Mayhew, Sikes, Schmid nominated for HighSchoolOT.com Honors
Three of Hillsborough’s most successful athletes have been nominated for the HighSchoolOT.com Honors, which will be held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh on June 17.
Cedar Ridge senior Josh Mayhew will look to repeat as the Best Men’s Tennis Player after being nominated once again. He won the award in 2022. In addition, Orange’s Gabriel Schmid was nominated for Best Men’s Cross Country Runner. Orange junior Katie Belle Sikes is a finalist for Best Female Swimmer despite being conspicuously missing from the list for Female Athlete of the Year.
Anyone can vote once a day until the deadline on May 14.
Mayhew is the first Cedar Ridge men’s tennis player to reach the finals in the 3A State singles championship. Last week, he was named the Central Carolina Conference men’s tennis player of the year for the second straight season. As a sophomore in 2021, Mayhew reached the 3A NCHSAA State Singles title final, where he faced Chapel Hill’s Dennis Perumov. Mayhew defeated Soham Pradhan of Marvin Ridge in the semifinals 6-2, 6-4.
As a junior, Mayhew led Cedar Ridge to the CCC Men’s Tennis Team Championship. They reached the state dual team playoffs. In the 2022 3A State Singles Tournament, Mayhew defeated J.J. Woerner of First Flight 6-0, 6-2 in the opening round. In the quarterfinals, Mayhew rolled past Shiv Patel of South Point 6-0, 6-2.Mayhew defeated Ajay Swisher of St. Stephens 6-0, 6-1 in the semifinals. He faced Terry Sanford’s Drew Hedgecoe in the finals.
Mayhew will try to qualify for the state championships for the third year in a row this Friday and Saturday during the Mideast Regional Championships at the Burlington Tennis Center. He was the only player from Hillsborough to qualify for regionals this year.
In February, Sikes completed a season of domination with possibly the greatest athletic performance in school history at the NCHSAA 3A State Swimming Championships. She was named the Most Outstanding Female of the 3A State Championships. Sikes won three state championships. She won the 50-meter freestyle state title for the second straight year, setting a new state record at 22.17 seconds. It was the tenth-fastest time in American history in a high school meet.
Sikes also won the 100-meter freestyle state title at 49.45 seconds. Both the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter freestyle earned her automatic All-American status.
Sikes is the first female swimmer in Orange High history to win a state swimming championship. She also swam the anchor leg with Riley White, Piper White and Ainsley Rasinske to win the women’s 200 yard freestyle relay state championship. They are the first state championship relay team in Orange County Schools history.
Overall, Sikes qualified for regionals in all individual events this year. She was only allowed to compete in two of them.
In November, Schmid won the 3A State Men’s Cross Country Cross Championship on a humid day at the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville. Schmid became just the second runner from Orange to win a state cross country state title with a time of 15:44.289, 16 seconds ahead of Stephen Fernetti of North Lincoln.
Schmid continued to achieve big things after the state championship. Last week, he qualified for the 3A Mideast Outdoor Track & Field Regionals in the 1,600 meters and the 3,200 meters during a tri-meet at the John Kirby Sports Complex in Mebane. Schmid finished first in the 1,600 at 4:33.69. In the 3,200 meters, Schmid took first place at 10:04.72.
Last spring, Schmid finished 2nd in the 3,200 meters in the Mideast Regionals at Southern Lee High School. His teammate, Spencer Hampton, came in first. A week later at the 3A State Championships, Schmid finished 2nd in the 3,200 meters at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.
Orange’s last individual state champion in men’s outdoor track and field was Jamar Davis, who was named the Most Outstanding Performer of the event in 2018. Davis, who was also a wrestler and soccer player, is now at N.C. State.