NCRunners Elite Holiday Invitational Recap

In a fitting end to a great weekend of competition, the Invitational Mile produced a pair of national leading times.


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Invitational Events

Girls 60 Dash

At the start of the meet Friday, we had eight girls lined up for this event, a full section.  Then, when Imari McLean (Hillside, lane 6 in blue) ran so well Friday, we looked for a way to enter her, as well.  Things became more complicated when we got word that Paisley Simmons (TW Andrews, lane 2 in purple) was back in town earlier than expected, and wanted to race.  So, we ended up with 10 girls in two sections, and also with a much better race than we started with.  It's a good thing, too, because Simmons pulled off the win over Sydney Murphy (lane 3 in purple & yellow) and Sabrina Moore (North Meck, lane 4 in blue), who came back from a disappointing 55 final on Friday to run much better Saturday afternoon.  After driving over from High Point just for a 7.71-second race, Simmons left with a gold medal and a US #4 ranking; Murphy and Moore ended up 9th and 10th in the nation.

Girls 60 Meter Dash Invitational
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  H# Points
  1 Paisley Simmons           SR Unattached                7.71   1 
  2 Sydnei Murphy             SO Unattached                7.82   1 
  3 Sabrina Moore             SR North Meckle              7.83   1 
  4 Imari McLean              JR Hillside                  7.90   1 
  5 Ashlan Rosier             SR Velocity Str              7.94   2 
  6 Alexandria Council        SO Unattached                8.00   1 
  7 Kayla Tyson               SR Unattached                8.07   1 
  8 Kaitlin Lucius            SR Velocity Str              8.13   2 
  9 Sloan Williams            JR Winston-Sale              8.13   2 
 10 Deonica Reid              SO Winston-Sale              8.37   2 


Boys 60 Dash

James Drummond (Lexington, lane 1 in blue and black) had a rough weekend, really.  He suffered through a false start in the 55 final, then ran an indoor PR of 35.4 in the 300 only to be disqualified for running out of his lane.  After all of that, he still had his head together, and he calmly powered through a little stumble out of the blocks to take this race in a US #8 time of 6.97.  Darius Watkins (Grovetown GA, lane 6 in black and red) edged out William Buckley (East Chapel Hill, lane 4 in white) for second place, as Buckley showed that his 55 dash on Friday was no fluke.

Boys 60 Meter Dash Invitational
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 James Drummond            SR Unattached                6.97  
  2 Darius Watkins            SR Velocity Str              7.04  
  3 William Buckley           SR East Chapel               7.05  
  4 Joshua Peoples               Unattached                7.12  
  5 Jeremy Harden             SR Velocity Str              7.12  
  6 William Cameron           SO Southern Dur              7.13  
  7 Kimani Hoffman            JR Knightdale                7.22  


Girls 60 Hurdles

After a 9-hour drive down from Saline, Michigan, Quenee' Dale (Saline MI, in yellow) found herself getting beaten in the 55 hurdles on Friday.  As a result, she appeared to be very well-motivated for the 60, and she took charge immediately en route to 8.88, just a hair slower than her US #1 time in this event from an earlier meet.  Hunter Roberts (Southwest Guilford, in green), who had a bad race in the trials of the 55 hurdles, also redeemed herself with her second-place finish in this one, grabbing the second spot in the national rankings to boot.  In fact, all five of the girls in the final ended up in the top ten in the country!

Girls 60 Meter Hurdles Invitational
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Quenee' Dale              JR Unattached                8.88  
  2 Hunter Roberts            SR Southwest Gu              8.93  
  3 Kaila Smith               SR Unattached                9.13  
  4 Alyiah Riley              SR High Point C              9.14  
  5 Nora Mckiver              SR Unattached                9.16 


Boys 60 Hurdles

The national leader in the 55 hurdles and the long jump, Isaiah Moore (Cummings, lane 4), narrowly missed adding another US #1 in this race.  He would have to settle for a US #2 8.02, with teammate Thomas Jones II (lane 5) clocking in at 8.07, good for US #4.  We were disappointed with the number of no-shows in this race, and will hopefully take steps to make sure that doesn't happen again.  The big negative to that situation was felt by Caleb Mathis (Davie, who found himself with a lot of open lanes around him but still managed to finish with the 11th-best time in the country so far this season.

Boys 60 Meter Hurdles Invitational
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Isaiah Moore              JR Cummings                  8.02  
  2 Thomas Jones              SR Cummings                  8.07  
  3 Caleb Mathis              SR Davie County              8.41 


Girls 400 Dash

Deja Parrish (American Heritage FL, in turquoise) was content to sit behind Layla White (Cary) on the first lap, then used her sub-24 speed to power past on the backstretch and hold on for the win.  Her time of 57.13, very quick for Decemeber and a flat track, ranks her second in the country, with White coming in at US #3 with her 57.40.  We hope both of them will be back next year for a rematch!  Also noteworthy was the finish of Nikolete Hurrinus (Cuthbertson), who followed her 500 PR Friday with a near-PR in the 400; seeing as how she set that PR in May last spring, it's safe to say that Hurrinus is way ahead of schedule this year.

Girls 400 Meter Dash Invitational
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Deja Parrish                 Unattached               57.13  
  2 Layla White               SO Cary                     57.40  
  3 Nikolete Hurrinus         JR Cuthbertson              58.82  
  4 Jocelyn Culbreath         JR Reagan                   59.78  
  5 Tanazia Owens             SR Harding Univ           1:01.75 


Boys 400 Dash

Marquavious Johnson (Knightdale, in yellow) took immediate control of this race and almost turned it into a rout, but Kwame Donyinah (Myers Park) was able to reel him in down the final stretch to make it a close race.  Johnson held on for the win, becoming only the 5th athlete in the nation to break 50 seconds so far this winter.  Donyinah earned a US #7 ranking for his 50.12, while Henry Kiedy (Knightdale) finished a second behind in third.

Boys 400 Meter Dash Invitational
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Marquavious Johnson       JR Knightdale               49.98  
  2 Kwame Donyinah            SR Myers Park               50.12  
  3 Henry Kiedy               JR Knightdale               51.03  
  4 Jamaree Murray               Unattached               51.16  
  5 Derrick Boyce                Berry Academ             55.31 


Girls 800 Run

As expected, this race quickly separated into a front group of three and then the rest of the field.  Jennie Cunningham (Pinecrest), on fresh legs and itching to really drop the hammer, took command early and never relinquished the lead.  As she powered down the final stretch for a US #12 time of 2:19.15, only Kaylie Loyd (Southeast Raleigh) was able to stay close to her.  Gina Daniel (Providence) looked a little weary on her third race of the weekend, but she nonetheless held onto third place.  

Girls 800 Meter Run Invitational
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Jennie Cunningham         SR Pinecrest              2:19.15  
  2 Kaylie Loyd               JR Southeast Ra           2:20.91  
  3 Gina Daniel               SR Providence             2:23.11  
  4 Anna McElrath             JR Independence           2:26.12  
  5 Mason Kepley              SO High Point C           2:27.78  
  6 Hana Ratcliffe            JR Durham Schoo           2:30.42  
  7 Christina Nikolaou        SO Olympic                2:31.15  
  8 Abby Adams                JR St. David's            2:32.94 


Boys 800 Run

The possibility that South Carolina would come up north and take over this race never materialized, as Josiah Elliott (Parkland) took charge of the race with an aggressive start.  Elliott's 1:57.58 was good for US #5, providing a nice pair with his current US #3 ranking in the 500.  Surprising Ariel Shores (Southeast Guilford) had a breakthrough race, running a PR 1:58.37 to rank 9th in the country so far this winter.  Getting your best time ever on a flat 200-meter indoor track is quite an accomplishment!  Nate Gordon (Spartanburg SC) was the only other runner to break 2 minutes in the race, but this was just a chance for him to "shake off the rust" as he does not have any meaningful meets for a few more months.

Boys 800 Meter Run Invitational
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Josiah Elliott               Parkland               1:57.58  
  2 Ariel Shores              JR Southeast Gu           1:58.37  
  3 Nate Gordon                  Unattached             1:59.49  
  4 Erik Wendt                   COA                    2:00.37  
  5 Chad Fennell              JR Unattached             2:01.61  
  6 Traevin Drayton-Ferguson  SR Berry Academ           2:03.17  
  7 Wyatt Maxey               JR Providence             2:03.37  
  8 Jon Knight                JR Northern Gui           2:03.61  
  9 Dustin Sneed              JR Reynolds, R.           2:04.19  
 10 Steve Stowe               JR North Forsyt           2:19.12 


Girls One Mile Run

As she has many times in the past, Wesley Frazier (Ravenscroft) was forced to push herself, and it is something she excels at.  From the gun she was on her own, and she made the best of it, running 4:48.33 for the full mile, a US #1 mark by 5 seconds and the fastest ever run by a North Carolina girl indoors.  If this is any indication of her fitness so early in a long track season, it will be very enjoyable to see what she can accomplish in March and June!  Her younger sister Ryen ran a PR of 5:02.53 in finishing second, and that puts her at US #5.  Like her older sibling, Ryen was able to break away and push herself, as the rest of the field grouped together and ended up right around the 5:20 mark.  That might have been a bit different if Malia Ellington (CSD) hadn't caught the rail and turned her ankle, and we hope she heals quickly so that she can show her fitness soon.

Girls 1 Mile Run Invitational
State Record: S 5:06.16  2002        Erika Schneble, Hendersonville            
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Wesley Frazier               Zussen                 4:48.33S 
  2 Ryen Frazier                 Zussen                 5:02.53S 
  3 Emily Williams            SR Unattached             5:19.61  
  4 Stefanie Kurgatt             More Otters            5:19.97  
  5 Chandler Borton           SR Reynolds, R.           5:21.19  
  6 Bianca Bishop             JR Providence             5:29.33  
  7 Malia Ellington              Unattached             5:42.19


Boys One Mile Run

At one point earlier this month, Bakri Abushouk (Cary) wasn't sure he was ready for a major race so early in the season.  Even after accepting the invitation, I don't think he and his coach were quite prepared for what happened.  Abushouk, used to pulling away from cross country fields this past fall, did the same here, dominating the race from the gun to post a US #1 mark of 4:14.18, an all-time PR for him and 6 seconds ahead of the next fastest time in the country.  If this is not fully prepared, then we can expect big things from him in the spring!  Well behind him, Clayton Wilson (Greensboro Day) won a great battle with rising star Ian Milder (Mount Tabor), both of them posting PR's in the 4:24 range.

Boys 1 Mile Run Invitational
State Record: S 4:10.61  2003        Bobby Mack, North Forsyth                 
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Bakri Abushouk            SR Cary                   4:14.18  
  2 Clayton Wilson            SR Greensboro D           4:24.93  
  3 Ian Milder                JR Mount Tabor            4:24.94  
  4 Kenan Farmer              JR Unattached             4:27.15  
  5 Collin Loy                JR Southern Ala           4:28.24  
  6 Dalton Nickel             SR Mount Tabor            4:28.26  
  7 Brett Freed                  Unattached             4:39.19  
  8 John Rohr                    Broughton              4:44.09 


Friday Highlights

Boys Shot Put

After putting up a PR of 56' 7.5" in his first meet of the season, Jon Beyle (East Chapel Hill) took a big leap forward by throwing 58' 9" to claim the top spot in the country right now.  Nikolas Huffman (Virginia HS VA) threw a season best of 56' 6" to finish second, improving on his existing US #11 mark, while Pinecrest's Matt Carlson added almost two feet to his all-time best by reaching 49' 6.25".

Boys Shot Put
State Record: S 57-11  1990        Ed Robertson, High Point Andrews            
    Name                    Year School                  Finals            Points
  1 Jon Beyle                 SR East Chapel           58-09.00S    17.90m 
  2 Nikolas Huffman           SR Unattached            56-06.00     17.22m 
  3 Matt Carlson              SR Pinecrest             49-06.25     15.09m 
  4 Jalen Marlowe             SR Unattached            46-10.50     14.28m 
  5 Jordan Raper              SR Unattached            46-07.25     14.20m 
  6 Chetney Taylor            FR Ragsdale              44-11.25     13.69m 
  7 Christopher Reynolds      JR Ledford               44-02.00     13.46m 
  8 Elijah Mallory            JR Wakefield             43-03.75     13.20m 


Girls 55 Hurdles

This race produced two of the best times in the nation this year, as Nora McKiver (T.W. Andrews, unfortunately not pictured) defended her home turf against Quenee' Dale (Saline MI, in yellow).  McKiver ran 8.13, good for US #2, with Dale right behind with her US #4 8.16.  After those two, there was a serious battle between the two girls that very well could be next year's stars in the hurdles, freshmen Shellbi Chapman (Sanderson, in red) and Breanne Bygrave (Wakefield), both of whom have extensive club track experience coming into this year.  Chapman came away with a narrow victory, 8.31 (US #9) to 8.35 (US #18), in the first of what is sure to be many races between the two.

Girls 55 Meter Hurdles
State Record: S  8.07  2003        Chandra Pulliam, Burlington Cummings        
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Nora Mckiver              SR Unattached                8.13  
  2 Quenee' Dale              JR Unattached                8.16  
  3 Shellbi Chapman           FR Sanderson                 8.31  
  4 Breanne Bygrave           FR Wakefield                 8.35  
  5 Jasmine Moore             JR Wakefield                 8.44  
  6 Kaila Smith               SR Unattached                8.47  
  7 Charity Shaw              SR Southern Dur              8.55  
  8 Aminah Ghaffar            SR Fayetteville              8.63 


Boys 55 Hurdles

After Thomas Jones II (Cummings, lane 3 in blue) posted the top time in the trials, teammate Isaiah Moore (lane 4 in white) had to reassert himself.  This is the closest race between the two that I can remember, and it could be that the breakthrough for Jones is coming very soon.  As it stands, though, Moore did not improve on his already-US #1 time, while Jones moved himself up into the third spot in the national rankings.  Justin Johnson (High Point Central, lane 5 in blue) finished third with a solid time of 7.61, earning him US #7 so far this season.

Boys 55 Meter Hurdles
State Record: S  7.11  2007        Johnny Dutch, Clayton                       
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Isaiah Moore              JR Cummings                  7.42  
  2 Thomas Jones              SR Cummings                  7.44  
  3 Justin Johnson            SR High Point C              7.61  
  4 Caleb Mathis              SR Davie County              7.70  
  5 Xavier Carter             JR West Johnsto              7.92  
  6 Vincent Ragland           SR Unattached                8.00  
  7 Xavier Foster             SR Unattached                8.29  
  8 sterling jones            SR Winston-Sale              8.45  


Girls 55 Dash

Imari McLean (Hillside) just burst onto the North Carolina sprint scene with two huge races, running 7.22 in the prelims and then coming back with a US #4 7.16 in the final to take the photo-finish win.  Sydnei Murphy (unattached, in white) had lowered herself to US #3 with her 7.15 in the prelims, but she got edged out in the final (despite a great lean) in the first race this season where she has truly been challenged.  The entire field was under 7.40, with the last 6 girls separated by only 0.09 (kudos to the guys from Big Kahuna Timing for getting it sorted out quickly).  McLean is a junior and Murphy a sophomore, so we just might get to see a rematch between them sometime.

Girls 55 Meter Dash
State Record: S  6.87  2007        Gabby Mayo, Southeast Raleigh               
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Imari McLean              JR Hillside                  7.16  
  2 Sydnei Murphy             SO Unattached                7.16  
  3 Sabrina Moore             SR North Meckle              7.30  
  4 Jasmine Dawson            SR West Johnsto              7.32  
  5 Tyra Lea                  JR Wakefield                 7.32  
  6 Ama-Selina Tchume         JR Southeast Ra              7.35  
  7 Kayla Tyson               SR Unattached                7.37  
  8 Teri Strickland           JR West Johnsto              7.39 


Boys 55 Dash

This final was disrupted by two consecutive false starts, leaving only six competitors once a legal start was achieved.  William Buckley (East Chapel Hill, lane 6 in white) pulled off the win in a mild surprise, showing that he is well ahead of last year's pace in his development as a sprinter.  His time of 6.46 tied him for third in the country, giving North Carolina three of the top 6 spots in the national rankings.  It was a narrow victory over two members of the Velocity Sun Striders, Darius Watkins (Grovetown GA, lane 4 in red) and Jeremy Harden (Greenbrier GA).

Boys 55 Meter Dash
State Record: S  6.21  1996        Chris Justice, Greensboro Grimsley          
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 William Buckley           SR East Chapel               6.46  
  2 Darius Watkins            SR Velocity Str              6.50  
  3 Jeremy Harden             SR Velocity Str              6.51  
  4 Xavier Jones              SR Ragsdale                  6.52  
  5 William Cameron           SO Southern Dur              6.57  
  6 Brandon McLean               Triton                    6.74  
 -- Khairee Lewis             JR Sanderson                   FS  
 -- James Drummond            SR Unattached                  FS  


Girls Triple Jump

We've been waiting for North Carolina's triple jump talent to assert itself, and that finally started to happen on Friday afternoon.  Dejah Hayes (Western Guilford) produced a 37' 6.5" jump, a foot short of her PR but still good enough for US #12 this young winter season.  Kelsey Perry (Jordan, competing unattached), made her first appearance of the year and started out well, reaching 36' 6" to rank second in North Carolina and 22nd in the nation.  Sophomore Tamilia Wright (Williams) earned a new all-time best with her 36' 5" mark, which is third in the country among current 10th-graders.

Girls Triple Jump
State Record: S 40-11.50  1995        Twyla Smith, SO. Pines Pinecrest         
    Name                    Year School                  Finals            Points
  1 Dejah Hayes               SR Western Guil          37-06.50     11.44m 
  2 Kelsey Perry              JR Unattached            36-06.00     11.12m 
  3 Tamilia Wright            SO Williams              36-05.00     11.09m 
  4 Destinie Sykes            SR Unattached            35-10.00     10.92m 
  5 Samirah Stephens          SR Cummings              35-10.00     10.92m 
  6 Charity Shaw              SR Southern Dur          35-08.00     10.87m 
  7 Mikaela Seibert           SO Cuthbertson           33-10.00     10.31m 
  8 Julice Crowder            JR Monroe                33-02.50     10.12m 


Girls 500

What an incredible battle this race produced!  If you weren't there, you missed an immensely entertaining race, as Tiana Patillo (Wakefield) and Layla White (Cary) traded blows for two and a half laps around the JDL Fast Track.  White pushed the pace early, but at the break it was Patillo who got the inside, forcing White to run in lane two.  Despite the extra distance, the Cary Imp stayed right on the shoulder of the Wakefield Wolverine all the way to the finish, although she was unable to get past.  Patillo's time of 1:17.99 is US #8 right now, with White reaching US #10 in her first indoor race of the season.  Nikolete Hurrinus (Cuthberston) was impressive in taking third from the second-fastest section, putting up a US #13 1:18.31 and earning herself a spot in the invitational 400 on Saturday, where she will get a crack at White.

Girls 500 Meter Dash
State Record: S 1:14.41  2007        Ebony Cunningham, Southeast Raleigh       
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  H# Points
  1 Tiana Patillo             SR Wakefield              1:17.99   8 
  2 Layla White               SO Cary                   1:18.13   8 
  3 Nikolete Hurrinus         JR Cuthbertson            1:18.31   7 
  4 Jemay Ward                SO Wakefield              1:19.82   8 
  5 Tia Robinson              SO Wakefield              1:19.83   8 
  6 Reneazia Collins          JR Monroe                 1:20.17   6 
  7 Delaney Dunkley           JR Marvin Ridge           1:21.17   7 
  8 Jaleesa Smoot             SO Salisbury              1:21.45   6 


Boys 500 Run

In one of the best finishes of the weekend, David Yang (Providence) was able to hold off Marcell Johnson (Knightdale, in black) and James Branch (Southeast Raleigh) for the win.  Meanwhile, Traevin Drayton-Ferguson (Phillip O. Berry), running several heats before the fastest, was able to produce a fast enough time to steal the bronze medal.  Knightdale currently has three of the top 8 500 runners in the state of North Carolina, a fact that came into play in the 4x400 Saturday.

Boys 500 Meter Dash
State Record: S 1:04.05  2007        Lamarr Davis, East Wake                   
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  H# Points
  1 David Yang                SR Providence             1:07.65  12 
  2 Marcell Johnson           JR Knightdale             1:07.95  12 
  3 Traevin Drayton-Ferguson  SR Berry Academ           1:08.02   8 
  4 James Branch              SR Southeast Ra           1:08.08  12 
  5 Phillip Bryant            SR Unattached             1:08.70  10 
  6 Xavier Jones              SR Ragsdale               1:09.49  11 
  7 Elijah Reid               JR Southeast Ra           1:10.06   9 
  8 Jordan Williams           JR Mount Tabor            1:10.13  12 


Girls 1600 Run

Providence ended up with the top two spots in this race, and for a short while held the top two indoor times in the state (at least, until the Invitational Mile ran the next day).  Gina Daniel continued to serve notice that she is a force to be reckoned with in the mid-distances this year, going straight to the front and then breaking away from the pack in the second half to win solidly.  Grace Sullivan was able to stay in front of the main pack as it stretched out, pulling away from Becca Meshaw (West Johnson) on the final lap.

Girls 1600 Meter Run
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Gina Daniel               SR Providence             5:16.78  
  2 Grace Sullivan            SO Providence             5:23.41  
  3 Becca Meshaw              JR West Johnsto           5:27.23  
  4 Angela Rose Delfino       FR St. Mary's S           5:30.63  
  5 Doria Kosmala             SR Watauga                5:31.95  
  6 Melanie Hussey            FR Marvin Ridge           5:35.18  
  7 Amelia Martin             JR Unattached             5:35.69  
  8 Jaleigh Jensen            JR Pinecrest              5:40.65  


Boys 1600 Run

Wyatt Maxey (Providence), perhaps saving his legs a bit for two races on Saturday, seemed content with a conservative start and gradually moved up over the first half of the race.  He then took off through the last 800, putting a large gap on the rest of the field before seeming to dial it back just a bit at the end.  Ben Sessions (Greenville Tech Charter SC) won a duel with Jake Betancourt (West Johnston) to earn the silver medal.

Boys 1600 Meter Run
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Wyatt Maxey               JR Providence             4:34.01  
  2 Benjamin Sessions         SR Palmetto Eli           4:38.83  
  3 Jake Betancourt           SR West Johnsto           4:40.08  
  4 Becket Killiam            SR Pinecrest              4:42.04  
  5 Josh Mosteller            SR North Lincol           4:42.38  
  6 Jacob Troutman            SR Pinecrest              4:43.32  
  7 Dean Abushouk             SO Cary                   4:43.81  
  8 Brian Callinan            JR Marvin Ridge           4:47.09  


Girls Pole Vault

Once again, the top vaulters looked great up until 11 feet, when they began to lose their rhythm (this seems to be a pattern at the JDL this season).  Kristen Lee (Wakefield) was soaring over the lower heights, but struggled with her steps late in route to an 11' 6" final mark and a gold medal.  Perhaps it is the fast Mondo surface of the runway?  In any case, the door was open for Brooke Shelton (Ledford) to take advantage, but she was unable to capitalize, clearing 11 feet for second place. 

Girls Pole Vault
State Record: S 12-01  2007        Joanna Wright, R.J. Reynolds                
    Name                    Year School                  Finals            Points
  1 Kristen Lee               SR Wakefield             11-06.00      3.50m 
  2 Brooke Shelton            SR Unattached            11-00.00      3.35m 
  3 Tess Rogers               SR North Stokes          10-00.00      3.04m 
  3 Taylor Drummonds          SR Watauga               10-00.00      3.04m 
  5 Alison Seramur            JR Watauga                9-00.00      2.74m 
  5 Liz Wood                  JR Cuthbertson            9-00.00      2.74m 
  5 Mariel Finger             JR North Gaston           9-00.00      2.74m 
  8 Sofia San Miguel          SO Cardinal Gib           8-06.00      2.59m 
  8 Madelyn Dotson            JR Marvin Ridge           8-06.00      2.59m 


Boys High Jump

This was an interesting competition to watch, although it did not produce any great marks at the top end.  Several of the jumpers had misses at lower heights, but eventually Myles Lazarou (Northern Guilford, competing unattached) caught his rhythm and outjumped the contenders, edging Caleb Conwell (Wakefield) based on clearing 6' 4" on an earlier attempt.  Hunter Conley (Landrum SC) equaled his PR with a jump of 6' 2", good for third place.

Boys High Jump
State Record: S  7-00  2002        Jesse Williams, Raleigh Broughton           
    Name                    Year School                  Finals            Points
  1 Myles Lazarou             JR Unattached             6-04.00      1.93m 
  2 Caleb Conwell             SR Wakefield              6-04.00      1.93m 
  3 Hunter Conley             SR Unattached             6-02.00      1.87m 
  4 Darion Elmore             SR Unattached             6-00.00      1.82m 
  5 Jamie Brown               SO Knightdale             6-00.00      1.82m 
  6 Bret Reynolds             SO Mount Tabor            5-08.00      1.72m 
  7 Jeremiah Mann             SR Western Guil           5-08.00      1.72m 
  8 Ronald Cambell            SO Marvin Ridge           5-08.00      1.72m 


Girls 4x200

The Wakefield girls dropped almost 3 full seconds from their previous season best, pushing hard through smooth handoffs to put up a US #4 time of 1:43.43.  The Wolverines got a good race from the Velocity Striders girls, who don't all go to the same school and therefore are not eligible for a national ranking.  Wakefield showed off their depth by finishing third with their B team, which contained 2 freshman and a sophomore.

Girls 4x200 Meter Relay
    School                                               Finals  Points
  1 Wakefield  'A'                                      1:43.43  
     1) Jemay Ward SO                   2) Tyra Lea JR                    
     3) Breanne Bygrave FR              4) Jasmine Moore JR               
  2 Velocity Striders  'A'                              1:44.85  
     1) Kaitlin Lucius SR               2) Brianna Turner SR              
     3) Kayla Tyson SR                  4) Ashlan Rosier SR               
  3 Wakefield  'B'                                     x1:50.47  
     1) Erikah Lawson FR                2) Jordan Lawson SR               
     3) Destiny Robinson FR             4) Dasia Sanders SO               
  4 Mount Tabor  'A'                                    1:50.70  
     1) Lanetia Mack SR                 2) Gustell Preston SR             
     3) Miranda Tyson SR                4) Katerra Logan SR               
  5 Peak Performance Track Club  'A'                    1:52.67  
     1) Marissa Pinckney SR             2) Sydnee Caroll SR               
     3) Shatasha Anderson SR            4) Tianna Nkanata SR              


Boys 4x200

This race provided a fitting ending to the first day of competition, going down to the wire before the Velocity Striders won by only 0.07 seconds over Knightdale.  Their time of 1:31.83 would be US #7 if they all attended the same school, while Knightdale will be ranked 8th in the country for their efforts.  Phillip O. Berry, running in the slower section, showed that graduation did not completely empty their cupboard of sprint talent.

Boys 4x200 Meter Relay
    School                                               Finals  H# Points
  1 Velocity Striders  'A'                              1:31.83   2 
     1) Jeremy Harden SR                2) Darius Watkins SR              
     3) Elias Madrid SR                 4) Ryan McCain SR                 
  2 Knightdale  'A'                                     1:31.90   2 
     1) Marquavious Johnson JR          2) Henry Kiedy JR                 
     3) Marcell Johnson JR              4) Bernard Freeman SR             
  3 Berry Academy  'A'                                  1:35.13   1 
     1) Michael Zimmerman SR            2)                                
     3) Sam Murphy JR                   4) Andre Williams JR              
  4 Harding University  'A'                             1:37.65   1 
     1) Demarcus Jordan JR              2) Omari Houston JR               
     3) Knight Daquan SO                4) Anthony Couser SO              
  5 Platinum  'A'                                       1:37.86   2 
     1) Derrek Williams                 2) Phillip Bryant                 
     3) Brandon Carter                  4) Justin Frazier                 
  6 Wakefield  'A'                                      1:38.51   2 
     1) Jalen Buxton JR                 2) Caleb Conwell SR               
     3) Tre Dunn JR                     4) Marquis Howard SR              
  7 Velocity Striders  'B'                             x1:40.36   2 
     1) Isaac Hammond SR                2) Corey Hedgspeth SR             
     3) Christian King SR               4) Dontae Weaver SR               



Saturday Highlights

Boys Pole Vault

In contrast to the girls' vaulters yesterday, Ethan Smith (Cedar Ridge) kept his rhythm all the way to his highest attempt, clearing a new PR of 15' 6" and getting at least one very close miss at 15' 9".  Smith ranks third in the nation right now, and is well on the way to achieving his national ambitions (look for an upcoming Senior Spotlight).  Jose San Miguel (Cardinal Gibbons) and Ian West (Fike) were the only other athletes to clear 13 feet, with San Miguel getting 13' 6" to go home with silver.

Boys Pole Vault
State Record: S 16-06  2/9/2008    Scott Houston, Northwest Guilfo             
    Name                    Year School                  Finals            Points
  1 Ethan Smith               SR Cedar Ridge           15-06.00      4.72m 
  2 Jose San Miguel           SR Cardinal Gib          13-06.00      4.11m 
  3 Ian West                  SO Fike                  13-00.00      3.96m 
  4 Isaiah Henderson          SR Maiden High           12-06.00      3.81m 
  5 Marshall Shank            SO East Rowan            12-06.00      3.81m 
  6 Caleb Cranfield           JR West Rowan            12-00.00      3.65m 
  7 Ronald Cambell            SO Marvin Ridge          11-06.00      3.50m 
  8 Pierce Forgione           JR Marvin Ridge          11-06.00      3.50m 


Girls Long Jump

Ama-Selina Tchume (Southeast Raleigh) became the first North Carolina jumper to break the 18 foot mark this winter, earning her the 5th spot in the national rankings.  Sabrina Moore (North Mecklenburg) held on to her #2 ranking in North Carolina, while Hannah Dunston (Knightdale) moved up to #4 in the state.

Girls Long Jump
State Record: S 19-01.25  2/9/2008    Jacinda Evans, Southern Durham           
    Name                    Year School                  Finals            Points
  1 Ama-Selina Tchume         JR Southeast Ra          18-02.50      5.54m 
  2 Sabrina Moore             SR North Meckle          17-06.25      5.34m 
  3 Hannah Dunston            SO Knightdale            17-04.50      5.29m 
  4 Courtney Cefalo           SO Ledford               16-10.50      5.14m 
  5 Tamilia Wright            SO Williams              16-09.25      5.11m 
  6 Charity Shaw              SR Southern Dur          16-08.00      5.08m 
  7 Courtney Crawford         JR McMichael             16-07.00      5.05m 
  7 Imari McLean              JR Hillside              16-07.00      5.05m 


Boys Long Jump

Isaiah Moore (Cummings), already the national leader in this event, improved his best mark to 23' 10.5" and edged closer to the 24-foot barrier in the process.  Diondre Butler (Jack Britt) almost joined him in the 23's, falling just a half-inch short, but he did earn a US #5 ranking for his trouble.

Boys Long Jump
State Record: S 24-07.25  1997        Marcus O'Neal, Greensboro Dudley         
    Name                    Year School                  Finals            Points
  1 Isaiah Moore              JR Cummings              23-10.50      7.27m 
  2 Deondre Butler               Fayetteville Fly      22-11.50      6.99m 
  3 Kimani Hoffman            JR Knightdale            21-09.00      6.62m 
  4 Bernard Freeman           SR Knightdale            21-04.75      6.52m 
  5 Raykwon Torrence          JR West Rowan            21-01.50      6.43m 
  6 Chaz Hawkins              SR Unattached            20-09.75      6.34m 
  7 Michael Zimmerman         SR Berry Academ          20-08.50      6.31m 
  8 Caleb Conwell             SR Wakefield             20-04.00      6.19m 


Girls 300 Dash

Tyra Lea (Wakefield) made it clear from the start that this was her race, and she powered home with a PR of 39.84, good for US #4 this season.  Tiana Patillo (Wakefield) moved up to US #9 with her second-place effort, while Jasmine Dawson (West Johnston) established herself as a potential state finalist with her third-place finish.

Girls 300 Meter Dash
State Record: S 38.94  2006        Gabby Mayo, Southeast Raleigh               
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  H# Points
  1 Tyra Lea                  JR Wakefield                39.84  11 
  2 Tiana Patillo             SR Wakefield                40.63  11 
  3 Jasmine Dawson            SR West Johnsto             41.21  10 
  4 Reneazia Collins          JR Monroe                   41.29   9 
  5 Rodaijah Faucette         SR Cummings                 41.29  11 
  6 Ama-Selina Tchume         JR Southeast Ra             41.93   8 
  7 Kayla Tyson               SR Velocity Str             42.01  11 
  8 Justice Briscoe           SR Mallard Cree             42.07   9 


Boys 300 Dash

Xavier Jones (Ragsdale) came back from a disappointing 500 to show his strength in this event, posting the seventh-fastest time in the nation after his battle with James Drummond (Lexington).  Unfortunately, Drummond had run outside his lane along the way, and that meant Phillip Bryant (Northwest Guilford) took silver and Joshua Peoples (Howard County MD) earned the bronze.

Boys 300 Meter Dash
State Record: S 34.62  2007        Trenton Guy, Jr., West Charlotte            
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  H# Points
  1 Xavier Jones              SR Ragsdale                 35.32  14 
  2 Phillip Bryant            SR Unattached               35.73  14 
  3 Joshua Peoples               Unattached               36.06  14 
  4 David Yang                SR Providence               36.64  14 
  5 Justin Titgen             SO Marvin Ridge             36.64  12 
  6 Jalen Buxton              JR Wakefield                36.70  11 
  7 Jordan Williams           JR Mount Tabor              36.81  12 
  8 Deondre Butler               Fayetteville Fly         36.90   7 


Girls 3200 Run

This was a weird race from the start, as Arden Vessie (Corinth Holders) charged into the lead and the rest of the field just let her go.  Bianca Bishop (Providence) and Emily Williams (Sullivan Central TN) found each other fairly early and stayed together throughout the race, while Gabby Merritt (Greensboro Day) laid back over the first mile.  As the field strung out, Vessie came back to the rest of the runners and Merritt began to move forward, and as they moved around lapped traffic that led to a three-girl lead pack.  Merritt made the first move to try to take the win, going around with 200 to go, but Williams responded and took the lead for good, closing out in 11:18.56.  Merritt claimed the top spot in the North Carolina rankings, running 11:20.45 to hold off Bishop by 0.02 at the line.

Girls 3200 Meter Run
State Record: S 10:48.48  1998        Sarah-Vance Goodman, TC Roberson         
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Emily Williams            SR Unattached            11:18.56  
  2 Gabby Merritt             SR Greensboro D          11:20.45  
  3 Bianca Bishop             JR Providence            11:20.47  
  4 arden vessie              SO Unattached            11:43.64  
  5 Grace Sullivan            SO Providence            11:51.00  
  6 Madison Harman            SR Watauga               11:54.86  
  7 Becca Meshaw              JR West Johnsto          11:58.96  
  8 Amelia Martin             JR Unattached            11:59.39  


Boys 3200 Run

This was somewhat of a tactical race, as nobody really forced the pace from the front of the race.  As the leaders thinned out over the course of the 16 lap race, Chris Kelly (Pinecrest) took over the lead, and he held off Ryan Shannon (North Lincoln) to claim the gold medal.  Kelly's teammate Will Pearson fought off Jake Betancourt (West Johnston) to finish third.

Boys 3200 Meter Run
State Record: S 9:14.71  2000        Ricky Brookshire, Watauga                 
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Chris Kelly               JR Pinecrest              9:56.49  
  2 Ryan Shannon              JR North Lincol           9:58.99  
  3 Will Pearson              SR Pinecrest             10:03.99  
  4 Jake Betancourt           SR West Johnsto          10:04.00  
  5 Brandon King              JR Mitchell              10:09.75  
  6 Mathew Harmody            JR Pinecrest             10:13.46  
  7 Javier Bustos             SR Pinecrest             10:14.85  
  8 Joe Sullivan              SR Providence            10:15.50  


Girls High Jump

With only a small field entered, this event was over in the blink of an eye if you weren't watching closely.  Libby Florence (Cedar Ridge) struggled a bit at one of the intermediate heights, but then she cleared 5' 2" and 5'4" to earn the win, giving her three more attempts at her goal of 5' 6".  That experience should pay off with a new PR soon!  Meanwhile, Gustell Preston (Mount Tabor) fell just short of her season best of 5' 4", taking home a silver medal.

Girls High Jump
State Record: S  5-10  1996        Adriane Sims, Fayetteville Byrd             
    Name                    Year School                  Finals            Points
  1 Libby Florence            SR Cedar Ridge            5-04.00      1.62m 
  2 Gustell Preston           SR Mount Tabor            5-02.00      1.57m 
  3 Margaret Edwards          SR Unattached             4-10.00      1.47m 
  3 Zasha Barrett             SO Monroe                 4-10.00      1.47m 
  5 Tia Robinson              SO Wakefield              4-08.00      1.42m 
  5 Kristen Lee               SR Wakefield              4-08.00      1.42m 


Girls Shot Put

This might seem a bit redundant, but Bre'Anna Warren (Western Guilford) won again at the JDL, a pattern that she hopes to continue all the way through the 4A State Meet.  Her throw this weekend was a little off of her US #5 mark from earlier this month, but she is showing solid consistency that should serve her well in the future.  Sharmani Hall (Southeast Raleigh) threw 37' 11.75" for a new PR, and all signs point to her getting over 38 sooner rather than later.  Jazmine Bowman (Sanderson) also came up with an all-time best, and you can bet that these two will look forward to competing against each other again.

Girls Shot Put
State Record: S 48-11  2007        Kamorean Hayes, Harding                     
    Name                    Year School                  Finals            Points
  1 Breanna Warren            SR Western Guil          41-01.75     12.54m 
  2 Sharmani Hall             JR Southeast Ra          37-11.75     11.57m 
  3 Jaszmine Bowman           SR Sanderson             37-09.25     11.51m 
  4 Sam Miller                SR Ledford               34-11.25     10.64m 
  5 Sha'Lena Spikes           JR Cummings              31-11.50      9.74m 
  6 Alexis Barnes             SR Cedar Ridge           31-03.75      9.54m 
  7 Courtney Schepel          JR Cuthbertson           30-04.75      9.26m 
  8 Aspen Marsh               FR Davie County          27-11.00      8.50m 


Girls 1000 Run

Gina Daniel (Providence) pulled away in the middle of the race to earn her second win of the weekend, posting the top indoor time in the state in the process.  A very competitive second group saw Hana Ratcliffe (Durham School of the Arts) hold on for second, with Christina Nikolaou (Olympic) hard on her heels.

Girls 1000 Meter Run
State Record: S 2:56.73  2002        Julia Lucus, Charlotte Myers Park         
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Gina Daniel               SR Providence             3:05.60  
  2 Hana Ratcliffe            JR Durham Schoo           3:12.07  
  3 Christina Nikolaou        SO Olympic                3:12.47  
  4 Alden Kessenich           JR Marvin Ridge           3:13.79  
  5 Charity Lackey            SR Southeast Ra           3:14.95  
  6 Angela Rose Delfino       FR St. Mary's S           3:15.14  
  7 Reagan Portelance         FR Lake Norman            3:17.13  
  8 Melanie Hussey            FR Marvin Ridge           3:18.15  


Boys 1000 Run

Steve Stowe (North Forsyth) took the early lead, with Wyatt Maxey (Providence) laying back a little bit until the last few laps.  When Maxey challenged, Stowe responded, and the two were shoulder-to-shoulder all the way down the home stretch before the Providence junior edged in front at the line.  Andrew Fea (North Lincoln) emerged from a crowded second pack to take home the bronze medal.

Boys 1000 Meter Run
State Record: S 2:29.03  2/9/2008    Dylan Ferris, East Forsyth                
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
  1 Wyatt Maxey               JR Providence             2:39.02  
  2 Steve Stowe               JR North Forsyt           2:39.06  
  3 Andrew Fea                JR North Lincol           2:44.19  
  4 James Branch              SR Southeast Ra           2:44.69  
  5 Abel Tecle                SR Cary                   2:45.70  
  6 Becket Killiam            SR Pinecrest              2:46.65  
  7 Alec Lane                 SR Marvin Ridge           2:46.72  
  8 Grayson Boatright         JR Unattached             2:47.44  


Girls 4x400

One similarity between the girls' and boys' 4x4's: in both cases, the top school actually claimed first and second place.  Another similarity: the first-place time was one of the top five in the country.  Wakefield's A team pushed themselves to a 3:57.49, which was US #1 until a New York team ran 3:56 later Saturday night at the Armory.  Their B team also ran an essentially solo race, coming through with a 4:09 that would rank fourth in the state (and the listed runners were all 9th- and 10th-graders).  Peak Performance, a club team from South Carolina, finished a distant third.

Girls 4x400 Meter Relay
State Record: S 4:02.70  1999        Char. Independence                        
                         S. Porter, L. Collins, C, Love, J. Johnson        
    School                                               Finals  H# Points
  1 Wakefield  'A'                                      3:57.49S  2 
     1) Jemay Ward SO                   2) Tyra Lea JR                    
     3) Dejah Jones JR                  4) Tiana Patillo SR               
  2 Wakefield  'B'                                     x4:09.69   2 
     1) Destiny Robinson FR             2) Tia Robinson SO                
     3) Dasia Sanders SO                4) Leona Medley FR                
  3 Peak Performance Track Club  'A'                    4:22.68   1 
     1) Sydnee Caroll SR                2) Tianna Nkanata SR              
     3) Marissa Pinckney SR             4) Shelia Austin SR               
  4 Marvin Ridge  'A'                                   4:23.22   2 
     1) Delaney Dunkley JR              2) Kacie Hicks JR                 
     3) Kathleen Maher JR               4) Kayla Lugibihl JR              
  5 North Mecklenburg  'A'                              4:33.88   1 
     1) Jenna Parker SR                 2) Maggie Li JR                   
     3) Kendi Phifer FR                 4) Jhatanah Thomas JR             
  6 Butler  'A'                                         4:35.02   1 
     1) Felicia McCarthy SR             2) Krystal Rivers JR              
     3) Anna Moody FR                   4) Katelyn Lliso SR               
  7 Pinecrest  'A'                                      4:36.16   2 


Boys 4x400

This started out as an all-Knightdale affair, with their A and B teams having the top two seeds, but it was clear early that the A squad would have to push themselves.  This they did, pulling away by 12 seconds to run a US #4 time of 3:24.67.  The Knightdale second string was able to run fast enough to take second over Southeast Raleigh, who had run their race from the slower section.

Boys 4x400 Meter Relay
State Record: S 3:25.54  2006        New Bern                                  
                         K. Williams, D. Reynolds, E. Armstrong, A. Hendrex
    School                                               Finals  H# Points
  1 Knightdale  'A'                                     3:24.67S  2 
     1) Marquavious Johnson JR          2) Marcell Johnson JR             
     3) Henry Kiedy JR                  4) Kimani Hoffman JR              
  2 Knightdale  'B'                                    x3:36.95   2 
     1) Andonis Williams SR             2) Bernard Freeman SR             
     3) Corey Aikens JR                 4) Rashie Jacobs SR               
  3 Southeast Raleigh  'A'                              3:38.35   1 
     1) Brian Ananaba SO                2) Sandy Chapman SR               
     3) Dante Jones SR                  4) Chadwick Massenburg SO         
  4 Marvin Ridge  'A'                                   3:40.57   1 
     1) Kendon Corbett SR               2) Alec Lane SR                   
     3) Justin Titgen SO                4) Carter Pennington SR           
  5 Harding University  'A'                             3:42.50   2 
     1) Stephen Spearmon, jr JR         2) Britain King JR                
     3) Elvin Eddy SR                   4) Ne'Juan Johnston JR            
  6 Platinum  'A'                                       3:42.64   2 
     1) Derrek Williams                 2) Phillip Bryant                 
     3) Brandon Carter                  4) Justin Frazier                 
  7 Polk County  'A'                                    3:43.01   1 
     1) Matthew Darden JR               2) Jacob Collins JR               
     3) Jordan Brown SR                 4) Mason Umlauf SR                
  8 Butler  'A'                                         4:02.40   1 
     1) Trevor Edwards SR               2) NyJuan Williams SO             
     3) Shavare Stitt FR                4) Chuka Soronnagi SO