Fowlkes win Mideast Regional Pole Vault championship for Cedar Ridge; Orange’s Hampton takes 2nd regional title

Updated: May 15, 2022

Caroline Fowlkes started her Cedar Ridge career by qualifying for the state championships in pole vaulting.

This week, she will end it there.

On Friday, Fowlkes earned her first regional championship, easily taking first place in the pole vault. In the 3A Mideast Track & Field Regional Championship at Franklinton High School, Fowlkes cleared eleven feet, outdistancing her nearest competitor by three feet.

Fowlkes has pole vaulting in her genes. Her mother competed at the University of Florida. Her father was a pole vaulter at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.

At Franklinton, Fowlkes added to her trophy case in what’s been her most successful outdoor season. Last month, she won the Central Carolina Conference championship with a personal best of 11-feet, six-inches at the John Kirby Sports Complex at Eastern Alamance High School in Mebane.

As a freshman in 2019, Fowlkes qualified for the state championships and finished ninth after she cleared ten feet.

In all eight events that Fowlkes has competed in this season, she has finished in first place. She has also competed in the high jump and finished in first place in a dual meet against Orange at Auman Stadium on April 20.

Fowlkes will have plenty of company during the 3A State Outdoor Track and Field Championships at North Carolina A&T State University on Friday.

For the second year in a row, Orange’s Spenser Hampton has captured a regional championship. In what turned out to be a 1-2 finish among Orange Panthers, Hampton won the 3,200 meters with a time of 9:51.41, narrowly holding off his teammate Gabriel Schmid, who clocked in at 9:52.98.

Cedar Ridge’s Roman Morrell finished sixth at 10:33.59. Morrell also finished fifth in the 800 meters at 2:01.06.

Hampton also finished 2nd in the 1,600 meters, an event he won in the 2021 Mideast Regional Championships at Southern Lee High School in Sanford. This year, Hampton came in at 4:33.05, only behind Carrboro’s Quinn Baker. Schmid also qualified for the state championships in the 1,600 with a third-place finish.

In continued a strong season for Orange’s long-distance running. Last fall, Hampton and Schmid were the top two runners for Orange’s cross county team that won the Mideast Regional championship and finished 3rd in the state.

Last June, Hampton won the Mideast Regional Championship in the 1,600 meters. At the state championships, Hampton finished 2nd in the 3,2000 meters.

Orange had three men’s relay teams qualify for the state championships.

Hampton and Schmid joined Ethan Horton and Nick Pell in setting a new school record in the 4×800 relay. Hampton, Schmid, Horton and Pell finished at 8:15.56. Northwood was the only team to finish ahead of Orange. The Chargers crossed the finish line at 8:14.78.

Orange’s 4×100 relay team came in fourth place at 43.67 seconds. The 4×200 team also wound up fourth at 1:31.79.

The Orange men’s track & field team finished in second place with 73.5 points, behind only Southern Nash. It was the best regional for an Orange men’s track & field team since they became a 3A team in 2012.

Orange senior Devin Goss came in 2nd in the 300 meter hurdles. Goss, who will make his first appearance in the state championships, finished at 42.08 seconds. Cape Fear’s Yazeare Pearsall came in first at 41.45 seconds.

Jeffrey Faulkner, Orange’s top sprinter, qualified for the state championships for the first time. In the 400 meter dash, Faulkner finished at 50.80 seconds. Clifton Davis of Walter Williams claimed the regional championship at 49.90. Faulker finished sixth in the 200 meter dash.

In women’s track and field, Orange’s Grace Pell finished tied for third in the high jump at 4-feet, 10-inches.

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