seconds.

Camden’s Ben Thomas was ninth in the 110-meter hurdles while the 4 x 400-meter relay team of Devin Engram, Shelah Lee, Jalen Holliday and Jaylen Miller came in 10th in that race. Corbett was 12th in the 100-meter dash. Byrnes was 13th in the pole vault, Derrick Leonard was 14th in the discus while James Crim was 15th in the triple jump.

Demons compete in 5A qualifier: In the class 5A state qualifier in Columbia, Lugoff-Elgin senior Gatlin Lawson was the top finisher as the USC commit was ninth in the 100-meter dash. Teammate Joshua Miller was 14th in the 400-meter race.

On the girls’ side, the Lady Demons’ Alexis Jackson was 19th in the shot put and 20th in the discus while the 4 x 800-meter relay team was 26th. 

L-E’s Olivia Jackson, who qualified to run in the 3,200-meter race, was scheduled to run in that event on Monday afternoon since a portion of the 5A qualifier was postponed due to lightning in the area on Saturday.

North Central still in action in AA qualifier: Like the 5A event in Columbia, the AA state qualifier was to be completed on Monday after lightning interrupted the event.

State championship information: The SCHSL State Track and Field Championships begin Friday and continue Saturday at Spring Valley High School. Admission is $5 on Friday and $8 Saturday.

The complete schedule of events is located at