Southeast Raleigh coach Elizabeth Gary probably summed up a lot of the competitors’ feelings after her girls’ team finished comfortably in first place at the NCHSAA 4A Mideast Regionals Saturday at Apex Friendship High School.
“We had a really great day with exceptional performances, a lot of personal records,” Gary said. “We want to come back here and run again sometime. We like this track.”
It was a record-setting day, with 10 meet records set on the girls side and 7 more by the boys.
Southeast Raleigh won all four relays, setting meet records in the 4x100 and 4x200-meters. The Bulldogs also went 1-2-3 in the 400, led by freshman Kyna Robinson, then Asya Macon and Kleo Torres.
Southeast racked up 178 to finish ahead of second-place Leesville Road’s 95.5.
“Kyna doing that well as a freshman was no surprise,” Gary said. “I’ve known her for years. We also did well getting three in the 100 finals and going 3-4 in the triple jump. A lot of our girls had personal bests today. We can win the state title and that’s what we’re going there to do.”
Leesville was led by junior running machine Nevada Mareno, who won the 3200 and 1600, and finished second in the 800 to teammate G’Jasmyne Butler and was part of the Pride’s second-place 4x800 relay team.
Mareno, though, is very inexperienced on this track, having played soccer the past two springs. She is still considered the favorite in the 3200 and 1600 at next week’s state meet.
“I’m still trying to figure out how to run in all four events; this is just my third outdoors meet,” Mareno said. “We’ll just try to get as many points as we can at states. If I finish second to G’Jasmyne again, that’s not bad.”
Rolesville senior Lauren White turned in the top 100 time in the state (11.46) and also won the 200.
Broughton coach David Christian had it figured out before the final 4x400 relay. As long as Southeast Raleigh’s boys didn’t win the final relay and Panther Creek didn’t finish in the top five, the Capital would win the meet. Broughton did not have a team in the final heat.
Green Hope held off Southeast Raleigh for first place and Panther Creek finished seventh.
Broughton won the boys’ title with 83 points, followed by Southeast (82) and Panther Creek (81).
Broughton got into the lead late in the day, when Jeremy Brown, Lanier Derbyshire, and Robbie Simmons finished 2-3-4 in the 3200, behind Apex runner Ben Savino.
“We were disheartened early when our 4x800 team finished fifth, missing out on making the state meet,” Christian said. “After that, would we crumble or overcome the disappointment - they overcame it.”
The Caps got a big boost in the 1600, where juniors Andrew Brooks finished first and Stuart Holmes took second. Brooks also finished second in the 800, Matt Dillon was second in the pole vault, and senior Omar Sanchez scored 4 decisive points in the wheelchair events.
“Omar has been the heart of our team all season,” Christian said.
Middle Creek senior Terrell Adams was the buzz of the meet, especially early. Already the favorite to win the discus at the state meet, he threw the discus 213 feet, nine inches, the longest ever in the state. He also qualified in the shot put with a throw of 56 feet.
“There’s no telling what he will do at states, nothing he does surprises me at this point,” Middle Creek coach Mark Fisher said. “He’s just a natural. He was actually a bowler. Some guys on the track team saw him throwing that ball around and told him he needed to come out for track.”
He’s looking to repeat as discus champion and win the shot in the state meet.
“I really enjoy this, I never get tired of it,” Adams said. “And I feel like I’m getting better and better every day.”