Raleigh’s Wayne Davis III and Clayton’s Keni Harrison are among the favorites entering this week’s NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Harrison became the first athlete to sweep the 100- and 400-meter hurdle Southeastern Confererence Championships last month in 15 years. She won the 100 in 12.86 seconds and the 400 in 54.76 seconds. The former Clayton High standout has won three SEC championships this school year. (She won the 60 indoor title in March.)
Harrison is seeded second in the NCAA Outdoor 400 field.
Davis, a Southeast Raleigh grad and the defending NCAA champion, broke the Texas A&M school record in winning the 110-meter hurdles at the NCAA West preliminaries. He finished in 13.20 seconds, lowering his own school record.
“That was a fun race, but it was bittersweet to have Aleec Harris run a bit faster in the next heat,” Davis, the defending NCAA champion, told aggieathletics.com. “I can’t wait to go head-to-head with him at nationals. I feel great about the time and there’s more to come in the future. This is a lovely track and it’s really fast.
“A lot of people talk about the pressure of being the defending champ and I don’t really feel much pressure. I love the hurdles and I’m not going to let any of that get in my way.”
He got the call up to Tampa Bay May 31 and has played in three games since, going 1-for-6.
Sands, an outfielder and first baseman, was hitting .288 with the Durham Bulls in Triple-A before the call up. He had nine home runs and 36 RBIs in 54 games.
He’s playing with former Johnston County rival Chris Archer of Clayton in the Major Leagues for the first time. Archer was 3-3 with a 3.73 earned-run average through 12 starts for Tampa Bay.
The Rays have struggled of late, dropping 10 straight games at one point this month.
The Region 3 team includes Wake, Johnston, Durham, Orange and 10 other counties in the north central part of the state.
Garner’s Rick Ohlson and Jerry Marshburn of Sanford were fifth.