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.
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.
Love was the only player in the camp to receive an invitation to the Rivals Five-Star Challenge, a national camp that will be held at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Love is one of the fastest players in the country, but has not run much track this spring. He had a groin injury at the end of the 2013 football season.
“With all this cold weather, Bryce really hasn’t turned it on this spring,” said Wake Forest football coach Reggie Lucas. “He doesn’t want to push his training. I suspect he’ll be running more in track as the weather warms.”
Broughton plays Green Hope (4 p.m.) and Person plays Millbrook (7:00) at Millbrook on Thursday. Wake Forest plays South Granville (4:00) and Middle Creek plays Wakefield (7:00) at Wakefield.
On Friday, Green Hope plays Millbrook (4:00) and Person plays Broughton (7:00) at Millbrook and South Granville plays Wakefield (4:00) and Middle Creek plays Wake Forest (7:00) at Wakefield
The Saturday games are at Millbrook at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The Hilltop tournament openers on Thursday are Panther Creek vs. West Forsyth (1 p.m.) and Athens Drive vs. East Chapel (4:00) at East Chapel Hill; Winston-Salem Glenn vs. Durham Jordan (4:00), and Holly Springs vs. Orange (7:00) at Durham Jordan; Northern Durham vs. Heritage (4:00) and Apex vs. Chapel Hill (7:00) at Chapel Hill; and Durham Riverside vs. East Forsyth (4:00) and Cary vs. Cedar Ridge (7:00) at Cedar Ridge.
The tournament continues Friday and Saturday at the three sites.