Vikings Crack Top 5 In State Track Championship Meet

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Senior Clay Wardius was the 2021 state champion in the high jump, breaking the school record with a 6-foot, 3-inch finish. Photo by Airlia Gustafson.

By Brennan Waldorf
The Broadwater Vikings track and field teams traveled to Richmond May 21 to compete in the 2021 VISAA State Championship Meet at the Sports Backer Stadium.

Broadwater was a small fish in a big pond as a Division III team. They competed as Division II team due to the small number of Division III teams but produced big results on a disproportionate stage. The boys team placed fourth overall with only five athletes qualifying and the girls weren’t far behind as they placed eighth overall.

Walsingham Academy ran away with the girls division with 118 points and the boys event was won by Norfolk Christian with 84 points. The Vikings found the most success in the field events and were highlighted by Gunnar Gustafson capturing his third state championship in the pole vault and Clay Wardius claiming a state title in the high jump. Gustafson was awarded The Outstanding Field Event Performer after placing in six events including the pole vault, high jump, long jump, triple jump, discus, and shot put. Senior Brant Bloxom landed on the Second Team All State after finishing second in the high jump behind Wardius who broke the school record with a 6’3” leap.

The Vikings have been top performers at the state meet for the last decade and were the 2016 boys and girls state champions. They were viewed as a long shot in the boys 4×100 but Gunnar Gustafson, Reade Nicolls, Ture Gustafson, and Clay Wardius strung together quite a performance, running the event in 48.24 seconds for a fourth place finish. Broadwater boys finished with 62 points placing several athletes on the podium while the girls finished with 26 points with senior Hannah Davis making All-State Honorable Mention.

Senior Brant Bloxom landed on the All-State Second Team in the high jump with a 5-foot, 8-inch jump at the state meet. Photos by Airlia Gustafson.

Top Performers Boys Division
High Jump
1. Clay Wardius 6’3”
2. Brant Bloxom 5’8”
7. Gunnar Gustafson 5’2”
Long Jump
3. Gunnar Gustafson 19’10.25”
Triple Jump
5. Gunnar Gustafson 38’5”
8. Brant Bloxom 35’8”
Pole Vault
1. Gunnar Gustafson 9’
Discus
3. Clay Wardius 127’8.5”
6. Gunnar Gustafson 107’2”
8. Reade Nicolls 106’ 8”
Shot Put
4. Clay Wardius 41’10.5”
8. Gunnar Gustafson 34’10.5”

Gunnar Gustafson runs the first leg in the 4×100 meter race. He was named the 2021 Outstanding Field Event Performer at the state meet.

Top Performers Girls Division
100-Meter Hurdles
5. Lindsey Smith 18.86
8. Grace Johnson 20.30
High Jump
4. Leah Smith 4’6”
8. Ally Lecato 4’2”
Pole Vault
3. Hannah Davis 6’6”
4 – Leah Smith 6’6”
5 – Sammi Yeung 6’