Though first place was on the mind of many at the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A indoor track and field championships on Saturday, Southeast Raleigh proved that sometimes there’s a thrill to finishing second.
After graduating many of last year’s key seniors that swept outdoor and indoor titles, finishing all alone in second (the Bulldogs’ 61 points were well behind High Point Central’s 80 but well ahead of Rocky River’s 46) didn’t seem all that bad.
“We did lose a lot of seniors from last season, so for us to come back and be runners up, that’s amazing,” Kylia Wright said.
Southeast was fitting led by its four runner-up finishes: Sierra Fletcher in the 55 hurdles, Wright in the 55 dash, Kyna Robinson in the 500 and the 4-by-400 relay team.
Charlonda Washington was third in the triple jump as was Candice Whitley in the shot put. Samantha Davis (long jump) and Fletcher (300) also posted fourth-place finishes.
Wright’s time of 6.93 in the 55 was perhaps the best second-place finish a runner could have.
It was second-fastest in the nation this year.
The only person faster, naturally, was her opponent and eventual meet MVP Tamara Clark of High Point Central.
“I never had a thought of me being under 7 seconds, so when I saw that time, I was speechless,” Wright said. “I used to be (ranked) U.S. No. 30, so to come from somewhere really low to be No. 2 right now, I’m really proud of myself, thankful for my coaches, thankful to God, my coaches, everyone.”
It was unusual for being so pleased with a silver medal, but it was no ordinary race.
“Under 7 seconds? I don’t care if I was fourth. That’s crazy,” Davis said.
The Southeast boys were 11th with Eric Haddock taking third in the triple jump and the 4-by-200 relay finishing fourth.