NCHSAA 4A State Championship Preview

There were a lot of storylines coming out of NCHSAA Regionals. There are some big matchups lined up for this weekend that will put the end to numerous debates. 

The top four times in the 100m, and four of the top five times in the 200m come from the 4A Midwest Regional.

Antwan Hughes Jr. (Parkland) took home the honors in the 100m (and 4th in the 200m), and he looks to claim his first outdoor title, and shed the doubt from the indoor season. Hughes is the current NC No. 1 in the 100m. 

Reece Morgan (Cuthbertson) was the 200m champ, on top of a 4th place finish in the 100m. Southwest Guilford's Christian Parker was runner-up in both the 100m and 200m. However, Morgan is the current NC No. 1 in the 200m. 

Out of 4A West, Christian Dixon (Mallard Creek) won both the 100m and 200m dashes. 

At 4A West, CJ Martin (Clayton) and Max DeAngelo (Millbrook) posted the NC No. 1 and No. 2 times in the state this season. Martin got the win in 46.90, over DeAngelo's 47.06. They get to rematch this weekend for the title. Now add in Cuthbertson duo and UNC signee's Morgan and defending state champion Killian Fahy, and this could be the race of the weekend. 

The 800m at NCHSAA 4A Midwest was something special. The top five times in the state all now come from this regional. The disappointing part? Only the top four can make the state meet. Jordan Good (Western Guilford) led the way running NC No. 1 and US No. 22 1:51.38. Behind him was the top returner from the 2022 state meet, Andrew Burrell (Mount Tabor). NCHSAA 4A 1,000m indoor state champion R.J. Gajan was 3rd, and Walt Peterson (R.J. Reynolds) was 4th in 1:53.88. 

The 1,600m might have a word with the 800m for best race of the weekend. 

Jacob Laney. Caden Townshend. Zack Gilbertson.

The defending indoor 1,600m champion. The defending outdoor 1,600m champion. The defending cross country champion. 

Need we say more?

Laney (Porter Ridge) will be attempting to double back in the 3,200m. He successfully doubled during indoor season, winning both the 1,600m and 3,200m.

Cary's Luke Liming and Marco Evans went 1-2 at 4A Mideast in the 3,200m. Krister Sjoblad and Noah Valyo went 1-2 at 4A East as well. Sjoblad will have fresh legs, while Valyo is running the 800m on top of the 3,200m.

Defending 55mHi, 110mH, and 300mH champion Xavier Branker (Ardrey Kell) will be tested against some elite talent. Desmond Smith (Hillside) and Xavier Ratliff (RJ Reynolds) are more than hungry for their own state title. 

Watch the clock in the 4x200m, because it is officially state record watch. Mallard Creek has broken the state record twice this season already, and look to cap it off with the title. It won't be easy, there are a few schools that think they have what it takes: Parkland, Clayton, South Garner, SW Guilford, South View, Cuthbertson.

Watch the clock in the 4x800m as well. The hunt for the opening state title will be an all-out affair with Mount Tabor, Charlotte Catholic, Panther Creek, Hough, Weddington, Middle Creek, Green Hope, and Broughton amongst others. 

Tony Taylor II (Leesville) is the top seed in shot put and second in discus behind Gates Hinton (Fuquay-Varina).

In high jump, five athletes cleared 6-8 at regionals, Shaun Thomas (Pinecrest), Sheldon Ulmer (NW Guilford), Zion McDuffie (Butler), Rashad McCormick (Hough) and Reid Herring (Providence).

JaMeeisa Ford left no doubt this weekend at the NCHSAA 4A Mideast Regional. She is NCHSAA 4A No. 1 in the 100, and No. 2 in the 200m and 400m. Kaylyn Brown (Mallard Creek) is ahead of her in the 200m and 400m, but is only running the 100m at the state meet. 

Ford put on a show at the regional, running five different times throughout the day. She opened the morning with a breezy win in the 100m prelims before coming back an hour later to take the finals in 11.70. The 100m was the only event she did not set a season best. Ford knew her day ahead was plentiful. She ran season bests in the 200m (23.89) and 400m (54.34), while running away from the competition. She finished the day with a come from behind effort that secured her team's spot in the 4x400m state championship.

Ford went pretty much unopposed all season, have finished 1st place in all her competitions thus far. The national champion is hunting her 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th state titles this weekend. 

Earlier this season at conference, she ran NC No. 3 all-time 11.34 in the 100m. 

In their quest to once again defend their NCHSAA 4A team championship, the distance runners of Cuthbertson are spreading their talents out to try and secure the most points for the team's success. They will be relying on the 800m and 1,600m, and they had no 3,200m qualifiers. Which, looking around the state, might be the most difficult state title to come by this season. 

Alyssa Preisano, a two-time individual state champion on the outdoor track, led the way in the 1,600m, getting the win at regionals in a comfortable 5:00.62. Joining her is Grace Hanson (Weddington), and teammates Charlotte Bell and Stella Kermes

Bell and Kermes will be pulling double duty, as they also went 1-2 in the 800m, respectively. 

Justine Preisano was 3rd in the 800m, and was a apart of the 3rd place 4x800m team. 

Bell is NC No. 1 in the 800m and 1,600m. Kermes is NC No. 2 in the 800m and No. 4 in the 1,600m. A. Preisano is NC No. 3 in the 1,600m. J. Preisano is NC No. 4 in the 800m. 

In the 3,200m a much anticipated battle between defending outdoor champion Hannah Rae Shaffer (Cardinal Gibbons) and defending indoor champion Mary Bonner Dalton (Myers Park). Dalton ran NC No. 1 and No. 6 all-time 10:23 in a victory at Raleigh Relays.