Will Wind Allow For Legal Marks at Clash of the Carolina's?

Will The Wind Allow For Legal Marks at the Clash of the Carolina's?

The 2022 Clash of the Carolina's showcased some of the elite speed the Carolina's have to offer. However, the crazy breeze flying through the stadium made the times a tad bit inflated. However, the speed is 100% there again in 2023. The winning time in the 100m dash in 2022 had a wind reading of +5.7. The legal limit is +2.0. Friday's weather in Waxhaw will bring some scattered showers, but the temperature is staying above chilly grounds. The high for Saturday is 61 degrees. It is worth noting, the current wind is around 15 MPH. Although the rain may pass as we head into Friday evening, the wind may be sticking around for its' favorite event of the season. 

Antwan Hughes Jr. (Parkland) may be the big name representing #TeamNC in the 100m dash, but he will have to be on his "A-game" if he wants to be the best in the Carolina's. After winning the 55m indoor state title in state record tying fashion, all the eyes will be on Hughes Jr. In state rival and former state champion, Armonte Ferguson (Charlotte Christian) is racing for only the sixth time since his outdoor conference championship last spring. We cannot ignore the hometown hero and current NC No. 1 Reece Morgan. The Cuthbertson standout clocked NC No. 6 all-time in the 100m at the Cuthbertson Home Opener. In fact, Morgan and Hughes Jr. are the only two non-seniors to make the 100m dash final at the 2022 Clash of the Carolina's.

Nigel Ancrum (Spring Valley, SC) is looking to play spoiler to the #TeamNC party. At the AAU Junior Olympics this summer, he won the national title in the 17-18 age division 100m dash. On top of that, he won the adidas Outdoor national title in the 100m. On top of that, he is a multi-time state champion in South Carolina in the AAAAA classification.

There are 15 heats of the boys 100m dash, and 13 of them feature an athlete who has gone under 11.00, including: Sincere Moss (Ashbrook), Caleb Timmons (Dreher, SC), Chris Providence (Olympic), Calen McKinney (Porter Ridge), Denzel Foster (Dudley), Micah Walker (Parkland), Jeremiah Hailstock (Nation Ford, SC), Brendan Henby (West Henderson), and Rory Baker (Dudley). 

The 100m hurdles for the girls will have some familiar faces. Defending Clash of the Carolina's 300mH winner, Brianna Rodriguez, is back in 2023. And this time, she is going after the 100mH and 300mH. She is the defending SCHSL AAAA state champion in the 200m, 100mH, and 400mH events. She most recently placed 15th in the semifinals of the championship 60mH at Nike Indoor. She also took 13th in the open 400m at Nike. Now a senior, the University of Central Florida commit wants to show the southeast, and the country, she is one of the elites.

Similarly, the boys' top hurdler has a lot to prove as well. Xavier Branker (Ardrey Kell) is the defending outdoor 110mH/300mH and indoor 55mH state champion. He is the top seed in both events, and is looking for a mark that will shoot him up the national rankings. 

In the relays, Cuthbertson and Parkland will line-up for the first time next to each other in the 4x200m. After some intense (friendly, but intense) indoor matchups that culminated with a Parkland indoor 4x200m state title, it is time to take this battle outdoors. 

A couple of young guns are making the girls 1,600m very interesting. Alivia Cleveland (Fort Mill, SC) won the 3,200m at last year's Clash as an 8th grader. She won the SCHSL AAAAA cross country state title this fall, and has a 5,000m best of 18:08.67. She was runner-up in the 1,600m at the state meet as an 8th grader. She has a best in the event of 5:02.12. 

8th grader Kendra Miles (Lexington, SC) was 3rd to Cleveland in cross country, but she got the win over her at the AAAAA outdoor state meet in the 1,600m. There is a ridiculous amount of talent for the class of 2026 and 2027 in South Carolina. 

For the boys', Weddington's Caden Townshend might be racing unopposed on Saturday. The defending outdoor state champion in the event has a 4:08.30 seed time, 10-seconds ahead of No. 2. Of the top five seeds, only one is not a senior, Reagan's Tate Shore. Could this be the breakout performance from Shore that boosts him into serious state contention this year and moving forward? There will be tough challenges, however, from Sam Kolowith (Dreher, SC) and Devon Sibley (Fort Mill, SC).

This 400m is going to be crazy. This could be the deepest field of 400m runners we get all season. The entire top heat of the girls have seed times under 58.50. In fact, six girls with seed times under 1:00.00 did not make the fast heat. 

Arianna Williams (Blythewood, SC) has personal bests of 24.55/54.93. We have only seen her compete twice since the state meet in May 2022. The other sub 57.00 girls include: Margaret Garner (Porter Ridge), T'Sheylah Moore (Olympic), Madison Moraja (Weddington), Dania Staley (Ridge View, SC), and Olicia Lucas (Nation Ford).

For the boys' it is a battle between two state champions. NCHSAA 4A 400m winner Killian Fahy (Cuthbertson) vs SCHSL AAAAA 400m winner Bryson Miller (Dorman, SC). Fahy is NC No. 16 all-time (47.23), and earned two all-state finishes in indoor track. Miller is SC No. 11 all-time (47.85).