Highly anticipated attempts at difficult multi-event wins will highlight the NCHSAA 1A/2A meet to close out 2020 indoor state championship action on Saturday evening.
Spectators may potentially witness rarely seen feats in track and field, including sweeps of the three distance events and the long and triple jump in both the girls and boys competitions.
Featuring many head-to-head competitions with some of the top ranked athletes in North Carolina, the meet should produce entertaining races and stellar times.
Alyssa Thompson Rowe (Lexington) will attempt to pull off the tough 55m dash/55m hurdles double in winning fashion. Rowe enters as the defending 55m hurdles champion and owns the NC #2 time of 8.03 this year, but will have to hold off Kendall Jordan (Cummings), last year's runner-up and the fourth fastest short hurdler in the state this season.
The boys 55m dash field features Cameron Attucks (Atkins), who owns the NC #9 time in the longer 300m sprint race. Attucks will have to hold off Hakeem Coley (Goldsboro), Jaylen Horry (Research Triangle), and Chandler Wood (Murphy), all of whom hold seed times of 6.54.
The hurdles competition showcases a tight race between Aazon Timmons (Cummings, Hugh M.) and star long and triple jumper Savion Thompson (Reidsville). Timmons owns the top seed, but Thompson's strengths as a stellar jumper could help him come away with the win in the technical event.
The boys 300m could turn into one of the closest races of the day. The top three seeds-Cameron Attucks (Atkins), Jenoah Mckiver (T.W. Andrews) and Josh Hardin (Ashe County)-enter the race with season bests just north of 35 seconds, so the placement of the three on the medal stand could come down to the wire.
Jordan will look to earn the 300m win in the girls competition, but will have to race hard after competing in the 55m hurdles, long jump and triple jump earlier into the meet.
Allysia Farrar (Cummings) is the defending champion in the girls 55m Dash and 300m. She comes in as the top seed at 7.04 in the 55m Dash and will battle against Thompson Rowe and Kayla Smith in what should be a fast final. She and teammate Kendall Jordan will battle it out late in the meet for the 300m title, which should be an exciting race.
Mckiver may not enter the 300m as the favorite, but he holds the top seed in the 500m with an NC #5 time of 1:05.7. Victoria Swepson (Research Triangle) looks like the favorite to win the event on the girls side, but with her signature race-the 1000m-immediately after the 500m, it will be interesting to see which event she focuses on. Swepson has won the last two indoor 1000m races in 1A/2A.
Currently holding NC #3 and NC#4 times in the 3,200m and 1,600m, Allen looks poised to gap the field in the respective events. Margaret Ann Healy (Durham School of the Arts) could potentially challenge Allen in the 1,600m if she can dip under 5:10, and Sofia Wong (NC School of Science and Math) could also fight for the top medal spot in the 3,200m.
But to pull off the elusive distance triple, Allen will have to surpass Highland Tech's Lauren Tolbert and Swepson in the 1,000m. Both Tolbert and Swepson hold season bests under three minutes, so Allen will have to have a strong rebound from the 1,600m to put herself in contention for the 1,000m individual title.
Thomson will look to garner a title in the 1,000m and possibly improve upon his state-leading time of 2:29.91 in the event. He also enters the 1,600m with a seed time of 4:16.49, nearly 10 seconds ahead of the next fastest entered competitor, Tyler Sylvia (First Flight). Thomson may run away with the win and defend his title from last year, but it could be a tight battle between Sylvia, Elliott Kleckner (Croatan), and Daniel Hopkins (Lincolnton) for positioning on the medal stand-the three all enter the meet with times within a second and a half of each other.
In the 3,200m, Thomson will have to compete in a tight battle with last year's event runner-up Ben Armentrout (Atkins)-just three seconds separate their season best times in the event. The final individual race of the meet could come down to the wire and determine whether or not Thomson comes away with the distance sweep. We'll see how hard Thomson is pushed in the earlier distance races, but Armentrout with just a 4x800m under his legs will be tough to beat.
In what should be a very entertaining jumps competition, Jordan and Thompson will both look to sweep the long and triple jump. Jordan owns NC #4 and NC #2 marks in the long and triple jump, and Thompson also sits near the top of the state rankings with his NC #3 jump of 22-10.5 in the long jump and NC #2 triple jump performance of 45-8.
But Wonderful Banks (Northeastern) won't make it easy for Thompson-this season, he owns the fourth best long jump mark and the sixth best triple jump performance in North Carolina. As the second seed, Banks could pull off the narrow upset.
The high jump competition will also feature Banks, as well as the second-leading high jumper in the state-Banks' teammate Jordan Jones (Northeastern). Jones enters the event seeded first, but the competition should prove to be strong between the two Northeastern stars. In the girls field, freshman Lydia Sillies (First Flight) stands out as the favorite, but Hannah Angel (Franklin) and Kathlyn Mauck (Mount Airy) could spoil Sillies' push for her first state title at her first ever state championship meet.
In the pole vault, state leader Sarah Brown (Surry Central) enters the girls competition as the only vaulter with a mark over 12 feet, making her the heavy favorite to win the event. On the boys side, Walker Malachowski (Mount Central) will look to follow up his fourth place finish at last year's state meet with a win this year.
Both the girls and boys shot put feature competitions between two athletes ranked in the NC Top 10. Top seed Teteateh Snoh (Durham School of the Arts) currently holds the NC #3 throw of 41-10, but Katie Horne (Anson) will try to reach the 40 foot mark to challenge Snoh for the girls title. Similarly on the boys side, Jake Soorus (North Lincoln) holds a seasons best of 57-6.5 that puts him significantly ahead of the rest of the field, but Matthew Swepson (Research Triangle) could pull off the upset win by improving upon his NC #8 mark of 53-8.
Spectators should be treated to tight relay races on both the boys and girls sides of the competition.
It'll be a battle between Lexington and Cummings, Hugh M. in the girls sprint relays. Cummings holds the top seed in the 4x200m, while Lexington sits at the top in the 4x400m. Lexington will depend on star short sprinter and hurdler Rowe to pull off the upset in the 4x200.
In the boys 4x200m relay, Goldsboro and Mountain Island Charter School come in as the favorites to battle for first and second place. It's a similar two-man race in the 4x400, as both Croatan and T.W. Andrews will look to dip under 3:30 to win the last event of the meet.
And North Lincoln could travel home with both a boys and girls title in the 4x800. Allen will look to lead her squad to gold in the girls 4x800m, rounding out a team seeded 10 seconds ahead of the next fastest team. The boys relay will have overcome strong pushes from First Flight, Lejeune and Atkins to come away with the win.