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.”
Sands registers first hit as a Ray: Wilson’s Mills native and Smithfield-Selma High graduate Jerry Sands got his first hit as a Tampa Bay Ray Thursday, driving in a run with an RBI single in the Rays’ 11-6 loss to Miami. Sands came on as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the sixth inning.
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.
Nationals’ Burt drafted: Garner Nationals American Legion Baseball player D.J. Burt was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball Draft on Friday. Burt had played sparingly with the Nationals this summer as he prepared to be drafted. The 5-foot-7 speedy prospect played shortstop at Fuquay-Varina High but can play four other positions if needed.
Hinnant to State Games: Clayton junior baseball player Cole Hinnant has been named to the Region 3 team for the Powerade State Games High School Baseball Showcase. The event is set for June 18-22 at UNC Charlotte, BB&T Ballpark (Charlotte) and Hopewell High School. The High School Baseball Showcase pits the best 20 underclassmen players from eight North Carolina regions against each other to battle it out in front of over 80 college and professional scouts for the gold, silver and bronze medals.
The Region 3 team includes Wake, Johnston, Durham, Orange and 10 other counties in the north central part of the state.
Locals place in Jordan Lake tourney: Clayton angler Drew Johnson teamed with Wendell native Gill Young to finish second in the Boats Unlimited N.C. Team Tournament Bass Trail event at Jordan Lake recently. The duo totaled a five-fish limit catch weighing 21.32 pounds and won $605.
Garner’s Rick Ohlson and Jerry Marshburn of Sanford were fifth.
Recruiting: Khai Chandler of Garner, a 5-foot-10 girls’ basketball player, has signed with Francis Marion (S.C.) University. She averaged 15.8 points, 10 rebounds and 5.0 steals per game as a senior and was an All-Greater Neuse River pick.