Wilson the CPC discus champ
Published 1:55 pm Tuesday, May 16, 2023
By Brian Pitts
It seems Gracie Wilson couldn’t have scripted a better senior season. In the fall, she blossomed in volleyball and earned a scholarship to Division-II Southern Wesleyan (S.C.). Fast-forward to spring track & field and Wilson is crushing the competition in the discus.
In the Central Piedmont Conference championship meet at Davie on May 2, Wilson captured the title in the discus with a throw of 109-3; the runner-up was at 104. It was just another day at the office after she swept first in all the regular-season meets.
Four days later in an invitational at Davie, Wilson broke the program record in the discus. Her 118-11 throw surpassed the old mark of 114-4, set by Lexi May in 2019. Wilson’s previous personal record was 113-3.
“It felt pretty good; that was my goal,” said Wilson, who picked up a discus for the first time when the world was shut down in 2020. “During COVID I had to do something alone during my free time, so I decided to do discus. I watched different videos and I started going to a personal trainer (as a sophomore). When I first started I was throwing mid-80s. I wasn’t too happy about that. I wanted to progress because other girls were throwing more than me. I started lifting (weights) over the summer and going to the gym more and also using different techniques.”
Wilson also gives credit for her success to assistant coach Diane Williams.
“Gracie had significant improvements this year,” head coach Rob Raisbeck said. “Last year her best was 99-3, so she’s up almost 20 feet this year.”
The top two finishers in each event made all-CPC, and Davie’s second honoree was AJ Sweet, who finished second in the pole vault at 11-6. Later in the week in the invitational at Davie, Sweet pole vaulted a school-record 13-6, an absurd mark for a freshman. The old record of 13 feet had stood since 1997.
Sweet took the moment in stride.
“AJ is a very quiet young man,” Raisbeck said. “Typically freshmen are not real boisterous, but he takes being calm to another level. He was over 14 feet, but he brushed it coming down. Yeah, he’s got lots and lots of potential.”
Two War Eagles barely missed all-CPC honors, with sophomore Tyler Hill finishing third in the 400 at 51.61 and sophomore Cooper Williams finishing third in the discus and fourth in the shot put.
“Tyler’s best time is 51.27, which is really remarkable for a sophomore,” Raisbeck said. “It’s amazed me how fast his 400 time has become. We didn’t even run him in the 400 last year.”
Three school records fell in the Davie invitational. Besides Wilson and Sweet, you had Hill going 1:58.72 in the 800.
“He’d run 2:03 in an open 800, so when you improve five seconds, that’s a dramatic improvement,” Raisbeck said. “I knew he was ready to go under two. We only had him run the 800 once last year, and his time was 2:15.”
Notes: Both Davie teams finished fifth out of eight in the CPC championship meet. “That’s exactly where we expected to be with a very young team,” Raisbeck said. “I’m running 20 distance runners and I’ve got one senior.” … Senior Owen Sulecki and freshman Ethan Lakey were fifth and sixth in the 1600, respectively. … Freshman America Stockton was third in the high jump at 4-10. “We have five really talented freshmen high jumpers for girls,” Raisbeck said.