Five area athletes brought home championships from the NCHSAA 3A East Regional for track and field Saturday. And Cleveland’s girls claimed the regional runner-up team trophy as qualifiers for Friday’s state championships in Greensboro were determined.
The Rams finished with 61 team points, far behind champion West Carteret (87 ½). Cleveland’s boys were fourth in the regional and Corinth Holders’ girls placed eighth. Jacksonville edged West Carteret for the boys regional title.
Wearing gold medals after their performances were Cleveland’s Sydni Fields in the 300-meter hurdles (47.54 seconds), teammate Alyssa Rivera in the 400 (1:01.2), Arden Vessie of Corinth Holders in the 3,200 (11:31.22), Josh Carter of Cleveland’s boys in the triple jump (43 feet, 1 ½ inches) and South Johnston runner Jacob Gonzalez in the 1,600 (4:31.2).
In addition to those winners, the top four finishers in each event from the regional moved onto the state finals.
Cleveland’s girls contingent will be the largest of those with the Rams qualifying their 400 relay and 1,600 relay teams, Fields in the triple jump and Tianda Jenkins in the 100 and long jump. Imani Williams was third in the 300 hurdles for the Rams also.
Corinth Holders is sending two girls relay teams as well in its 800 and 3,200 units. Marie Pickett in the 100 hurdles and Samara Gibson in the 200 also moved on for the Pirates.
Smithfield-Selma’s Teona Bannerman had a third place finish in the 200 and will run in the state finals as well.
South Johnston will be represented by Savannah Creed in the pole vault. She was the regional runner-up.
Cleveland posted a duo of multiple event qualifiers in the boys’ competition. Carter also qualified in the 110 hurdles and the long jump, where he took a silver medal. Dylan Caldwell finished fourth in both the discus and shot put competitions.
The Rams’ 1,600 relay team also qualified as did Austin Blumenberg in the 800 and Taiquan Dixon in the 30 hurdles.