2017 Group 5A State Track: Helmers wins Group 5A 3200 as Albemarle girls track takes eighth overall

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Albemarle girls track and field knew going into the state meet that its strength was in the middle distance and distance events and that group piled up some serious points.


The Patriots took eighth as a team largely on the strength of Ryann Helmers winning the 3200-meter state title, a runner-up finish in the 4×800 and Kathryn Mayo taking second in the 800.


Helmers won the 3200-meters with a time of 11:04.24 and also picked up a fifth place in the 1600. It was the junior’s first individual state title after she finished as the state runner-up in the 3200 during indoor earlier this year. She finished third in the outdoor 3200 last year as a sophomore.


Mayo, who was hunting for her third straight state title in the outdoor 800, clocked a 2:15.10 and barely missed her threepeat in a strong field. The UNC-bound senior also ran a leg of the runner-up 4×800 squad along with Helmers, Lauren Hughlett and Hally Dillenbeck. That outdoor team, who placed 16th earlier this year at the Penn Relays, and with the same cast took third in last year’s state meet.


Behind Helmers in the 1600, Rachel Lloyd took 11th in the 1600, Natalie Li was 16th and Madelyn Zarzyski took 19th. Li also grabbed ninth in 3200 while Lloyd was 16th. Emma Graham took 10th in the high jump for the Patriots.


Orange County’s Jasmine Tompkins seventh in shotput in the Group 5A meet.


On the boys side, Albemarle’s Harris Naseh took 19th in the 3200 while Orange County’s DeAngelo Hunt snagged eighth in the discus and the Hornets’ Gage Whited finished ninth.