High schools

Sanderson girls’ track ranked No. 1 in the state

tstevens@newsobserver.comMarch 28, 2014 

The 4-x-55 meter shuttle relay is not contested in N.C. High School Athletic Association indoor track meets, but that didn’t prevent the Sanderson High girls from finishing fourth in the recent national high school indoor championships in New York.

The hurdling corps and 400-meter runner Kameron Strong helped the Spartans earn the state’s top 4A girls ranking on the nc.milesplit.com website. Using performances recorded during this season, the website gives Sanderson a 2.5-point edge over Winston-Salem Parkland.

Sanderson coach Raymond Hammond knew he had a strong hurdling corps when he looked at the runners’ individual times in the 55-meter hurdles, which is contested in NCHSAA indoor meets.

“So we decided to put them together,” Hammond said.

Junior Imani Chapman, senior Kayli Nichols and sophomores Cathy Jackson and Shellbi Chapman ran the race in 32.72 seconds. The time was the fourth fastest in the country during the indoor season.

“I thought that we’d be competitive, but I didn’t expect us to be that fast,” Hammond said. “We’re pretty good around here, but to be that high in the nation was unexpected.”

Nichols, a UNC Wilmington recruit in the 800 meters, is probably the team’s fastest 100-meter hurdler outdoors and Shellbi Chapman may have the edge in the 300 hurdles. Both should contend for the NCHSAA outdoor championship, Hammond said. Shellbi Chapman also is an outstanding triple jumper.

Rough on top: It has been a tough few days from some of the area’s top-ranked high school teams.

Apex (7-1), No. 1 in the News & Observer rankings in softball, lost 9-8 to Green Hope on Thursday when the Falcons rallied for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Green Hope (9-1) had been ranked No. 6. Apex made six errors and Green Hope had five.

Holly Springs (7-3), the baseball leader, lost to Middle Creek 7-6 and to Green Hope 4-2 before topping Broughton 5-4 and Panther Creek 12-5.

Panther Creek (8-0-1), which is tops in girls soccer and ranked No. 47 in the country, came from behind to salvage a 1-1 tie with Holly Springs (7-0-2), which was ranked No. 5 in The N&O.

The lacrosse leaders, the Apex boys (8-0) and the Wakefield girls (7-0), escaped the week unblemished.

School record: Cary Academy’s Casey Miles recorded a school-record 16 strikeouts Thursday in a 2-1 win against Sanford Grace Christian. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound junior left-hander had 20 first pitch strikes to the 28 batters he faced. He walked two and gave up three hits. He also had three hits in the win.

He is 3-0 with a 0.778 earned run average and has 33 strikeouts.

Spencer Reed drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh with a two-strike single.

Wells Fargo Cup: Area teams lead three of the four classifications of the NCHSAA’s Wells Fargo Cup competition for overall athletic programs.

Points are awarded to schools for advancing in the NCHSAA playoffs.

Green Hope, Cardinal Gibbons and Carrboro are the leaders in 4A, 3A and 2A competition. Raleigh Charter is No. 2 in 1A behind Kernersville Bishop McGuinness.

Green Hope has a 355-255 lead on Cornelius Hough. Apex is tied for third and is followed by No. 5 Millbrook, No. 10 Broughton, No. 11 Wakefield, No. 13 Southeast Raleigh and No. 15 Panther Creek.

Gibbons leads Waxhaw Marvin Ridge 430-397.5 and Carrboro has a 2.5-point lead on Durham Science & Math. McGuinness leads Raleigh Charter by 110 points.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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