Sprints/Hurdles | Distance | Relays | Field | Team Title
Tamara Clark (High Point Central) is the defending champion and looks to add another state title. Her biggest challenge was Kylia Wright (Southeast Raleigh), who unfortunately injured her hamstring at regionals. Wright is the only NC girl to beat Clark in a long time. She will now go up against Taylor Grier (Wakefield), Jonah Ross (Garner), Jordan Sales (J.H. Rose), Zachrye Lane (Cardinal Gibbons) and Cambrea Sturgis (A.L. Brown) who all have the potential to score an upset. Grier is coming off a big PR of 11.79 at the 4A Mideast Regional. Ross and Sales are both freshman who ran 11.81 at their regional meets and are certainly the future on North Carolina Sprints. Zach Lane has had a monster senior year and holds the second fastest PR in this field of 11.78! The top 10 girls in this field hold PRs under 12 seconds!
Tamara Clark (High Point Central) is a two time defending champion and holds the best PR in the field of 23.44. She's certainly the heavy favorite as she beat freshman Alysia Johnson (Hillside) last weekend at the 4A Midwest regional. Johnson clocked a PR of 24.06 and will have a quick double back from the 400 where she's the top seed and favorite. Taylor Scott (Wakefield), Cambrea Sturgis (A.L. Brown), Maya Singletary (Hoke County) and Jordan Sales (J.H. Rose) certainly have a ton of potential to contend for the win. Out of these 6 only Clark is a senior, showing the future is bright for the girls sprints in North Carolina. Could someone spoil Clark's final individual event at the state championships?
Indoors we saw Maya Singletary (Hoke County) run NC#2 All-Time in the 500 at 1:13.47. Freshman Alysia Johnson (Hillside) had a break out performance earlier this year beating Singletary head to head at Bill Carver where Johnson ran 54.10 to Singletary's 54.56, as both PRed. This is going to be very fast and Singletary is not going to make it easy on the freshman Johnson. Johnson did run NC#5 All-Time in the 400 last weekend in 53.87, putting the pressure on Singletary. Kiya Oviosun (Southeast Guilford) and Kyna Robinson (Southeast Raleigh) have run under 56 this season and are certainly going to be in the mix. Oviosun clocked 55.19 last weekend at 4A Midwest behind Johnson.
Sierra Fletcher (Southeast Raleigh) and Taylor Scott (Wakefield) put the pressure on indoor 55m state champion Akira Rhodes (Mallard Creek) as they ran 13.97 and 14.12 respectively at the 4A Mideast Regional. Rhodes holds a seasons best of 14.25, but I expect all three girls to hit the final hurdle next to each other and there be a mad dash to the finish for the individual crown. I also expect the Midwest Champion Charnessa Reid (Mt. Tabor) to be in the mix as well.
It was looking like this event would be a rematch of the Rock Autism Classic between Sierra Fletcher (Southeast Raleigh) and Jessica Wright (Hillside) who were separated by .01 seconds, but Abira Reddish (Riverside) chopped over a second off her PR at the 4A Midwest Regional beating state leader Jessica Wright! Fletcher also got a PR at the regional meet in 43.94. Also Kimani Davis (Parkland) is right there as well at 44.12 last weekend! There is no way Reddish's NC#1 mark of 43.33 will last through this race as these talented girls toe the line.
The target is certainly on J Johnson's (Panther Creek) back as he has been undefeated against NC competition this outdoor season. He holds the best mark in the state at 10.34. Brandon Ray (Athens Drive), Rondell Terry (Garner) and Kobe Barnes (Wakefield) have had incredible seasons and taken many swings at Johnson, but came up short this season. They went 1-4 last weekend at 4A Mideast and all rank in the top 5 for 4A this year. Brenton Ervin (Mallard Creek) hasn't gotten to race Johnson head to head this season and ranks #4 in 4A this season and won a tough 4A West region. Could Ervin be the one to score the upset this weekend, or will the Mideast region sweep the boys 100?
J Johnson (Panther Creek) will have a rematch with Trequan Barnes (Parkland) from a crazy fast 300 this indoor season. They come in as the top seeds at 21.47 and 21.75 this outdoor season. Barnes and Jalen Jones (Hoke County) will have a short break in between the open 400 and will look to complete a tough double. Rondell Terry (Garner) was impressive last weekend at the 4A Mideast Region, and holds a seasons best mark of 21.82. Johnson certainly will come in as the favorite and many will look to deny Johnson of a double victory this weekend.
Jalen Jones (Hoke County) looks to be in top form as the defending champ comes in with the top seed time of 47.87 and is the only 4A Boys under 48 seconds. But I expect a big day from Trequan Barnes (Parkland) as he needs every point he can get to lead his team to a team title. Barnes has run 48.04 and this looks to be a battle between this two. Joshua Parks (A.L. Brown) is just a sophomore and hasn't lost in his last 9 races and set a PR at 4A West in 48.88. Could the Sophomore Parks score an upset on Saturday?
Cedric McGriff (Providence) has been the one to beat in the short hurdles all season long, but he's going to have an angry Raymonte Dow (High Point Central) on his hands. Dow is a 300m Hurdle specialist and defending champion in the event. Dow was DQed after falling twice (and still placing 3rd) at the 4A Midwest Regional. He's going to come out hot in the 110m Hurdles, his only individual event of the day. McGriff hasn't broken 14 this season and did a year ago, could this be the first week he does so?
With defending champion Raymonte Dow being DQed (read above) at regionals, this race will have a new favorite in Elijah Knight (Cary) has a strong chance at the individual crown. He is the only boy in the field sub 39 with a PR of 38.34. Dexter McDuffie (South Central) has the next fastest PR at 39.01 and seems to be the only big challenger unless someone has a break out day to take down Knight.