Myrtle Beach senior sprinter E.J. Goings wrote an amazing end to his comeback story, successfully defending his state title in the boys 800 meters less than one month after he was hospitalized for an illness.
Goings, who missed almost the entire month of training leading up to the state meet, left no doubt that his comeback was complete by running away in the 800. His time of 1 minute, 56.46 seconds was more than a second faster than runner-up Jamal White of South Pointe.
Goings, who also led the Seahawks to an eighth-place showing in the boys 4×400 relay, was the only state champion from the Grand Strand. Teammates Emaray Johnson and Tyquan McFadden placed fourth in the boys high jump (6 feet, 4 inches) and shot put (48-0), respectively, for a ninth-place finish in the team standings.
The North Myrtle Beach boys placed eighth overall, thanks to a second-place finish by Jeffrey Linta in the pole vault (15-6) and a third-place showing by Marshawn Scott in the 400 hurdles (57:34). The Chiefs’ Vincent Taylor (15.31) edged Scott (15:43) at the finish line for fourth place in the 110 hurdles to put the Chiefs in eighth place overall.
St. James finished 17th overall and got several strong performances from junior Billy Krier, who placed third in the boys 1600 (4:26.88), sixth in the 3200 (10:09.55) and helped the Sharks to a seventh-place finish in the 4×800 relay.
North Myrtle Beach also turned in a solid effort on the girls side, placing 19th overall. The Lady Chiefs were led by JaQuella Livingston, who placed fourth in the girls long jump (5-2) and Marisa Maher placed sixth in the pole vault (9-0). St. James’ Heather Jewell placed third in the vault (10-0).
In Class AAAA, the Carolina Forest girls team finished 25th overall thanks to Nia Payne’s third-place showing in the 800 meters.