This young lady has the best returning time in five running events, but she can only run four at the state meet.
The NCHSAA's newest state meet will open the door to a whole new batch of contenders, all wanting to bring home the first championship ever in each event. Let's take a look at some of the candidates in each category of events:
Folks in the 1A classification won't be surprised to see Reneazia Collins (Monroe) on the podium this winter; she has been winning at that level for years, and can compete with just about anyone from any size school. Still, this is somewhat ridiculous: Reneazia leads all returners in every event from 500 down! Could she win four running events at the state meet? Well, that may be determined by her challengers. In the 55 Dash, Jessica Morris (Granville Central) and Sloan Williams (Winston-Salem Prep) are close enough to beat her on any given day. Jaleesa Smoot (Salisbury) didn't break 1:20 in the 500 last winter, but she did run 55.75 for 400 meters during outdoor season. Collins looks dominant in the 55 Hurdles and the 300, though, unless someone like Shakai Ward (Elkin), who did not run indoor last winter, steps up in the longer sprint.
Mah'Nyiah Iglesia (Currituck) has the best returning indoor mark in the shot put, 34' 5.5". There are several girls who threw much futher outdoors, however, and if any of them compete this winter each would have a great chance at the title: Alex Cooke (North Surry) and Samantha Welborn (Starmount) are perfect examples, having thrown 39 and 38, respectively. Meghen Breeden (West Wilkes) is the top vaulter back from last winter, and she improved to 10 feet in the spring. Danielle Brown (Franklin) vaulted during the winter for the first time last year, but couldn't quite get it going until the outdoor season, when she cleared 11 feet. Ashley Parker (Draugn) is the top returning high jumper that has indoor experience, though there are several girls that are her equal that only competed in the spring last year; Franklinton's Tasia Lynch and Starmount's Hunter Welborn have both cleared 5' 6". Parker has also posted a 36' 4.5" triple jump, with Julice Crowder (Monroe) right behind with her 35' 4.75" mark. If Tainasha Vines (Bunn) somes out during the winter, she could also win the triple - she has a wind-aided PR of 38' 6. If that happens, Vines and Crowder might also wind up dueling in the long jump, as both are mid-17 jumpers.
Callie Wynn (West Davidson) had the best time among returning 3200 runners, 11:15. Wynn was edged out in the 1600 by Hana Ratcliffe (Durham School of the Arts), who also ran 3:08 in the 1000 to go with her 5:28. Those two should have some serious battles throughout this indoor season, and the prospect of adding a third top-flight runner makes fans of distance running very excited. That third runner is Malia Ellington (Community School of Davidson), who did not compete last winter, but who has PR's of 4:56 and 10:46 that would make her the favorite for at least two state titles (she also has a best of 2:15 in the 800). Wynn, Ellington, and Ratcliffe all ran similar times during the fall season that just concluded, as well. You can't overlook veteran runners like Carly Kreber (Bishop McGuinness) and Kirsten Parries (Mount Airy), either. It would be interesting to see if Brittany Stanley's huge improvement throughout her first cross country season will carry over onto the track, although the Mount Pleasant sophomore did not run indoors last winter.
<p style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://nc.milesplit.com/calendar/2014/indoor/noduals/all" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="http://cache.milesplit.com/user_files/36369/94467/2014_calendar_banner.jpg" /></a></p>