North Carolina Athletes Put On A Show At The VA Showcase

The VA Showcase has rightfully earned the reputation of the meet of records; from national to state to school, the record books across the state and country will never be the same.

In the highlight of the weekend at Virginia Beach, South Granville senior Shawnti Jackson set a new high school national record in the 300m, clocking 36.64, and blowing away the field. This was Jackson's second career high school national record. She set the indoor 60m high school national record of 7.18 from The 2022 Millrose Games. The 300m was Jackson's second race of the weekend, as she just missed the North Carolina state record in the 500m on Friday evening. In the 500m, Jackson placed second to 800m superstar (2:00.65) Sophia Gorriaran out of Rhode Island. Jackson held strong for a runner-up finish, and is now only .04 seconds behind Kayla Davis' 1:11.90 state record.

In the hurdles, Akala Garrett (Albemarle) continues her quest of capturing the state hurdle records and cementing herself as the best in state history. She is currently NC No. 2 all-time in the 55mH/60mH, 100mH, and 300mH, sitting only two-tenths of a second, at most, in any event behind triple state record holder, NCAA Champion with USC, and Providence Day School alumna Anna Cockrell

Garrett took the win Friday in the 60mH, improving on her already NC No. 2 all-time mark, this time running 8.28. Now the Texas signee is only .10 off the state record of 8.18. With the state meet, nationals, and a few other invitationals on the radar for Garrett, eyes are set on the superstar hurdler. 

In the longer distance races, the Cuthbertson quartet of Justine Preisano, Alyssa Preisano, Stella Kermes, and Charlotte Bell set the standard for the 4x800m in North Carolina once again. In an impressive run all around, the ladies broke 9:00 again and ran a state record and US No. 7 indoors all-time 8:57.98, and took home the win in the process. It took huge performances across the board for the Cavaliers to get the job done: Justine - 2:15, Kermes 2:16, Bell - 2:13, Alyssa - 2:12. 

That one relay only set the tone for the weekend for the defending indoor and outdoor boys and girls NCHSAA 4A state champions.

Isabelle Liu took 4th overall in the triple jump, soaring to a new current NC No. 1 and US No. 32 mark of 38-5. It was a huge breakthrough for Liu, who had been eyeing that 38' mark for a long time. 

Kermes, A. Preisano, and Bell all placed top 14 in the invitational mile as well. 

For the Cavalier boys, they ran NC No. 4 all-time 3:20.98 in the 4x400m. Anchored home with a Killian Fahy come-from-behind win, the boys set the bar for what could very well be the deciding event for the team title at the 2023 NCHSAA Indoor State Championship. Alongside Fahy were Lawson Windsor, Keenan Jackson, and fellow UNC-signee Reece Morgan.

Morgan was 12th in the 300m, while Fahy also placed 8th in the 500m.

Fahy and Morgan were a part of what was a loaded performance for North Carolina athletes in those two events. 

Christian Parker (Southwest Guilford) was 2nd in the 500m and 3rd in the 300m invitational races. It wasn't just a high finish for Parker. He also secured the NC No. 1 times on the season in both events. He clocked 34.01 over 300m, and 1:03.80 over 500m. His 34.01 is NC No. 6 all-time and his 1:03.80 is NC No. 5 all-time!

In fact, the top three times in North Carolina on the season came from the VA Showcase, with Butler's Josiah Wrice (34.17) and Millbrook's Max DeAngelo (34.36) sitting 2nd and 3rd respectively. In the 500m, Jordan Good (Western Guilford) took 3rd place right behind Parker, and now sits NC No. 2 (1:04.16) on the season. 

Also in the girls one mile run, Kasey Dingman (Lake Norman) ran 5:07.53, which is good for NC Freshman Indoors No. 7 all-time and US Freshman No. 3 on the season. 

Speaking of the Dingman's, older sibling Logan Dingman placed 7th in the 1,000m run, clocking a NC No. 1 2:30.25.

Keeping in the distance, Cary's Marco Evans ran 4:20.11 for the 1 mile run and his teammate Luke Liming went 9:14 in the 2 mile run. Athens Drive's Noah Valyo clocked 9:12.26 in the 3,200m.

The Invitational 2 Mile is where North Carolina really shined. Mary Bonner Dalton (Myers Park) ran a hard fought race, and finished runner-up to Leah Stephens 10:23.53 to 10:23.88. Dalton now sits NC No. 1 on the season in the event. Her time is just off her 10:21.54 personal best from the 2022 NSAF Indoor Nationals. 

Ryann Aycock (Cary Christian) was 6th in the 2 mile, running 10:42.96. Alyssa Preisano was 8th (10:47.40), Kermes was 9th (10:49.55), Bell was 13th (10:59.42) and Joiner Evans (Mount Tabor) was 18th (11:20.22).