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Lady Falcons win state track championship

West Henderson High School's Lady Falcons track team celebrates 3A state championship on Friday.

West Henderson High School's Lady Falcons captured three first place finishes — two by hurdler Emma Hall — on their way to claiming the North Carolina Women's 3A Track and Field Championship at N.C. A&T University in Greensboro.

Winning first place was the 4x800 relay team of Alysia Madera, Ava Kilpatrick, Paisley Stepp and Breanna Budzinski while Hall won the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles. The relay team of Carlen Davis, Emma Hall, Kate Leonard and Jasmine Banks placed second in the 4x100 and third in the 4x200. Budzinski placed fourth in the 3200 and received the Sportsmanship Award.

On the men's side Brendan Henby placed second in the 100-meter dash and third in the 200-meter race and Tayman Howell finished third in the 110-meter hurdles.

The women's team is coached by Faith Stoker. The men's coach is Randy Lytle.

Aaron Saft, a volunteer coach, described the runners as a joy to coach and joy to watch on the fast track at N.C. A&T. A sophomore, Budzinski anchored the 4x800 team.

EmmaHallEmma Hall won the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles and ran on relay teams that finished second and third."They are just tenacious," he said. "They worked hard all season, they really do have a drive and it’s just a joy to coach enthusiastic young ladies day in and day out. They do what you ask. Watching it was just so emotional. It was just phenomenal watching the (4x800) race unfold. I knew Bree had it in her in that final 100 meters. I'm just so proud of her and the team. It was just incredible. I was brought to tears of joy watching the whole thing and the podium."

Hall, Saft said, came from behind with three hurdles to go to win.

"I coached her in middle school," Saft said. "My daughter is 11 and she is just enamored with Emma and Bree. It’s just so fun watching them having this success. She raced five times yesterday, including prelims."