Patriots’ 4x200 relay wins improbable championship
by Staff Writer
With an injury to senior anchorman Zak Johnston, Davidson Day’s 4x200-meter boys relay team wasn’t at full strength for the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Class 1A/2A championships at UNC Charlotte on May 21. The Patriots didn’t cross the finish line first, either.
Nonetheless, they still won the state title.
The Patriots’ time of 1 minute, 35.48 seconds was second to Raleigh Word of God’s blistering relay effort. The public-address announcer, however, said Davidson Day was the state champion after Word of God was disqualified for a handoff outside the zone. That meant the Patriots’ Jordan Brown, Jordan Young, Mike Stevens and fill-in C.J. Bradley took home the gold.
Bradley, who qualified for the state meet in the 800, filled in for Johnston on an emergency basis after Johnston pulled a hamstring during preliminaries a day earlier. Davidson Day coach Tim Weir chose Bradley because he was the fastest of the remaining three Patriot state qualifiers. It was Bradley’s first appearance in the 4x200 this season.
“It’s funny how things can change in a 24-hour period,” said Weir. “After Zak hurt his hamstring, we had about two hours to work on handoffs with C.J. before the race. He had never performed a blind handoff before that day.”
Individually, Jordan Brown finished second in both the 100 (11.12 seconds) and 200 (21.90). The 4x100 team of Young, Brown, Stevens and Bradley came in fifth (46.02). Bradley was 17th in the 800.
The Patriot boys finished eighth in the team competition with 30 points. The Davidson Day girls, paced by Izzy Sofio’s fourth-place finish in the 300 hurdles (52.24), were 17th in the team standings.