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QUEENS OF THE TRACK

Pasquotank relay aims for 3rd straight NCC crown

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Pasquotank's (l-r) Amaya Simpson, Aundrea Morgan, Janaya Lynn and Marinda Hicks have clocked the fastest 4x100 meter time in the area this season.

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Malcolm Shields
Sports Writer

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Success leads to confidence and the Pasquotank girls’ 4x100 meter relay team knows that it’s good.

With back-to-back Northeastern Coastal Conference championships, the quartet of Janaya Lynn, Amaya Simpson, Marinda Hicks and Aundrea Morgan could lead Pasquotank to a third consecutive conference title in the relay at the NCC championship meet today on its home track.

The Lady Panthers have a bit of tradition in the 4x100 relay.

Since 2010, Pasquotank has won five of the last six league championships in the event.

Lynn, who has ran on the team for four seasons, has seen the progression of the squad.

After winning the conference in her sophomore year, Lynn, along with the current group, also took a 2A East Regional crown in 2015 to qualify for the state meet in Greensboro.

“That was the best,” Lynn said of last season’s accomplishments. 

Pasquotank had one of the top 10 times entering the meet last season, but a bad exchange during the race disqualified the Lady Panthers from a potential spot on the podium.

Although Lynn said some were disappointed abut the result, it did not lower her spirits.

“We made it to states,” Lynn said. “That’s a big accomplishment.”

What also coincided with the Lady Panthers’ success in 2015 was the emergence of Simpson. 

Simpson, who also is a standout player on the Pasquotank girls basketball team, was the newest member of the relay.

At first, Simpson thought that it would be hard for a freshman to join the team, but Lynn, Hicks and Morgan made her feel at ease.

It also helped that Simpson was on the basketball team with Lynn and Morgan.

“That is when we all came together,” Simpson said.

As for Hicks, the senior originally didn’t think that there would be a spot for her when she started.

Now she is one of the veterans.

“I didn’t think that we would get this far,” Hicks said. “For me, this is like a dream come true.” 

The bond that the team has off the track, Hicks said helps them in competition.

“I know that I can trust them,” she said.

As for this season, Pasquotank posted the fastest time in the conference at 51.44 back in March.

Morgan, who has won the conference championship in the 200 for the past two seasons, and Lynn will run the fourth and first legs respectively.

Simpson and Hicks are the second and third legs on the relay.

The Lady Panthers seem to be rounding into form.

Last week, the team ran one of its fastest times since the beginning of the season with a 51.54.

“We are good.” Morgan said. ”We are ready for it.”

Edenton and Northeastern could challenge Pasquotank for the conference crown.

Contenders

Currituck could be in line for its seventh consecutive girls team championship.

Amberine Brown has a shot of claiming the conference championship in the 100 and 200 meters for the Lady Knights.

Freshman Isis Saunders has emerged as one of the top hurdlers in the area.

She will compete in both the 100 and 300 hurdles for the Lady Knights.

Madeline Duncan is one of the favorites in the 400 meters, while Madison Davis has consistently been one of the top distance runners in the conference.

Currituck coach Lori Davis said the key for the Lady Knights to win another conference championship is having all of its top point earners from last season’s regional return.

“We are pretty deep for the girls,” she said.

Tyell Dunton and Tyler Logan have good chances to compete in the discus and shot put for the Currituck boys team.

Caleek Cherry and Cameron Whitehurst will lead the Knights in the sprints.

Northeastern has a shot to compete in the 400 meters as Nyla Harris has posted one of the top times in the conference.

Tyvaughn Sampson could sweep the shot put and discus for the Northeastern boys. Trey Bryant’s jump of 6-4 this season pegs him as a favorite in the high jump. The NHS boys will be strong in the relays.

The Northeastern boys team has a chance for a second consecutive league championship.

For Edenton, Alana Stevenson has one of the top times in the 100 meters. She will also run in the 4x100 relay for the Lady Aces.

Eric Phelps is the top sprinter for the Edenton boys team.

Pasquotank’s Samuel Bingham (100 and 200) and Brandon Tillett (200) enter the meet with competitive times in the sprints.

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