We will have photo and race video of the 2017 Marvin Ridge Invitational! Race Video will go up Saturday night and photos on Sunday.
Girls 100m Hurdles
Akira Rhodes (Mallard Creek) will make her outdoor debut after a strong showing at the NCHSAA 4A Indoor State Championships and New Balance Indoor Nationals last weekend. Rhodes won the Emerging Elite section of the 60m Hurdles. Rhodes is certainly the girls to beat for 4A going into the outdoor state meet. Charnessa Reid (Mount Tabor) and Elizabeth White (Myers Park) are two of many challengers to Rhodes come Saturday. Rhodes has run 13.76 in this event while Reid has run 14.58, and White 14.83.
Boys 110m Hurdles
Cedric McGriff (Providence) is the man to beat come Saturday and was a stud for Providence this indoor season. He is the 4A Indoor State Champion and the top returner this outdoor season. Ellijah Gaddy (Forest Hills) won't make it easy on McGriff as he really came on strong at the end of the indoor season. Ben Shelley (Marvin Ridge) is better over the 300m Hurdles, but still is strong at the 110 hurdles. Shelley was 3rd indoors at the NCHSAA 3A Indoor State Championships.
Girls 400m Dash
Gracie Whelen (Providence Day) and Payton Russell (North Rowan) will square off in this event, which does have prelims in the morning session. Both will likely ease through the prelims. Whelan holds a PR of 56.37 in the 400 and is the 2-time defending outdoor NCISAA 3A Champion in this event. Russell holds a 400 PR of 55.70 and is the 2-time defending NCHSAA 2A Outdoor State Championships. Both are coming off strong indoor seasons.
Boys 400m Dash
We could see many boys under 50 seconds in this event with Jabari Rucker (Victory Christian) coming in with the best PR of 48.90 at the NCISAA 1A/2A State Championships in 2015. You also have Emerson Douds (Weddington), Cameron Robinson (Mount Tabor) Jesse Ballew (CATA), Kesean Abel (Mallard Creek) and Lee McKoy (Hopewell), only Ballew has been under 50 seconds. Douds had a very strong indoor season at 300 and 500 meters and ran a 50.69 at NBIN just last weekend. This should be a very close final where there is no clear favorite.
Boys 200m Dash
Scott McClendon (Forest Hills), Avin Lane (Cox Mill), Tyler Manigault (Cox Mill), Doug Dracon (Weddington) and Ishaq Smith (North Mecklenburg) are few of many stud athletes in the 200 prelims. Lane had a very strong indoor season over 55 meters running 6.41 and holds a 200 PR of 21.31. He's not entered in the 100 tomorrow. McClendon has run 21.74 for 200 meters and ran 35.52 indoors for 300. Smith is coming off a strong showing from NBIN where he took 4th in the Emerging Elite 200 leaving with an indoor PR of 22.19. You'd have have to think he'll be able to run much faster outdoors. Dracon was strong over 300 during the indoor season and it'll be interesting to see how he competes against a strong field.
Boys 1600m Run
This race is as loaded as you can get with 4A Indoor State Champion Cameron Ponder, Quinn Schneider (Woodlawn), Michael Moerk (Mount Tabor) Peyton Barish (Green Hope) and Dakota Mendenhall (Forbush). Not to mention 3 stud 800 runners Evan Harris (Lake Norman), Ian Delgado (Green Hope) and 3A Indoor 1000 Champion Mason Bhatia (Marvin Ridge). Ponder looks to be the man to beat, but Evan Harris proved he was a good 1600 runner last week running 4:25 with a 57 second last 400 off a tactical pace. Schneider did not race during the indoor season and will be ready for his first outdoor race against strong competition. Delgado has run 4:22 for 1600 and is coming off a 3:08 DMR split last weekend. Based off that you have to assume he's in sub 4:20 shape. This race has many athletes who have a strong finish and if the pace goes out hard we can see a very fast time for March.
Girls 800m Run
Madeline Kraft (Mount Tabor) is listed as the top entry in a strong 800 field and looks to be transitioning from a 200/400 runner to a 400/800 runner in her senior season. I'd imagine she played a part in Mount Tabor's strong 4x800 relay that took 2nd at the 4A Indoor State Championships, but she has never run an open 800. Tiara Patterson-Mills (Mount Tabor) is a very good all-around runner for the Spartans, but he specialty seems to be the mid-distance events. She's run 2:17 for 800. Sarah Bechtel (Weddington) ran a 2:18 solo two weeks ago and had a strong last 800 a week ago in a 1600 at Weddington. She's certainly got some speed under her legs. Jennae Jacob (Marvin Ridge) ran 3:04 this indoor season and was the runner up in the 1000 at the 3A Indoor State Meet. Her 800 PR is 2:19, but she certainly has a lot more potential in this event. You also have Jazzmone Boyd (Mallard Creek), Emily Jordan (Green Hope), and Lindsey Lanier (Providence) who all could be in the mix for the win. Boyd holds the best 800 PR in the field at 2:15.19.
Boys 800m Run
It looks to be a battle between Canoy Tyre (Mallard Creek) and Matthew Kehn (Green Hope) as they have the best 800 PRs in the field. Mason Bhatia (Marvin Ridge) should be right there with them, but it looks like he will be doubling back off the 4x800 and 1600. Jalin Petty (Hopewell) ran a 1:58 solo the other week and looks to be ready to to run a big PR against a strong field. Sean Peterson (Green Hope) doesn't have a fast open 800 PR, but has run some strong 4x800s for Green Hope this indoor season. At NBIN his split was at 1:57. Kehn split a 1:54 and Tyre ran a 1:55 at NBIN showing this is going to be a very fast race.
4x100, 4x200 and 4x800 look like they'll be strong events, but it's hard to know who exactly will be on the relays, even with the heat sheets. But with 300mH and 400 Dash prelims it's safe to say we will likely see some strong 4x800s as teams have a long time to recover before they double back for the 1600/800.
Girls High Jump
There is one NC girl that has beaten Kenya Livingston this year, and that's Addie Renner (Myers Park). Renner jumped 5-8 winning her indoor conference meet. She did not compete at the NCHSAA Indoor State Championships making me speculate on if she had an injury. But Renner is still the top competitor in the field by far.
Boys Pole Vault
Justin Richard (Lake Norman), Ben Nason (Providence Day), Seth Robinowitz (Providence), Jonathan Lehe (Lake Norman) and Patrick Freeman (Mount Tabor) will put on a tough pole vault competition where any can leave as the champion. Nason is having a break out season and will look to continue soaring to new heights this weekend. Late addition of Ben Finger (North Gaston) to an already stellar field!