NCHSAA 4A Girls State Championship Preview


We'll have exciting battles on the track between freshman Shawnti Jackson (Wakefield) and senior Jonah Ross (Garner).  Jackson has come in faster than expected with a 6.93 season best in the 55m Dash along with some of the nations top 60m Dash marks this season.  Ross is the defending champ in the 55m and has run 7.04 this season.  Jahzara Hart (Southeast Raleigh) has run 7.07 this season and will be looking to dip under 7 in what should be a fast final heat.  6.87 is the current state meet record by Gabby Mayo.

The 300m should be just as good, if not better.  Both Jackson and Ross ran 38.02 in the 300m at the VA Showcase this season.  They sit at NC#2 All-Time behind Kayla Davis and current state meet record holder Tamara Clark who ran 37.81 here in 2017.  Hart and Amari Taylor (Pine Forest) have broken 40 seconds as well this indoor season.

Ella Mainwaring Foster (Providence) is the defending indoor champ in the 500m, but her 1:18.45 ranks 4th in 4A this year.  Freshman Akala Garrett (Harding University) and sophomore Sanu Jallow (Berry) have run 1:15.50 and 1:16.60 this season as the top 2 seeds.  Garrett has great range from an 8.03 55m Hurdle to a 3:11 1000m.  Her best event is likely the 300m Hurdles outdoors, but she's proven to be a star across the board.  Jallow similarly has great range and edged Garrett, Foster and #3 seed Beasley Gordon (Myers Park) at Mondo Elite in the 400m.  It'll take a season best to come out with a state title in this one.

Garrett's also the top seed in the 55m Hurdles.  She's run 8.03, but will face off with outdoor 100m Hurdle champ Taylor McKinnon and the outdoor 300m Hurdle champ Lindsay Cooper who have run 8.15 and 8.20 respectively.  


The distance events aren't as deep on the girls side as they usually are in 4A this indoor season.  We saw Wilmington with a ton of good girls in cross country, but they don't have indoor track making the fields a little smaller than previous years.  

Despite that, you still have stars in all events as Carmen Alder (Pinecrest) will look for the 1600m, 3200m double.  Alder holds state leading marks in both events at 4:56.91 and 10:30.  She'll look to younger sister in freshman Vanessa Alder to attempt to go 1-2 in both events.  Vanessa is the second seed in the 1600m and third seed in the 3200m at 5:09 and 11:26.  

Carmen could challenge the state meet records in both events of 4:57.81 by Nevada Mareno and 10:31.57 from Sara Platek.

Gwen Parks (Reagan) will be the favorite in the 1000m as she seeks her first individual state title.  Parks has run 2:57 this year in the 1000m, 5 seconds faster than nearest competition Lorien Bathgate (Grimsley).  She'll be doubling back from the 1600m, but it would be a upset if she were to lose in her signature event.


The 4x800m should be a tight race between the top 3 seed in Berry, Pinecrest and West Forsyth.  Berry holds the top mark of 9:53, but all three squads should have a big improvement on their seasons best tomorrow.  West Forsyth and Pinecrest have the best 4A distance squads indoors.  West Forsyth have sub-5:20 milers Eliza Broce and Bailey Reutinger while Pinecrest has the Alder sister.  Sanu Jallow will likely be on the anchor leg for Berry and holds a 2:16 800m PR.  So we could see a very exciting anchor leg between Jallow and Alder fighting for the state title.

Despite losing some key seniors from last years squad, Southeast Raleigh come in as the favorites in the 4x200m at 1:42.40.  Four other teams have run 1:44 this season with their biggest competition coming from Mallard Creek.  Mallard Creek will add Kaylyn Brown onto that team who has run 24.08 for the outdoor 200m and 53.14 for the 400m.  

Mallard Creek will battle with Harding in the 4x400m.  The Charlotte schools will kick off what should be a four year rivalry in the sprint relays this weekend as both have a lot of young talent on their roster.  Mallard Creek has run 4:03 and Harding 4:05.  Anchor leg should come down to two freshman stars in Kaylyn Brown of Mallard Creek and Akala Garrett of Harding.  Myers Park have run 4:08 and should be in the mix with Beasley Gordon on the anchor leg.


The Shot Put should be one of the best and one of the most competitive events of the meet.  The states top two throwers Sydney Freeman (Millbrook) and Autumn Judd (Southeast Raleigh) will square off.  The two Wake County juniors have thrown 42-5 and 42-4 respectively this indoor season.  This is going to be a rivalry we see many times over the next two years.  Judd finished as runner-up indoors last year while Freeman took 4th.  But both will look to earn their first individual state title tomorrow.

Obviously the star of the field events and the meet is Morgan Smalls (Panther Creek) and no one is really in the same realm as her this year in the High Jump, Long Jump or Triple Jump.  Smalls is the national leader in the High Jump and Triple Jump at 6-0 and 42-10 as well as US#2 in the Long Jump at 20-2.5.  She holds the state record in both the High and Triple Jump and is #2 All-Time in the Long Jump.  Smalls also holds the overall NCHSAA State Meet Records in all three events with marks of 6-1, 19-11.25 and 41-9.75.  She's a clear favorite to repeat as NCHSAA Meet MVP.

Amber Jackson (Ardrey Kell) is a little overshadowed by Smalls, but would be one of the meets stars otherwise.  Jackson holds seasons best of 5-8 in the High Jump and 37-10.5 in the Triple Jump where she is the second seed in both events.  Cheyla Scott (Butler) is just a freshman who has cleared 5-8 this indoor season.  Scott jumped 5-11.25 in middle school, so has the potential to challenge Smalls if something goes wrong in the High Jump.  

The Pole Vault will be a tight competition between three Wake County athletes each seeking their first state title.  Susannah Truitt (Panther Creek), McKenna Brunick (Leesville) and Maddie Davies (Athens Drive) have jumped 11-8, 11-11.25 and 11-6 respectively this season.  Kayla Gifford (Green Hope) and Skyela Amsberry (West Forsyth) have both cleared 11-0 as well.