2019 Track and Field Season Outlook | Teams return regional, state qualifiers
By Malcolm Shields
Thursday, March 7, 2019
The unofficial start of the 2019 high school track and field season in the area was Tuesday as Northeastern hosted the NC Runners Eastern Tour.
Pasquotank, John A. Holmes, Perquimans, Currituck and Northeastern participated.
Camden is also expected to have athletes compete for regional spots this season.
Here is more on area track and field:
JOHN A. HOLMES
Coach: Tamika Nixon (boys), Maurice Downing (girls)
Boys Outlook: The Aces return state champion Aaron Pryce for his senior season.
Pryce will compete in the 110 hurdles, the 300 hurdles, the 200 meters and the 4x200 meter relay.
Pryce is the NCHSAA Class 1A state champion in the 300 hurdles and part of the state champion 4x200 meter relay team.
Nakevin Hill, a senior, will compete in the long jump, the 100 meters, the 4x100 this season.
Last year, Hill advanced to regional in the long jump and was part of the 4x100 meter relay team that was second at the state championship meet.
Zakeem Brooks, also a senior, will compete in the 100, the 200, the 4x100 and the 4x200 meter relays.
Brooks was part of both Edenton relay teams that finished first and second in the state last season.
Josiah Carter, Luis Carvajal and Jackson Ray are expected to contribute this season.
Nixon noted that the strength of the team will be the sprint events and will have to work on the distance events.
The key to the season is having athletes place in the events where they can help the team the most.
Edenton got a second-place finish in the 800 by Carvajal and Emarion Rountree respectively at the NC Runners tour Tuesday. Pryce opened the season with a win in the 110 hurdles, Edenton’s 4x100 meter relay of Brooks, Carter, Cameron Grimstead and Kyli’H Cofield won the event.
Girls Outlook: Itary Lopez (1,600 and 3,200 meters) and Zynia Capehart (shot put and discus) are returning athletes from last season.
Lopez, a sophomore, advanced to the state championship meet as a freshman in the 3,200, while Capehart, a junior, won the Albemarle Athletic Conference championship in the shot put last season.
Kayla White, Zacchaeu Grissom, Precious Bond and Sarai Leigh are expected to contribute this season.
Grissom won the 200-meter run, Lopez won the 3,200-meter run, while the Edenton 4x200 meter relay of Grissom, Kayla Williams, Keynaria Bazemore and Bond won the event at the NC Runners tour Tuesday.
Coach: Jon Nixon
Boys Outlook: Perquimans’ top returning athletes include Quindall Freeman in the 400 and the 4x400 meter relay, Travis Reid in the 100 and the 4x100 relay, Jaden Allen in the shot put and discus, Anthony Griswold in the 400 and the 4x400 relay, Ceo Riddick in the 200, the 400 and the long jump, Keshawn Long in the 400 the shot put and discus and Joseph Askew in the 200, the 400 and the 4x400 relay.
E.J. Gatling (100 and 4x100), Gabriel Tripp (400, the 800 and the 4x400 relay), Kesian Elliott (100 and 4x100), Amarion Hunter (100 and 4x100), Saquon Kearse (100 and 200), Julian Jenkins (400 and 800) Tyreese Brothers (hurdles) and Antwan Harris (200 and 4x200 relay) are expected to help this season.
Nixon noted that the Pirates will be young this season and will rely on the experience of the upper-class athletes.
Freeman finished third in the 400 meter at the NC Runners tour Tuesday.
Girls Outlook: Shunasia Whidbee (100 and 4x100), Alize White (200, 400, and 4x200), Tanaysha Watson (200 and 4x400), Marayha Holley (400 and 4x400), Ma’Shanti White (200, 4x200 and 4x100) and Sandra Rennie (400, 800, and 4x200) are the Lady Pirates top returning athletes from last season.
Sy’Tazia Warren is also expected to contribute in the 100 and 4x100 meter relay.
Nixon noted that the girls’ team is small and that athletes will have to compete in multiple races in order to compete for a team championship.
At Tuesday’s meet, Whidbee finished second in the 100-meter run, and Watson was third in the 200-meter run.
Coach: Terry Kelly
Boys Outlook: Pasquotank’s strengths will be in the sprints and jumps for the boys this season, while it will be a work in progress in the distance events.
Top returning athletes for Pasquotank are Sam Bingham (sprints), Greg Barnes (sprints), Quan Bui (sprints and middle distance) Adrian Sanchez (middle distance) and Patrick Riddick (discus).
Justin Brothers will also contribute this season.
Staying healthy was the key to the season for the Panthers.
The boys team got off to a good start at the NC Runners event Tuesday as Bingham won the 100- and 200-meter dash, the 4x100 relay finished third in the event, Bui was second in the 400-meter run, Sanchez was second, Wyatt Rhodes took third and Ethan Hunt was fourth in the 300 hurdles, Julian Branch and Carlos Cardenas were second and third respectively in the long jump and Sanchez won the triple jump.
Girls outlook: The Lady Panthers will be anchored by returning athletes Tyuanna McCoy (sprints), Destine Moore (sprints and jumps), Keyona Moore (sprints), Jaleia Oatman (sprints) and Domonique Albert (sprints and middle distance).
Tiffani Davis, Tyler Goldsmith, Tia Smith, Kaylee Swope and Samantha Helgestad are expected to help this season.
Kelly noted that he has a great group of young sprinters this season. Distance event will be a struggle for Pasquotank.
Kelly noted that the key for the season is to compete in every race, stay healthy and grow in confidence as the season progresses.
The Lady Panthers had success at Tuesday’s meet as Keyona Moore was third in the 100, won the 4x100 relay, Oatman took fourth place in the 400 dash, while Destine Moore was second and Oatman was third in the long jump.
Northeastern’s first-place finishes at the meet include Candace Barclift (girls’ 100 hurdles), the boys 4x200 relay team, Holden Hodge (boys’ 300 meters) and Wonderful Banks (boys’ long jump).
Currituck’s winners at the meet include Laneya Evans (girls’ 100), Jasmine Gorney (girls’ 300-meter hurdles) and Cameron Graham (boys’ high jump).
Hailee Reinke also finished second in the girls’ 800 and the 1,600-meter runs.
Camden is expected to be strong in the distance events this season.