Morgan Smalls (Panther Creek) is the defending champion in the event, and placed third at New Balance Outdoor Nationals last year. Her 6-foot mark from Mideast regionals leads 4A, and she will be the athlete to beat on Saturday. Addie Renner (Myers Park) has the next highest mark, and Teonni Key (Cary) and Saniya Rivers (Laney) have marks of 5-6 to their names. Eve English (Olympic), Jade Houston (Rolesville) and Laikyn Berry (Independence) all posted solid marks at regionals to earn some credibility for a podium finish.
Morgan Smalls again leads the field in the long jump, although by a slimmer margin. Jirah Sidberry (Rocky River) notched the best jump at regionals, and is the only other athlete to go further than 19 feet this season. Imunique Archie (North Mecklenburg) and Maya Michele Pighet (Olympic) were over 18 feet at regionals, with Kennedy Stanton (Hough) not far behind. Veronique Woodson (Hoke County), Myana Smalls (Apex) and Sydney Deberry (Page) have all cleared 18 this season and will be part of the group trying to be the first NC girl to beat Morgan Smalls this season.
Morgan Smalls will be after the jump trifecta after jumping a 4A best 40-2 at regionals. Daryn Armstrong (Panther Creek) jumped the second best 4A mark to finish second at 39-4, and Jirah Sidberry placed third. Sidberry's season best mark also ranks third in the state at 39-2.5 from Southwestern 4A Conference. Na'Zyia Evans (Olympic) is the only other jumped to go further than 38 feet this season, almost matching her 38-4.75 at regionals. Jordan Gary (Southeast Raleigh) and Djamila Peterson (Pine Forest) round out the group of 37-plus jumpers with marks of 37-6 that should put them in the mix.
Lindsay Absher (West Forsyth) cleared a 4A-best 13-3 to win the Midwest regional, and has more than a foot over her nearest competitor in the rankings. Susannah Truitt (Panther Creek) and Lucy Dowdle (Apex Friendship) went 1-2 in the Mideast and both have top five marks this year, with Truitt having the second best 4A mark of 12-0. Leesville road teammates Mckenna Brunick and Elise Hall are joined by Skyela Amsberry (West Forsyth) as the other athletes who cleared 11-0 or higher at regionals and should be in the mix this weekend.
Veronica Fraley (Wakefield) is US #2 in the discus, and has thrown nearly 30 feet further than anyone else in 4A. In fact, only one guy in 4A has thrown farther, and even then it was by less than a foot. Behind her is Kaitlin Mcgoogan (Ragsdale), who herself has a 27 foot advantage over the next nearest competitor. Behind them are Alyssa Farmer (Mallard Creek), Sierra St. John (Butler) and Alyssa Sohn (Leesville Road) who all looked good at regionals and will try to snag a medal spot.
Cara King (Apex) and Gracie Chagula (West Forsyth) both enter the state meet with season best tosses within five inches of each other. King holds the edge after her 4A best 36-6 at regionals. Chagula opened her season with a 36-1 however, showing that it should take a 30 foot or farther heave to win this event.
Fraley is US #11 at the shot put and will again be a heavy favorite in the event. Destiny Griffin (West Forsyth), Sydney Hunter (Mallard Creek), Jasmine Jenkins (Leesville Road) and Kaitlin Mcgoogan are a tight pack that established themselves against the rest of the field at regionals, and all have strong chances at the remaining podium spots.
Wheelchair Shot Put
Cara King (Apex) and Gracie Chagula (West Forsyth) will go head-to-head in the discus throw as the seniors vie for the top spot. King holds the furthest toss from regionals with her 14-2, and also holds the top mark overall this year. Chagula has thrown 16-4.75 earlier this season though, and will look to improve upon her regional mark.