Photos: Courtesy of PrettySporty.com
Here’s a look at the upcoming Durham Striders High School Invitational. This meet is LOADED with entries as usual and as usual this is the first time much of the state will hear of certain athletes. I look forward to this meet every year because this is truly the beginning for many athletes. Young athletes, new athletes, hard working athletes, all of a sudden prove they are contenders this indoor season and outdoor season here at the Durham Striders meet.
So, with that said. This preview is far from perfect. There are so many new names that it is impossible to name all the contenders. There WILL be plenty of top performers whose names will not appear in this preview. However, isn’t it more important to be at the top of the list in the post-meet article?
The obvious favorite in the race is currently the nation’s leading sprinter. He is ranked #1 in the 60m dash and #2 in the 200. New Bern’s Fuquwan Greene threw down fantastic times last weekend at the Arkansas High School Invitational.
Fuquwan Greene, New Bern – 6.77 (US #1), 21.53 (US #2)
Mar-Keo Jones, Knightdale – 6.60 indoors this season
Eric Winfrey, Douglas Byrd – 6.65 last weekend at Tar Heel
Kaleb Johnson, Mount Tabor – 10.74 in the 100m last year
Kevin Williams, Glenn – 6.54h in polar bear
Once again, you have to Fuquwan the edge here. He has run 21.53 already this season in the 200 and has run excellent 400’s the last couple years on New Bern’s record setting teams. Bummed that some athletes are so far down the list, but this meet never really sees the top guys run in the same heats.
Fuquwan Greene, New Bern – 21.53 (US #2)
Torri Tillman, Marvin Ridge – 35.59 (US #15), Tar Heel Invite last week
Jarrett Samuels, Vance – 35.62 (US #16), Tar Heel Invite last week
Santonio Johnson, West Charlotte – 21.74 in the 200 last year
Miles Sparks, New Bern – part of New Bern 4x200 teams, one of the top 300m hurdlers
Xavier Jones, Southern Guilford – owns numerous USATF age group records, what can the 9th grader do
Kaleb Johnson, Mount Tabor – 21.56 in the 200m last year
Eric Winfrey, Douglas Byrd – 47.77 in the 400m last year, 35.93 last week in 300m
This one may be a bit more up in the air. John Schilkowsky of Patton HS has been running well for the past couple years and may be ready to take over the reigns of being the top 800 runner in the state. John has a 1:54.04 personal record in the 800 and seems to be running well in the 500. He has run 1:06 twice this year and once already on this track, just last weekend.
John Schilkowsky, Patton – won last weekend Tar Heel in 1:06.78 (US #6)
Richard Gladden, West Mecklenburg – 1:06.10 polar bear
Trip Foreman, Wakefield – 1:07.03 at Boo Williams (US #10)
Malcolm Nunley, SE Raleigh – 1:08.60 (US #31) @ Tar Heel
Kwavon Taylor-Green, Cary – 1:08.37 (US #24) @ Tar Heel
Boys 55m Hurdles
This one looks like it could be tight between 3 athletes. I don’t recognize many of the names but do know both Daishon Barger of West Rowan and Malcolm Nunley of SE Raleigh. They raced last weekend with Daishon getting the win. Daishon ran 7.58 to Nunley’s 7.67. Also, Otis Tisdale of West Mecklenburg could be in the mix after running well in early December.
Daishon Barger, West Rowan – 7.58 (US #8-tied) @ Tar Heel
Malcolm Nunley, SE Raleigh – 7.67 (US #20-tied) last weekend at Tar Heel
Otis Tisdale, West Mecklenburg – 7.81 on December 12th indoors, should be better
The states number one 1000m runner is absent from the meet, which opens the door up a bit. Who will step up and win this one? Jack Klecker of Ardrey Kell had a huge meet at Chapel Hill last weekend winning both the 1600 and the 1000. Jack is ranked #2 in the state with his 2:39. A number of the top 1000m runners in the state are in this race, but only 2 have cracked 2:40 at this point. Look for a handful to crack the mark this weekend.
Jack Klecker, Ardrey Kell – 2:39. 37 for win at Tar Heel Invite
Isaac Presson, Asheville – 2:38 personal best
John Harwell, Asheville – 2:37 best and runs better as the meet goes on
John Cappelletti, Enloe – 2:40 best, one of state’s top returnees
Can’t wait for this one! Almost anyone in the top 15 or so could possibly bring home the title. Klecker ran 4:25 last weekend for the win on this track. Then you have Foot Locker finalists Jake Hurysz and Blake Williams. Can’t pick this one, it’s up for grabs.
Jack Klecker, Ardrey Kell – 4:25 last weekend, 4:20 PR
Blake Williams, Northern Durham – 4:19 PR, Foot Locker finalist
Jake Hurysz, Eastern Alamance – 4:21 PR, XC All-American
Isaac Presson, Asheville – 4:19 PR
John Harwell, Asheville – 4:20 PR
Mohamed Abushouk, Cary – 4:24 PR
And the list goes on . . .
Again, this one should be fun. Without the 2 Foot Locker finalists this one looks like it should go to Mohamed Abushouk of Cary. Mohamed ran extremely well at the end of the XC season and dropped a 9:14 in his Foot Locker tune up. Mohamed also ran 9:12 last year outdoors. Look for 3 private school athletes to challenge him for the top spot.
Mohamed Abushouk, Cary – 9:12.36 personal best
Robert Mintz, Cary Christian – 9:21 personal best in November
Scott Morgan, Calvary Baptist – 15:21 5k PR at Foot Locker
Thomas Graham, Cary Academy – 4:28 1600m last weekend, 9:27 PR, 15:03 5k PR
Mitch Mallory, Wakefield – easily ran 9:44 to win by over 30 sec. in December
Boys Long Jump
The favorite here is Jarrett Samuels of Vance who has a personal best of 24-2 from last years World Youth Championships in Italy. Jarrett won this past weekend with a jump of 23-8, ranking #2 in the US. Steven Bell of SE Raleigh has also jumped well so far this season, getting out to 22-5.75.
Jarrett Samuels, Vance – 24-2 PR, 23-8 (US #2) last week
Steven Bell, SE Raleigh – 22-5.75 (US #10)
Coye Still, Hickory Ridge – 22-6 last year
Fuquwan Greene, New Bern – question mark, but with his speed could be very good
Torri Tillman, Marvin Ridge – 22-3 last year and seems to be fit
Boys Triple Jump
This should come down to the top 2 triple jumpers in the state thus far this indoor season. Steven Bell of SE Raleigh and John Minott of Union Pines dueled last weekend with Minott coming out on top. Right now, Bell is ranked #3 in the US and Minott is currently ranked #5. If you want to check out an event where NC is at the top, watch the triple.
John Minott, Union Pines – 47-3 (US #5) and won last week at Tar Heel
Steven Bell, SE Raleigh – 47-8 (US #3), won Boo Williams in VA
Trevor Anderson, NW Cabarrus – PR of 47-3
Daisaun White, Asheville – PR of 46-7.75
Tyrell Lindsay, New Bern – PR of 46-5
Boys High Jump
Last year Tanner Anderson of East Burke jumped onto the scene, literally. Tanner jumped 7-2.5 last year which tied him for 4th in the nation last year. He has to be the favorite and may be one of the favorites to win the national title this year. Should be quite entertaining!
Tanner Anderson, East Burke – ranked #4 in the nation last year, 7-2.5
Steven Bell, SE Raleigh – 6-6 (US #12 – tied)
Keith Grant, South Rowan – cleared 6-8 last year outdoors
Jaylon Holt, SE Raleigh – cleared 6-2 last week and 6-6 last year, sophomore
Boys Pole Vault
Alex Lomax is the #3 returner in the state this season and the top one competing this weekend. Alex cleared 14-3.5 last outdoor season and has already cleared 14 during indoors. Last weekend he won easily at the Tar Heel HS Invitational.
Alex Lomax, Maiden – 14-00, NC #1 this indoor season
Sean Nickell, North Stokes – 13-6, NC #2 this season
Plenty of guys around the 12-6/13-0 mark . . .
Boys Shot Put
This should turn out to be a battle between Ryans. Ryan Minor of South Brunswick threw 52-6.75 last year and Ryan Kelly of Reagan has already thrown 52-2.5 this season.
Ryan Minor, South Brunswick – 52-6.75 last year as a sophomore
Ryan Kelly, Reagan – 52-2.5 at Liberty in December
Nick Sansotta, Butler – 51-6.5 last year
Look for Wakefield, Knightdale, and Ben L. Smith to be at the front of the field. These teams have all broken 3:30 already this year and are separated by just 2 seconds. There are plenty of other teams that could be in the mix as well.
Wakefield – 3:27.63 @ Boo Williams
Knightdale – 3:28.15 @ Liberty Elite
Ben L. Smith – 3:29.33 @ Boo Williams
Eastern Alamance should be very tough this year. Jake Hurysz is excited about the potential of this team. Can they run 8:05 that is listed? Maybe not yet, but this team will be looking for a state title later this season.