NCHSAA 4A Outdoor Track Preview

North Mecklenburg's Sabrina Moore is one of many talented sprint contenders, and she is also a top long jumper.


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Girls Preview


Sabrina Moore (North Mecklenburg) led four girls that ran below 7.20 during the winter season, which could make for a very competitive 100 dash this spring.  Moore is the top returning 100 runner, with Jasmine Dawson (West Johnston) the only other sub-12 girl back from 2012.  Tyra Lea (Wakefield) ran the fastest 300 in North Carolina history, and now she prepares to focus on the 200, where she was the best in the state last spring.  She could pull Moore and Dawson with her, as both were under 24.5 outdoors.  Behind Lea this winter there were 9 4A girls that ran faster than 41 seconds (there were only 2 in all the rest of the classifications combined)!  Ebony Williams (Parkland) was of particular note, as her breakout time of 40.01 clearly shows.  Tiana Patillo (Wakefield) also broke an all-time NC record, running 1:13.87 in the 500, but she did not win the indoor title in that event.  That honor went to Layla White (Cary), who like Patillo ranks in the top 10 in the country in that event.  White had the fastest 400 time of any returning 4A girl, although Justice Briscoe (Mallard Creek) and Patillo also broke 57.  A total of 12 4A girls ran under 1:19 during indoor season to qualify for MileSplit US First-Team Elite status!  If possible, the 55 Hurdles were even more competitive, with Hunter Roberts (Southwest Guilford) leading three other girls that were within 0.03 seconds of her: Breanne Bygrave (Wakefield), Mollie Williams (Clayton), and Jacklyn Howell (Southeast Raleigh).  Williams was the only one from that group to run sub-14 last year; she came on strong at the end of the season to post a nationally-ranked 13.66.  Williams also ran under 44 in the 300 hurdles, but it was Tametris Morrison (Southeast Raleigh) that posted the top returning time in that event (43.13).



This winter did not produce nearly as many spectacular 1600 times as the 2012 season did; Maura McDonnell (Green Hope) led 4A with a 5:10, which would have ranked 9th last year.  One of the reasons for that was the absence of Darby Middlebrook (Watauga) due to injury; the last word I heard from her was that she had resumed running and was on track to resume competition in the spring.  Middlebrook ran 4:59.10 and 10:47.52 last spring, and we all hope she will be able to return to full form by the outdoor state meet.  Also missing from the winter season (although this is normal for them) were Megan Sullivan (Broughton), the top returner in the 800 and second in the 3200, and Sydney Foreman (Ardrey Kell), who led the 3200 rankings last spring.  Bianca Bishop (Providence), Kayla Montgomery (Mount Tabor), and Brooke Gordon (TC Roberson) all finished the winter season within a second of each other in the 3200, and Anna McBride (Davie) was not far behind them.  Jennie Cunningham (Pinecrest) defended her state title in the 1000, and might be looking to have an impact in the 1600 this spring.  Kaylie Loyd's 3:02.02 put the Southeast Raleigh junior on top of a pile of sub-3:10 1000 runners during the winter season.  Pegah Kamrani (East Chapel Hill) could be a factor in the 1600 and 3200 based on a strong close to the outdoor season and a great cross country season.  One other runner to keep you eye on: Rebekah Greengrass (Panther Creek) did not race this winter, but hopefully she is fully recovered from her summer injuries and on track to go sub-5 in the 1600 this spring.  


Field Events

Bre'Anna Warren (Western Guilford) threw 44' 6.75" during the winter season, which might have overshadowed the two 39-foot throwers in this classification, Brianna Heilsnis (Apex) and India McWhorter (Alexander Central).  Those three are also the top three returning discus throwers, with Warren nearly hiting 140 feet last spring.  Kristen Lee (Wakefield) has already vaulted higher in 2013 (12' 9") than she did in 2012 (12' 0"), and the same is true for Rayna Yvars (Green Hope) and her new 12' PR.  Three 4A girls have jumped 5' 6" in the past year: Gustell Preston (Mount Tabor) and Anisia Starege (TC Roberson) did it indoors, while Domoniee Douglas (Garner) got that mark last spring.  Add in Hannah Hensley (Pinecrest), whose best is 5' 8", and a fleet of 5' 5" and 5' 4" returners, and the high jump is shaping up to be very interesting.  Likewise, there are 6 girls in this classification who have jumped over 18 feet, but none of them is a clear favorite.  Sabrina Moore (North Mecklenburg) posted an 18' 7" mark this winter, with Shakinah Brooks (Southeast Raleigh) right behind her at 18' 5"; Tiffani Lewis (Millbrook) has the top returning mark from last spring, 18' 4.25".  Dejah Hayes (Western Guilford) is the top returner in the triple jump and the only one who has jumped 38 feet (she is also a long jump contender).  Hayes also had the leading jump during the winter season, but it was Tyra Lea (Wakefield) that won the indoor state title.


NCHSAA 4A Girls Winter 2013 Rankings


NCHSAA 4A Girls Returning Rankings From Spring 2013



Boys Preview


Jahmaal Daniel (Terry Sanford) turned heads by winning the outdoor state title in the 100 last spring, and he turned them again by running an explosive 6.35 for the 55 this winter.  5 other 4A guys ran under 6.47 indoors, which should make things interesting this season.  Daniel also showed improvement in the 300 during indoor track, and he is the top returner in the 200 from last spring.  Jakara King-Penn (Reagan) is the only other athlete to return with sub-10.7 and sub-22 times.  There were a stunning 13 4A boys that ran between 35 and 36 for the 300 indoors, with Phillip Bryant (Northwest Guilford) coming out on top by running 35.07.  That group includes Kwame Donyinah (Myers Park), who ran 47.27 in the 400; if he can break into the 46's this spring, he will be entering rare territory.  It also includes Xavier Jones (Ragsdale), the #2 returner in both the 200 and 400.  Three 4A boys ran under 1:05 in the 500 during this past winter season, a feat that had only been accomplished 7 times total in all the years before.  Marquavious Johnson (Knightdale) led that event with his 1:04.48, while Josiah Elliott (Parkland) and Barry Harris (Southeast Guilford) were close behind.  Elliott will likely focus on the 800 this spring, but all three should be able to post strong 400 times.  Track fans hope that Bryce Love (Wake Forest Rolesville) can return to his pre-high school form, which would make him a contender in all three sprints.  Caleb Mathis (Davie), who ran 15.10 last spring in the 110 Hurdles, showed tremendous improvement by running 7.57 to lead all 4A 55 Hurdlers this winter.  Erin Jenkins (Vance) is the top returner in both the 110 (14.30) and 300 (37.92), with the second being his better race.



Bakri Abushouk (Cary) led the indoor 4A rankings in all three distance races, with his 1600 (4:12.71) and 3200 (9:05.71) being particularly impressive.  Ariel Shores (Southeast Guilford) and Philip Hall (Terry Sanford) both ran 4:17, also extremely impressive indoors.  Hall also ran under 2:35 in the 1000, showing that he is still a factor in the 800 during the spring.  Wyatt Maxey (Providence) had a very strong cross country season, and then he followed it up with a 2:33 in the 1000 over the winter.  William Roberson (Broughton) was the only other North Carolina boy to run under 9:30 for 3200 this winter, and he is also the top returner in that event.  The wild-card this spring is Sam Miner (East Chapel Hill), who took the winter season off from competition; he ran 1:56, 4:18, and 9:35 last spring.  It will also be interesting to see how Josiah Elliott (Parkland) fits into the battle for the 800 state title this year.


Field Events

Jon Beyle (East Chapel Hill, below) just became the all-time North Carolina indoor record holder in the shot put, leading 8 50-plus throwers with his mark of 61' 10".  Beyle is also the top returner in the discus, where he threw 169' 10" last spring despite an injury that hampered his follow-through.  Chris Cubra (AC Reynolds) will contend in both throws, while Jalen Peterkin (Southern Durham) is a powerhouse in the shot put.  Of the three returning vaulters that cleared 13' 6" last spring, Phillip Thomas (Cary) had the best winter season, as he raised his PR to 14' 6" and led the 4A rankings.  Thomas Popek (Ragsdale) and Luke Ward (Mount Tabor) are right behind and nearly equal, and that means the title could go to any of them by the end of the season.  Jesse Freeman (Harnett Central) jumped 6' 6" in the high jump both last spring and this winter, but Jayshawn Joyner (Reagan) and Michael Abram (Knightdale) have the same PR.  With Caleb Conwell (Wakefield) at 6' 5" and 4 guys at 6' 4", this is still a wide-open field.  Malik Goldston (Riverside) joined the 23-foot club during the winter season, where Diondre Butler (Jack Britt), Trevon McClary (Jordan), and Aaron Tindall (Olympic) already live.  Kimani Hoffman (Knightdale) became the favorite in the triple jump with a breakthrough mark of 46' 6.5" indoors, which is better than any returning mark by almost a full foot.  



NCHSAA 4A Boys Winter 2013 Rankings


NCHSAA 4A Boys Returning Rankings From Spring 2013