NCRunners Elite Holiday Invitational Recap

For the second year in a row, the NCRunners Elite Holiday Invitational produced huge numbers of state- and nationally-ranked performances, thanks to participation by athletes from 5 states (and also thanks to excellent meet management, which kept the events rolling smoothly all day).  Spectators got a special treat this year, witnessing what was nearly a national high school record in the emergence of a new national star.




  • Raven Saunders (Burke HS, SC) unleased a 53' 8.25" throw in the prelims, which catapulted her all the way to the #3 individual on the indoor national all-time rankings for the shot put (the throw itself is the #4 performance all-time).  She had several more throws in the 50's, although a few of them were out of the sector, and she fouled a throw that looked like it might challenge the indoor national record of 54' 9.5".  It was stunning to watch, especially in light of these two facts: her previous PR was 42' 5", and the second-best throw in the country this year is 44' 5"!

  • Trentavis Friday (Cherryville) made his indoor debut, and it was a big one: the star senior sprinter tied the all-time North Carolina record for the 60 Dash by running 6.70, defeating Jahmaal Daniel (Terry Sanford) in the first of what will probably be many showdowns this year.  Daniel's 6.81 ranks him NC #12 all-time, and the two are US #1 and #2 this young season.

  • Just when Blake Dodge (West Carteret) was ready to take command late in the girls Invitational Mile, it was Malia Ellington (Community School of Davidson) that make the power move, going to the front and never looking back.  Ellington clocked 4:59.79, the equivalent of a 4:58.05 for 1600, which ranks her 7th all-time in North Carolina.  Dodge finished in 5:02.41, making the two competitors US #1 and #2 so far this winter.  Ellington also won the 1000 earlier in the day, with her time of 2:59.43 earning her the #3 spot in the national rankings and #6 in state history.

  • Sophomore and budding star Charminique Hackney (Cary) upset the top returning sprinter in the state, Ama-Selina Tchume (Wakefield), in the Invitational 60 Dash.  Hackney's time of 7.70 is good for US #4 this year and NC #11 all-time.  Tchume was a heartbeat behind at 7.73, which is US #7 and NC #17 all-time.

  • Jacklyn Howell (Southeast Raleigh) dominated in the Invitational 60 Hurdles, running 8.68 to earn a US #1 ranking (and she is also NC #8 all-time in the event now).  How fast was the field?  Every single athlete from this race is currently ranked in the top 11 nationally!

  • Layla White (Cary) redeemed herself after finishing second here last year, clocking 57.29 to hold off Tamani Wilson (Maclay School, FL).  Their times place them at US #2 and #3, while Tatiyana Caffey (Miller Grove, GA) ran 58.06 out of the "slower" section to take US #4.

  • Marquavious Johnson (Knightdale) led wire to wire in the boys Invitational 500, running a US #2 49.17 to defeat cross-county rival Jamaree Murray (Southeast Raleigh).  Murray ran 49.45, good for US #3 and NC #14 all-time, while Saadiq Sweezer (Eastern Alamance) continued his strong season by clocking a US #4 49.82.

  • Isaiah Moore (Cummings) was just a little off of his best marks all day, but still brought home 3 wins - the 55 Hurdles, the Long Jump, and the Invitational 60 Hurdles.  In the last race the national leader was pushed by Emmanuel Jackson (Sanderson), who is now US #2 with his 8.26, and Drew Barker (TC Roberson), whose 8.28 puts him at US #3.

  • Alycia Springs (Mallard Creek) threw 43' 1" in the shot put, which is US #6 and NC #7 all-time.

  • Parkland's girls went straight to the front of the 4x400 and never gave up the lead, posting a US #1 time of 3:57.59.

  • Knightdale closed out a strong meet by posting a US #1 time of 3:22.22 in the 4x400, holding off Southeast Raleigh in the process.  The Bulldogs clocked 3:22.88, which is good for US #2 and moves them up to NC #6 all-time.  In the same race, Northeast Guilford's time of 3:26.88 ranks them US #5.


Girls MileSplit Elite Gold & Silver Performances

Boys MileSplit Elite Gold & Silver Performances