Garner Cleveland: Sports

Track athletes shine

Former Clayton High standout Keni Harrison thrived in her return to the area last weekend in the Atlantic Coast Conference Track and Field Championships in Raleigh.

Harrison, a sophomore at Clemson, was named the women’s meet MVP after winning the 400-meter hurdles in a school record time of 56.58 and running on the Tigers’ winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.

She also finished second in the 100 hurdles.

“I knew I was going to be in a lot of events, so I just did the best I could in each of them,” Harrison told “I’m happy with the result. It was my first time ever running the 4x1, but I just did my part and was able to help out. The pressure (of the 4x4) was pretty high, but we train for this. I knew if we left it all out there, we’d end up on top.”

Local Southern Conference champions: Garner’s Daryl Saunders and Southeast Raleigh’s Kendra Douglas both won conference track and field championships in the Southern Conference meet earlier this month in Statesboro.

Saunders, a sophomore at Appalachian State, won the high jump at six feet, 11 ½ inches. Douglas, a freshman at Western Carolina, won the 400 meters in 56.19 seconds and was on the Catamounts’ winning 4x400-meter relay team.

Fraiser impresses: Princeton sophomore Johnny Fraiser impressed even his competitors from the big schools last weekend in the Apex Lions Relay Invitational Meet. It’s one of the biggest meets in the high school track regular season schedule.

Fraiser ran second (10.92 seconds) in the 100-meter dash finishing second to defending 4A state champion Jahmaal Daniel of Fayetteville Terry Sanford. Fraiser also beat a former pupil of Princeton coach Mark McLamb, Broughton’s Therius Styles, who took third.

Styles came over to his former coach McLamb and competitor Fraiser after the race and said, “Coach McLamb, you have a good one,” referring to Fraiser.

Driver honored by NCHSAA: Corinth Holders softball and volleyball standout Erica Driver was one of 22 student-athletes from NCHSAA member schools honored for their outstanding sportsmanship as winners of “Heart of a Champion” award recently.

Driver was nominated by Corinth Holders softball coach Don Andrews.

“Erica exemplifies all the qualities that one would desire in a loyal and committed student-athlete,” Andrews said. “She displays a humble demeanor and sincere desire to preform at her very best in all activities that she undertakes. She truly leads her teammates by her example of patience and determination.”

Each NCHSAA member schools had the opportunity to nominate one male and one female student-athlete for the recognition. The students must have participated in at least one varsity sport or activity, including cheerleading, during the 2012-13 school year, have not been ejected from any contest, and must have demonstrated outstanding citizenship and sportsmanship during their high school careers.

Cleveland banquet: Cleveland has moved its spring athletic banquet to May 21. It will be held in the school cafeteria at 6 p.m.