Teammate Stephen Mulherin might have the best PR's, but it could be Levi Rolles that gives Science & Math the edge.
Live Results via DurhamStiders.com
Follow @NCRunners on Twitter for Live Updates
Events to Watch
Long Jump: Jamie Glenn (Monroe) leads a top 5 that are within 4 inches of each other based on regional marks, although Teaunna Cuthbertson (North Rowan) is the only one to have broken the 18-foot barrier this spring.
Pole Vault: Whereas the 2A meet featured only one vaulter over 10', the 1A meet has two, plus a neat team dynamic: the #1 and #3 seeds are from North Stokes, while the #2 and #4 are from West Wilkes. That means the top four in the event all came from the 1A Midwest!
1600 Run: The top seed, Elizabeth Lackey of Hendersonville, has a pretty solid advantage on second place; after her, though, the race gets very exciting. Places 2 through 8 are separated by 8 seconds based on regional times! Five of those girls have been under 5:40, with season bests separated by only three seconds. This could be a barn-burner. In a tight race, expect strong kickers and veteran runners to prevail, so keep your eyes on Hunter Latimer (Gray Stone Day, a strong 800 runner, and Kirsten Parries (Mount Airy), the 1A cross country champ.
3200 Run: The top 5 seeds in this race are within 10 seconds of each other, and given the possibility that some may not have run their hardest against weaker regional fields, this race could go to any of them. Expect several lead changes and an exciting push to the finish.
Athletes to Watch
Hailey Cook (Hendersonville) is dominant at the 1A level in both throws, and currently leads all classifications in the discus (she is #2 in the shot put). Jamie Glenn (Monroe) is a possible candidate for meet MVP, as she is the top seed in the long jump and triple jump while ranking second in the shot put behind Cook. Rebecca Rudisill (Highland Tech) advanced to the state meet in 4 individual events (both hurdle races, the 1600, and the 800), but will she compete in all four again this weekend? Teammates (but NOT sisters) Janieyah and Reneazia Collins of Monroe will look to control the sprints and hurdles; the former is top seed in the 300H and #2 in the 100 and 200 dashes, while the latter is #1 in the 100H and 400 and #2 in the 200.
Teams to Watch
Monroe would have to have a LOT go wrong to keep them from winning the title, but the battle for second could be intense. North Rowan and Hendersonville have championship experience, and they are the most likely candidates to take home the silver trophy. Mount Airy and North Stokes both have the talent to move up to the team podium, though, especially if one of them has a good day in the distance races.
Events to Watch
4x400m Relay: The top 5 seeds all ran in the 3:33 - 3:34 range last weekend, and that should make for a fantastic final race. Add in the fact that Science & Math, the fifth seed, could be racing to secure a team title over North Rowan (ninth seed), and this event might be the pinnacle of the day. There is a chance that Monroe could be running for a third relay win here, too, adding extra excitement to the proceedings.
200m Dash: (No clearly dominant sprinter in the classification) + (Six guys under 23 seconds) + (No prelims so legs are fresher) = Great action in the fast section of the 200. Ronald Ratliff (East Columbus) is the top seed, but with the East regional being hand-timed, there's not telling how this will shake out. Brandon Little (Monroe) has the top PR with his 22.17 mark, but he lost to Jaquil Capel (West Montgomery) last weekend. This could be as much about who takes care of their body during the long day (hydration, nutrition, and recovery from earlier races) as it is about ability.
1600m Run: At first this looks like the west will dominate, with 4 of the top 5 seeds having come from that region. Top seed Levy Floyd (Thomas Jefferson Classical) definitely got pushed hard in his regional by Dylan Johnson (Hayesville). On the other hand, Neegbeah Reeves (North Rowan, 4:35 PR) and Blake Hollister (Pamlico, 4:38 PR) had much more comfortable races in their regionals. And then you have to include the Science & Math boys, who did not have to work hard at all last weekend: Stephen Mulherin (4:21) and Levi Rolles (4:26) would be the top 2 seeds using season bests. When you throw all of them into the mix at their PR times, and add a little extra heat from the atmosphere at the state meet, this could develop into a great race. Look for the Science & Math boys to conserve their legs for the long grind of winning the title, and that means waiting to force the issue until late in the race, creating a better pack and a more exciting finish.
Shot Put/Discus: You won't find a more wide-open field than in the throws this weekend, where there are at least 8 guys with a legitimate chance to win at least one title. In the shot, Corey Craig (South Stanly) and Robert Overton (Red Springs) top a list that shows four guys in the 47-foot range, with two more lurking just behind in the 46's. In the discus, Alex Villanueva (Avery) has the advantage coming in, but there are four guys between 136' and 140'. Throwing uphill at A&T's discus facility can cause some weird results to happen, so literally anything is possible here. Also, the top 5 seeds in the shot put are completely different athletes than the top 5 in the discus!
High Jump: Although this event lacks star power, it will be interesting to watch due to the even nature of the competition. Two jumpers (Grant Rivers of Hendersonville and Tre King of Elkin) went 6' 2" last week, while six more cleared six feet even (three of them have PR's of 6' 2"). Rivers, though, has a PR of 6' 8", and should dominate if he is on. Behind him, it could be a madhouse as evenly-matched boys duke it out for silver and bronze.
Athletes to Watch
Johnny Oglesby (North Rowan) is the leading candidate for meet MVP, as he comes in as the #1 seed in both hurdles races and #2 seed in the long and triple jumps. If these were based on season bests, then there might be reason to doubt, but remember that he hit all those marks in one day last weekend! Clifford Horton (Pamlico) is the top seed in the long jump by 8 inches, a relatively long margin in this event; however, there is no telling what the quality of the runways at various regionals was, and so you can't count out the other competitors. Joktan Moore (Mount Airy) has come close to breaking the 22-foot barrier this season, and he is also the leading triple-jumper in the 1A ranks (and #6 in the state overall). Stephen Mulherin (Science & Math) has the ability to dominate in the 1600 and 3200, but his mission this weekend is to bring home maximum points; look for him to dial it back a little to leave some gas in the tank for the 800, which is his weakest event. Teammate Levi Rolles might get a win in the 1600 or 3200 as a result. Eric DeOliviera (Pamlico) and Matt Layne (West Wilkes) could stage an interesting duel in the pole vault, as both have cleared 14 feet this season.
Teams to Watch
The Monroe boys could be in the hunt to win three relays, but they will have to overachieve to enter what appears to be a two-team competition for the title. North Rowan is the defending champ and has the biggest star to bank on, but Science & Math has great depth in the distances and a crop of seniors that is determined to win as much as they can before heading out. If it were just about the distance runners grinding it out for the Unicorns, their claim would be shaky; however, hurdler RIchard Lu gives Science & Math another weapon, and one that helps to even out Oglesby's points.
Monroe girls win big (I know, not a bold prediction), while North Stokes sneaks into second
Science & Math boys win solidly over North Rowan, with Monroe third