3A Girls Recap
Racers in the 4x800 Relay kicked off the competition. Sarah LaTour anchor-leg for the winning Cuthbertson squad said, "I knew I needed to stay in front of the Weddington girl and give everything I had over the final 200. LaTour went on to runners up finishes in the 1600 and 3200. The junior also claimed gold in the 1000 finishing in 3:02. She said, "I tried to recover as much as I could between each race. I really wanted to score points for my team. The 1000 made me a lot more tired and gave me an energy boost for the 3200." LaTour took home the Meet MVP and her scoring helped Cuthbertson claim the team title over West Carteret 71-54.
Junior Randi Yeomans of West Carteret grabbed gold in the 55 Hurdles finishing in 8.56. She said, "I got second last year and winning feels pretty great. I'm just glad I improved over last year." She also competed in the 300 and ran a leg on the 4x400 Relay.
Eastern Guilford senior, Taylor Henderson clocked 7.22 to win the 55. She confessed, "This is my first indoor season of competition. In the past I trained hard through indoors to get ready for outdoor. This year I decided to go for it and I got a PR."
Tessa Sheets eclipsed her seed height defending the Pole Vault in a meet record height of 12' 7". She said, "in previous years I've been really nervous at states. This year I got used to the idea of being defending champion and realized it's ok to do what I'm expected to."
Mackenzie Whitaker, a West Carteret senior, celebrated her Long Jump and Triple Jump wins with hugs from her dad and step-mom. She said, "I tried to make my dad proud since this was a special, big meet." 18' 3" and a 38' 5" PR landed her in first place in both events. She struggled in the 500 and knew "I had to dust it off and move on. In Outdoor Track I want to focus on 300 H and repeat in the Long and Triple Jumps."
Asheboro senior Maci Bunting claimed gold in the High Jump with a leap of 5' 4". She said, "I didn't compete in Indoor last year so this is a different experience and I'm really glad I got to race."
The Nash Central quartet of seniors Michaela Nelms, Myia Spivey,
Teona Hill, and T'Keyah Macklin defended their 4x200 Relay title. Coach Juan Jackson revealed, "It wasn't hard to psyche them up; when you're a champion you want to defend. Two of my runners play basketball too and track takes a lot of time and commitment. They're all seniors and looking forward to outdoor. We finished third last year and want to be champs."
Chapel Hill junior, Katherine Dokholyan finished last year's 1600 in runner up and this season captured gold in 5:09. She said, "I was just hoping to get all state and I wasn't expecting to get first. I really haven't been feeling great lately. As the race went on, my nerves went away and I felt really good. It's exciting to move up to champ." She doubled back finishing fourth in the 3200.
In the 500 Carisha Leonard, a senior from Nash Central, clocked 1:17.81 in only her third time racing that distance. She confided, "I was just racing to score points for my team. I was seeded third so winning is a great surprise."
Despite needing "to hydrate and rest her legs" after the 4x200 Relay, Michaela Nelms ran 40.7 to win the 300. She also competed in the final relay of the meet.
Rocky Mount senior Keyanna Spivey threw 37' 07.25" to win the Shot Put. She said, " I didn't compete during indoor last year and I won last spring's Shot Put title so my goal was to win at indoor. I knew I could do it and had the drive. Winning was the only thing on my mind. I go to the weight room every day. I play forward on our basketball team too so I hoped I wouldn't be tired from last night's game."
Emma Fisher, a senior from West Carteret, crossed the line in 11:29 to win the 3200. She said, "I'm coming off XC season and I felt good and ready to run longer distances in indoors. I wanted to take out the pace and if they let me I was going to since I'm pretty good at pushing the pace." Fisher doubled back from the 1600 where she finished 5th.
In the final race of the day, the 4x400 Relay crew from Nash Central outpaced everyone to finish in 4:07.43. Michaela Nelms loves "to pass people and get bigger lead for my team. Third leg T'Keyah Macklin said, "I know I have to come out and run my own race. I had to think past my sore hamstring and give it my all." Anchor Teona Hill quipped, "there was no pressure I knew by the time I got baton I just needed to bring it home."
3A Boys Recap
In the boys' 4x800 Relay, Asheville claimed gold in a NC #3 time of 8:08.14. The foursome had only raced together once this season. Davis Turner, a Junior, said, "We won last year and we're pretty confident we could put together a good performance this year. We're all underclassman and excited for today's meet."
A yellow flag came out as a competitor went down midway through the 55 Hurdles. Jacobi Lloyd, a senior from Jackson, gushed, "It's a great feeling to win. I got 7.55 and I'm happy. I have to thank my coach, family, and teammates. It's humbling." He closed out the meet competing in the 4x400 Relay.
Josh-Lester Harris's (Webb) dad cheered loudly and enthusiastically for him during the 55. Harris said, "my dad is my biggest fan and he's amazing. My whole family has always been supportive, with God all things are possible." He won in 6.43 despite this being his first indoor season.
A group of underclassmen led the way for Southern Lee in the 4x200 Relay. Kenneth Cotton, said, "It means a lot and it feels surreal." James McCurry, Chandler Cotton, and Benjamin Buie rounded out the relay. Buie happily said, "We did what we were supposed to do and we're going to come back next year. We are the first track state champions from our school. We can't wait to see our banner!"
Although Tyler Brown, of Piedmont, didn't claim a PR mark in the Wheelchair Shot Put, he achieved 9' 10" to repeat as state champ. He said, "It's a big weight off my shoulders and the competition is up and coming. I knew I had to stay on top of things and always try to do better. I go to the gym every day. My school doesn't have a shot put coach so my teammates and I improvise and try to do the best we can."
In the 1600 Austin Carroll, a senior from Corinth Heights, grabbed gold with a 4:22 effort. Later in the meet he doubled back to finish fourth in the 1000. Following his second race he shared, "I felt tired from the 1600 so I rolled out my legs and tried to rest before the race. This state championship feels amazing and I've wanted it my whole life. I've worked since middle school to get one."
Second seed Sherrod Greene won the Shot Put with a throw of 55' 3.75". Additionally, the Rocky Mount senior competes as a power forward for his school's basketball squad. He said, "I spend a lot of time in the weight room and it paid off with this PR."
In the 500 Rayshawn Massey, a Jacksonville senior, clocked 1:06.47 to win. He said, "I didn't place last year. So I knew this year I needed to stay focused and redeem myself." He also competed in the 300 and helped Jacksonville achieve runners up in the 4x400 Relay.
Mason Bhatia, a Marvin Ridge senior, won the 1000 in 2:36. Beaming he said, "I can't comprehend it. Even though I led the race I wasn't going for time. I was going for the win." He also anchored the Marvin Ridge 4x800 Relay that captured silver. He said, "The relay finish stung and that motivated me in the 1000."
In the final sprint race of the meet, Nadir Thompson of Southern Durham "was hoping for a sub 33 and glad I finished better than last year. Thompson, a junior, ran a season best 34.78. He said, "I prepared all year for this and spent a lot of time in the weight room. I worked on exploding out of the blocks."
Gabriel Stainback, a Concord senior, claimed first place in two field events. He lept 22' 8.5" to capture the Long Jump and he followed that up with a 6' 6" effort in the High Jump. This jump ranks as NC #1. He said, "It feels pretty good to come back and win after finishing third last year. I'd been following others' performances this year so I though I had a decent shot to win." Stainback brought home the Meet MVP award for his work.
Northern Guilford junior David Melville defended his 3200 title in 9:28.55. Although he let another racer lead for 7 laps he knew he needed to pick up the pace. He acknowledged, "I put a little bit of pressure on myself since I wanted to repeat. I've had a nagging Achilles issue so I skipped the 1600 to focus on the longer race. I'm hoping to double at states in outdoor."
The Triple Jumpers continued to compete during the closing relay. Marcus McDonald, a senior from Southern Durham, hop skipped and jumped 44' 09" to claim gold.
Weddington captured the 4x400 Relay in 3:30.37. Sophomore Kyle Durham anchored the quartet. He said, "I kept thinking: I have to win for my team. Earlier in the meet he finished 7th in the 1000 and ran the opening leg on the school's 4x800 Relay.
Marvin Ridge outpaced everyone to capture the team title with 57 points. Jacksonville scored 38 to finish runners up.