Scoring points in more than half of the events and riding momentum from Ebi Omofoma’s four victories, the Dayspring Christian girls track and field team secured its first state championship in program history.

“I’m not quite able to wrap my mind around it quite yet,” Dayspring Christian coach Joan Jackson said. “I’m just grateful for the hard work these girls have put in and their dedication despite long hours. I’m hoping that this will continue; that they’ll continue to grow and lift each other up.”

Omofoma went just one inch further than Heritage Christian’s Kristin Osborne to win the triple jump with a distance of 36 feet, five inches. Kayla Cuckler scored another six points for the Eagles by placing sixth in the same event.

Omofoma was dominant in both hurdles events as well, clocking in at 14.81 to win the high hurdles by more than one second. The 300 hurdles were somehow closer, but her 44.46 was good enough to win. She completed the fourth title sweep by clearing 5-foot-1 in the high jump.

“She would be the first person to say that God has gifted her amazing gifts and she uses them,” Jackson said. “But she works hard. She comes in the summer and works really hard throughout the year. She’s the type of athlete everyone wants on their team. Obviously, she’s amazingly talented, but she’s also a great spirit and a great person.”

Elsewhere for the Eagles, Aliya McClanahan placed second in the shot put and seventh in the discus. Angela Friedman placed third in the 1600, seventh in the 800 and ninth in the 3200.


Peyton shines on the track en route to team title

(Dan Mohrmann/

While the sport is technically track and field, it was purely on the track side where Peyton earned its state championship.

The Panthers scored all their points in the team standings on running events, anchored by in the 100-meter dash and the 4×800 relay.

Landon Hadley eked out a victory in the 100 on Saturday, clocking in at 11.11 seconds with just 0.3 separating the top eight runners.

“My adrenaline is through the roof and I just feel blessed to be here,” Hadley said. “I have a great coach to bring me here. [Winning the team title] is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I’m glad I get to share it with these guys. I love them.”

The win in the 3200 relay two days earlier was more decisive, with Matthew Peery, Ayden Breese, Nathan Schluessler and Josh Kearse combining to win by more than five seconds. Kearse’s split of 2:01.61 was among the fastest in the race.

Beyond the winners, Hadley also placed third in the 200 with a time of 22.43. He narrowly missed out on victory in the 400, notching a 49.22 that only beat by Holyoke’s Maximilian Kleve, who broke the classification record with a time of 49.03.

Kearse added a third-place finish in the 800 at the back of a tight pack at the finish line. He also placed fifth in the 1600.

Trevor Gregg was fourth in the 300 hurdles sixth in the high hurdles. Even Schluessler’s one point scored by a ninth-place finish in the 3200 was crucial, putting the team title out of reach during the 4×400 relay, where Peyton ultimately placed third.

It’s the second state championship for the Peyton boys with the other coming in 2006.