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Special Photo Chapel Hill athletes pose on the podium after receiving their state-champion trophy on Saturday.

The combination of some veteran participants and newcomers was the right ingredient for the Chapel Hill girl’s track and field team.

Several veterans and a couple newcomers provided the scoring as the Panthers won the Class AAAA meet for the second straight year.

Chapel Hill amassed 72.5 points over three days of competition at Valhalla Stadium in Rome to clinch the championship.

“It is special to go back to back,” Chapel Hill coach Travis Mihalik said. “We lost three Div. I athletes off of last year’s team. We knew we had to build the team around some veterans. We found some missing pieces and they delivered.”

Mihalik built the team around senior sprinter Kayla Alexander and Ilene Soleyn. Alexander was a two-time state champion and a national champion.

The Louisville signee helped deliver for the Panthers. She won the 100-meters hurdles and was a part of the state-champion 400 relay team.

“You always want to go out with a bang,” Alexander said. “I was so happy for the team and myself to get this state champion. It was an entire team effort.”

In addition, Alexander finished runner-up in the long jump. Her only regret was having to pull out of the 300 hurdles. After winning the 100 hurdles, she said she passed out.

Alexander was pulled from the 300 event.

“I just wish I could have ran it,” she said.

But the team didn’t need those points.

Woodward Academy had 52.5 points to finish runner-up with Marist scoring 51 points for third. Rounding out the top-5 was Baldwin with 38 points and St. Pius finishing fifth with 36 points.

The Panthers 1,600 relay of Simora Cook, Zaria White, Joy Scott and Soleyn was runner-up.

Freshman Kassidy Amerson-Fox also placed second in the discus.

“It was a real good feeling to help the team win it,” Amerson-Fox said. “You hear about it but it is something different to live it.”

The 400 relay of Scott, Alexander, Soleyn and freshman Derica Price won.

“I thought the coaches did a good job in developing and finding the right pieces,” Mihalik said. “We took four throwers and they all scored. We got 18 points after the first day. I think that made for a good start and great day.”

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