The New Balance Nationals Indoor high school track and field championships will be hard-pressed to match last year when seven national records were set and another 10 performances were No. 2 on the all-time list.
But a couple of dozen area athletes will make the journey to the championships Friday-Sunday at The Armory in New York with the idea of competing against the best high school track and field athletes in the country.
Apex’s Sydney Murphy, Ravenscroft’s Ryen Frazier and Durham Hillside’s Marcus Krah are expected to contend for three titles each.
Murphy will run in the 60-meter sprint and compete in the long jump and triple jump. Krah will be trying for championships in the 60-meter high hurdles, the long jump and the triple jump.
Frazier will face a tough distance triple – 5,000 meters Friday, the 2-mile at 1:11 p.m. Sunday, followed 78 minutes later by the 1-mile.
The area also is expected to make a splash in the relays. High school teams cannot compete under their school name because of N.C. High School Athletic Association rules, but girls from Cary, Green Hope and Wakefield might be national contenders in various relays.
Word of God: Word of God won the USA National Prep boys’ basketball tournament last weekend in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., with a 71-56 victory over Centereach (N.Y.) Our Savior.
The Rams (30-3) reached the prep school championship by beating Fort Mill (S.C.) Comenius 86-68, Durham Mount Zion 83-79 and Fort Washington (Md.) National Christian 75-64.
Demetrius Troy, a UNC Greensboro recruit, was named the tournament most valuable player after averaging 26 points per game. Word of God senior forward Jalyn McKoy averaged 11 points and 12 rebounds, and James Dickey averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Falcons no-hitter: Green Hope opened its baseball season Saturday with Michael Merryman, Chris Joyner and Matt Duckworth combining for a no-hitter in a 6-0 victory over Durham Jordan.
Merryman pitched the first four innings, giving up one walk and hitting a batter. Joyner threw two innings, giving up two walks, and Duckworth was perfect in the seventh.
The Falcons also threw out two base runners, so the trio faced only 23 batters.
Rose looks strong: Greenville Rose baseball coach Ronald Vincent’s club is off to a 2-0 start with an 11-0 win against Washington and a 7-6 victory over Nash Central.
“I think we are going to be all right,” said Vincent, the state leader in baseball coaching victories. “Our pitching is a little better than I thought it might be. We’re starting four 10th-graders. They are good players, but they also happen to be at the right place at the right time.”
Fast start: Heritage’s Caleb Coyle began his senior baseball season with a hot bat. Coyle hit three singles, a double and a three-run home run in a season-opening 15-14 victory over Holly Springs.
Despite Coyle’s production, the Huskies needed Justin Kunz’s two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to win the opener. Heritage trailed 14-13 before Kunz, a Gardner-Webb recruit, hit the game-winner.
Princeton coach: Travis Gaster, a former assistant coach at Cleveland High, has been named as the football coach at Princeton.
Gaster is the son of Jack Gaster, who had outstanding football coaching success at Smithfield-Selma and Albemarle.
Travis Gaster was an assistant under his father and under Marc Morris at Harnett Central High, Cleveland High and last year at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Carolina Forest High.
Friendship coach: Adam Sanders, the offensive coordinator at Chapel Hill High the past two years, has been named as the Apex Friendship High football coach. Friendship will open this fall but not play a varsity football game until 2016.
The Patriots will play a junior varsity football schedule in 2015.
Sanders, 28, is a Rock Hill, S.C., native who played at Westminster Catawba and at Furman.
D. Clay Best and J. Mike Blake contributed to this story.
N.C. High School Athletic Association Basketball championships
At the Smith Center
Noon: 2A girls: Kinston (19-10) vs. Wilkes Central (25-4)
2:30 p.m.: 2A boys: Kinston (25-4) vs. East Lincoln (24-0)
5 p.m.: 4A girls: Southeast Raleigh (26-3) vs. Charlotte Myers Park (28-1)
7:30 p.m.: 4A boys: Garner (27-1) vs. Charlotte Ardrey Kell (28-1)
At Carmichael Arena
Noon: 1A girls: Riverside (Martin County) vs. Winston-Salem Prep (23-3)
2:30 p.m.: 1A boys: East Carteret (27-2) vs. Winston-Salem Prep (20-7)
5 p.m.: 3A girls: Chapel Hill (24-2) vs. Hickory (26-0)
7:30 p.m.: 3A boys: Fayetteville Sanford (26-3) vs. Gastonia Ashbrook (23-3)