Southeast Raleigh senior Jamaree Murray knew there would be one simple key to his day at the NCHSAA 4A indoor track and field championships Saturday: “all heart.”
Murray – and his girls teammate Jacklyn Howell – showed some that heart in bringing home state individual championships from a meet dominated by Triangle athletes who won 19 of the 30 events.
Murray won the 300-meter dash at the JDL Fast Track in 34.74 seconds and finished second in the 500 (1:04.36).
“I just tried to take things one race at a time,” Murray said. “It wasn’t easy. You train yourself so you’re physically able to compete (in multiple events) but once you get here it takes all heart to do it.”
The Bulldogs finished fourth in both team scoring rundowns. The girls had hoped to be a part of the championship race but a string of late-season injuries slowed that effort late in the season.
Howell led the Southeast girls with her 55 hurdles state title (7.95), a fifth place finish in the 55 dash, a seventh place run in the 300 and running a leg on the Bulldogs’ fourth place 1,600-meter relay team (along with Kaylie Loyd, Jasmine Allen and Chelsea Garcia).
Allen also finished fifth in the 500, while Southeast placed two entries in the shot put top 10 with Hassana Clark fifth (39 feet, 11 ¾ inches) and Tiffany Dunham 10th (35-5).
Clayton’s Kristen Duncan had a fifth place showing in the pole vault, clearing 10 feet, while West Johnston’s Teri Strickland took eighth (7.3) in the 55.
Garner’s Nyah Hines was ninth in the 55 hurdle preliminaries, just missing out on a spot in the finals with a run of 8.63 seconds.
The Southeast boys had two relay teams place in the top seven. The 1,600 relay was second with a stellar time of 3:22.67 with Robert Williams, Elijah Reid and Joyn Woodward joining Murray on the track. In the 3,200 relay, Southeast took seventh with David Conner, Reid, Robert Williams and Jayquan Williams.
Jaquell Taylor took fourth in the triple jump for Southeast and Conner also finished sixth individually in the 500.
Garner’s Michael Jenkins brought home a bronze medal in the triple jump. Jenkins’ jump rated at 45-8 ½.
West Johnston had a pair of top eight finishers in Xavier Carter (fourth in the hurdles, 7.66) and Alex Porter (eighth in the shot put, 45-2).