Southside prepares for conference meetPublished 7:01pm Monday, April 22, 2013
CHOCOWINITY — The Southside track and field team will be looking to give its opponents a run for their money this Wednesday when the Seahawks host the Four Rivers Conference championship meet at 4 p.m.
Southside won the conference title in 2011 before falling three points short to last year’s champions Camden. With a young, scrappy team, the Seahawks may not be frontrunners to win this year’s title but can definitely keep themselves in the running with a strong showing.
“I think we’re capable, but I think we have to have all the breaks and have a few things go our way,” Southside coach DeWayne Kellum said. “We’re not the dominant team. We’re very young, we have a lot of freshman and sophomores running for us.”
Throughout the regular season Southside, along with some of the other smaller programs, are at a disadvantage because larger teams can produce points by placing more runners in more events. However, in Wednesday’s conference meet teams will be restricted to only three athletes per event which should help even out the competition.
“In a conference meet you’re limited to three kids per race, so we don’t have anything to lose,” Kellum said. “We’ve been losing a lot of points in the mile and two mile races, but now teams are limited to three an event so that kind of evens the pie for us.”
In order to compete for a conference crown Southside must continue to get solid production from its sprinters and relay runners, a group led by Cole Kellum, Aaron Jones, Leevonte Grimes and Darius Whitley.
“Our strength is in the shorter races, the 100s, 200s and the 400s and the relays. If our 100 team would work on its handoffs we’d be pretty dang good,” Kellum said.
Southside also has potential to rack up points in the jumping and throwing events.
“Cole, Aaron Jones and Darius Whitley have formed a strong 1-2-3 in the triple jump. We pull a lot of 1-2-3’s there,” Kellum said. “In the long jump we have our moments but we need to improve about a half-a-foot on that if we want to place.
“Shot put, Laquan Moore is our best guy and we have some guys that are pretty good at that and the discuss. We should be able to get some points there. Tyler Stanbridge has really improved at the discuss, he’s added 20 feet to his throws.
“In the long jump Leevonte Grimes and Tyriek Gaskins are nose-to-nose there.”
With Southside being strong in the sprinting portion of the meet and extremely competitive in the jumping and throwing events, the turning point for the Seahawks figures to come in the intermediate running events.
“I think the midrange area will be important,” Kellum said. “We need to sweep in and pick up some points in the events we’re not really strong in.”