Knightdale wins 4th straight indoor track & field title

cbest@newsobserver.comFebruary 8, 2014 

Knightdale High's Jamie Brown win gold in the boys high jump. He helped Knightdale to win their 4th 4A NCHSAA indoor track championship in 4 years held in Winston-Salem on February 8, 2014.

DEAN STRICKLAND, OD — Dean Strickland, OD

— Knightdale sent an all senior lineup to the starting line for the 4x400-meter relay the final event in Saturday’s NCHSAA 4A indoor state championship meet. The state team championship – the Knights’ fourth straight – was already well in hand but the grouping of Corey Aikens, Nathaniel Harvey, Marcell Johnson and Marquavious Johnson went out and added another win to their impressive run: a state record at three minutes, 21.1 seconds.

The win just added to an already bulging scoring advantage (Knightdale totaled 80 points, runner-up Winston-Salem Mount Tabor had 43) but was a perfect finish to the indoor season for the class of 2014.

“Every year, our coaches tell us to not let ourselves be the team that lets the streak end,” Marquavious Johnson said. “It’s what we think about every year. God’s blessed us with the chance to compete, we might as well make the best of it.”

Kimani Hoffman was the meet MVP, winning both jumps: the long at 22 feet, 11 inches and the triple at 48-1. He also finished fifth in the 55-meter dash.

Marquavious Johnson, an East Carolina signee in football and track, won the 500 individual state title in 1:04.05, equaling a state record. He ran on the runner-up 3,200-meter relay team and finished fifth in the 300-meter dash.

Jamie Brown won the long jump for Knightdale (6-4) as well.

In total, Triangle-area entries brought home 19 of the 30 state championships up for grabs at the JDL Fast Track facility.

Winston-Salem Parkland edged Wakefield 51-49 in the race for the girls’ team title. Cary picked up third (44 points), Southeast Raleigh fourth (31) and Apex fifth (28).

Southeast Raleigh was fourth in the boys team standings and Apex was fifth.

Wakefield senior Ama-Selina Tchume was the girls’ meet MVP with a win in the 300 and runner-up finishes in the 55 and the long jump. She won the 300 at 39.21 seconds.

“The 300 win was a surprise,” Tchume said. “Having Layla (White of Cary) running with me, a great friend, was a real challenge in that race. I knew I had to pull out a win or two to help the team today.”

White, who finished fifth in the 300, won the 500-meter dash (1:15.12) earlier in the day. Teammate Charminique Hackney, a sophomore, won the 55 at 7.05 seconds.

Leesville Road freshman Nevada Mareno just had enough to get around T.C. Roberson’s Casey Greenwalt at the line to win the 1,000-meter run (2:56.24).

Jordyn Brown of Durham Jordan won the high jump (5-4) and Apex’s Sydnei Murphy (19-4) took the long jump gold.

Wakefield won the girls’ 4x400 relay (3:54) and Leesville Road won the 4x800 relay title (9:27.6) with Sarah Bigelow, G’Jasmyne Butler, Phoebe Clawson and Taylor Hemming.

Southeast Raleigh’s Jacklyn Howell was the hurdle champ (7.95).

Apex dominated the pole vault medal stand. Anna Eaton won the girls’ title (12-0) and Joe Devries (15-6) led a Cougar 1-2-3 finish on the boys’ side. Teammates Michael Utecht (15-0) and Drew Pedersen (14-0) were second and third.

Boys’ titles also went to Marcus Krah of Durham Hillside (55 hurdles, 7.43), Jamaree Murray of Southeast Raleigh (300, 34.74) and Green Hope’s 4x800 relay team (Jonathan Bakley, Corey Colberg, William Jordan and Brad Pehr) in 8:01.62.

Best: 919-524-8895; Twitter: @dclaybest

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