Maya Evans couldn't quite hold off Layla White in the 500, but the race carried both of them to the top of the US rankings.
Not surprisingly, Knightdale and Southeast Raleigh waged two major battles to open and close the meet; the Knights won both the 4x800 and the 4x400 by narrow margins, just off the state leaders in both events. In between those events there were many great individual performances on the blue-and-black 200m oval. Jahmaal Daniel (Terry Sanford, below), the 4A 100m champ last spring, made a strong indoor debut by winning the 55 dash in 6.43, which ties him for US #1 right now. Xavier Jones (Ragsdale) won the 300 for the second weekend in a row, but fell just short of his US #9 mark. Philip Hall (Terry Sanford) took over the state lead in the 1000 in his first meet of the season, earning a US #12 position for his effort (he also ran 4:25.03 for the 1600). Bakri Abushouk (Cary), already the national leader at the mile, added a US #10 9:27.75 in the 3200 to his resume. Unfortunately, there were no state-leading or US top-15 performances in the boys' field events, except for one: Jordan Warren (Hickory Ridge) became the first North Carolina male to jump farther than 45 feet in the triple jump this winter--and his mark of 45' 11.5" nearly got him past 46, as well. In the boys' shot put, the implements used (which were provided for the athletes) were not the legal weight for high school competition, and so those marks will not be counted.
The day began with the Oakton (VA) 4x800 running rampant on the field of North Carolina teams, running 9:56.41 to win by over 20 seconds. The rest of the day would favor the Tar Heel State, however, starting with the 55 Hurdles. Hunter Roberts (Southwest Guilford) dropped a US #7 8.20, narrowly holding off Mollie Williams of Clayton (8.23 for US #8). Shortly after, a clearly healthy Jasmine Dawson (West Johnston) became the third girl from North Carolina to enter the national top 10, running 7.19 for the 55 Dash. But it was Layla White (Cary) that really owned the day for the girls, winning the 500 in a national-leading time of 1:15.42 and then following that with a second win in the 300 (40.82). She had to work for both of the gold medals, though, as Maya Evans (Fike) ran 1:15.73 in the 500, second in the nation, and Dawson turned in a 40.94 in the 300. Jennie Cunningham (Pinecrest) took over the top spot in the indoor 1000 state rankings, running 3:05.40. Then, in the second-to-last race of the day, sisters Wesley and Ryen Frazier (Ravenscroft, below) took over the 3200, running 10:26.63 (US #2) and 10:34.05 (US #4). In the same race, Eliza Dekker (Durham Academy) saw her first action since some time off with an injury. She still has it, running 11:10.04 and giving the athletes in this race the top 3 spots in the state rankings. The field events also provided some great moments and top rankings, both statewide and nationally. Margaret Edwards (Ravenscroft) joined the logjam at the top of the NC high jump rankings, becoming the sixth girl to clear 5' 4" so far this winter. Kristen Lee (Wakefield) controlled the other vertical jump, soaring to a 12' 6" height and a tie for 5th in the country. Finally, the girls' long and triple jump produced good results in a venue that doesn't usually. Sabrina Moore (North Mecklenburg) moved to second in the state and 14th in the nation with her 17' 10" mark, while four North Carolina girls got past the 37-foot mark in the triple. Teshlynn Smith (South Granville) came out on top with a jump of 37' 6", with Dejah Hayes (Western Guilford), Kelsey Perry (Jordan), and Tyra Lea (Wakefield) all within 6 inches of her.