Some underclassmen high school football players fan out across the nation to attend prestigious recruiting combines this time of year, but Garner junior Nyheim Hines competed in another sport close to home to elevate his ranking.
The Trojans’ running back opened the eyes of both track and football coaches with his three gold medals Saturday highlighted by a blazing fast time of 10.54 seconds in the 100 meters at the NCHSAA 4A Mideast track and field regionalat Apex High.
Hines set a personal record in the 100, won the 300 hurdles in another personal record of 38.27 and brought the Trojans from behind on the anchor leg of 4x100 with a winning 42.16.
There are many fast football players, but Hines wants to continue both sports in college. That is evidenced by his willingness to compete at more than 200 meters and to work at the techniques required of the hurdles.
“I’ve been running track since I was 8 and the hurdles since I was 10,” said Hines, who has scholarship offers from schools throughout the ACC and SEC as well as Notre Dame and Ohio State. “Track has gotten me this far, so why stop now?”
This also is a time of year dubious 40-yard times are thrown around in the media at the NFL draft and recruiting combines, but there are few football players at any level who can legitimately run an electronically timed 100 in the 10.50s.
“Guys who run a 4.3 in the 40 can’t run a 10.50,” Hines said. “Football players talk about 40 times, but 40s don’t help you if the linebacker supposedly runs a 4.4.”
Hines has a high profile football, but other athletes throughout the boys’ and girls’ competitions rewrote record book on a day the top four finishers in all events advanced to the 4A state meet.
Apex’s boys won with 103 points and Southeast Raleigh’s girls captured their crown with 115. Knightdale’s boys were second with 82 and Wakefield’s girls were the runner-up with 95.
Apex’s Drew Pederson led the Cougars with a pole vault meet record of 15 feet. Other Cougars claiming victories were Mihret Coulter in the 1,600 (4:21.68) and Reyho Tshiama in the high jump (6-4).
Knightdale's Kimani Hoffman won the triple jump (47-0 1/2 ).
Southeast Raleigh’s Jamaree Murray set a 400 record with a 47.51. He also won the 200 (21.33) and teamed with Jayon Woodward, David Conner and Jayquan Williams to win the 4x400 in a meet record 3:17.82. Williams briefly lost the lead in the final 100 meters but mounted one final surge to regain the lead and hold off runner-up Knightdale (3:17.95).
Knightdale’s Jamie Brown, Kimani Hoffman, Nathaniel Harey and Marcell Johnson set a 4x200 meet record of 1:26.93.
Southeast Raleigh senior Jacklyn Howell swept the hurdles in meet records to lead the Bulldogs to the girls’ title. She won the 100 hurdles in 13.74 and the 300 hurdles in 43.52.
“I wasn’t thinking about records,” said Howell. “I just wanted to set PRs and help my seeding at the state meet. This is my last year before I go on to college (Kentucky), and I’ve been working with more dedication and focus.”
Howell was supported by teammate Hasana Clark’s sweep of the shot put (38-9 1/5) and discus (115-1).
Apex’s Sydnei Murphy won the long jump with a meet record 19-8 and the triple jump at 38-11.
Cary girls swept the 100 through the 800 as junior Layla White set a 200 meet record with a 24.15 and won the 400 with a state-leading 55.16. White surged from third place in the final 30 meters to win the 200.
Chaminique Hackney won the 100 in 11.83 and Lakeisha Warner the 800 in 2:15.23. Hackney and Warner teamed with White and Desi Rowell to set a meet record in the 4x200 relay with a 1:39.45.
White credited her work in the 800 this year for her ability to come from behind in the 200.
“If you run the 400, you should be able to run up in the 800 and down in the 200,” she said. “The 800 and pushups have helped me with endurance this year.”