Southeast Raleigh Win 4x100m National Title From Lane 8!

Southeast Raleigh pulled a massive upset on the field Sunday to win the 4x100m Relay National Championship in 45.79!  The Bulldogs would run out of lane 8 blind of where their competition was at.

Their journey would begin on Saturday.  Southeast Raleigh were NCHSAA 4A State Champions with a 46.11, but were adding star hurdler Sierra Fletcher back to the squad after suffering an injury at indoor nationals.

First up was the 4x200m relay to succeed 4x100m Prelims later that evening.  It was only finals and Southeast Raleigh would wound up placing 7th in their heat and 13th overall in 1:39.71.  Certainly not what they were hoping for, but they were set to bounce back in the 4x100m later that day.

Southeast Raleigh would run in heat 3 of the prelims and anchor Kyna Robinson would hold off Union Catholic (NJ) down the homestretch in 46.88.  

Eight finals qualifiers would advance on time, and their 46.88 would hold up for 7th in the prelims, .11 seconds ahead of South Dade Express (FL) who would finish 9th and outside of the final.

Southeast Raleigh would be assigned lane 8 after circle seeding teams based off their prelim marks.  Spartans TC would be the top seed with a 46.21 mark followed by Hillcrest at 46.28.  

The Bulldogs would run the order of Fletcher, freshman Jahzara Hart, Ani Judd and Robinson in the finals. 

Fletcher would get them off to a hot start off the turn with a smooth handoff to Hart.  Hart would roll down the backstretch putting them into the lead as she'd hand off to Judd.  Judd would extend the lead on the curve blind of her competition and hand off to Robinson to bring it all home. 

Robinson, more known for her 400m and 500m marks would get the stick out front.  Tates Creek TC (KY) in lane 4 were not far behind going into the final leg.  Robinson would hold off the field and mainly Lakota East (OH), who had a massive anchor leg in lane 2, but .01 seconds!  Southeast Raleigh would clock 45.79 as Lakota East were just behind at 45.80!

It was a shock when the announcer called "Bulldog Elite" out as the champions as they crossed the line.  There seemed to be so many factors going against Southeast Raleigh heading into the final, but the Bulldogs would prevail.

The mark sets a new Southeast Raleigh school record and comes up just short of the North Carolina State Record set by High Point Central in 2017 of 45.77.  

The team had gone through a lot this season.  Fletcher was injured at indoor nationals so the team could not compete in the relays there.  Robinson would miss the indoor state meet and wasn't attempt to defend her individual 300m and 500m state titles.  She would also false start the 400m at the Outdoor State Meet as Hart would false start the 100m taking them out of contention for a team title.

The season may have not went how they planned from start to finish, but a national title is a pretty sweet ending to a rough outdoor season.

Robinson will run at USC next year and Fletcher at Ohio State.  Hart will return as a sophomore with Judd as a senior for the 2020 season.

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