Northside sweeps conference meet

Published 10:17 pm Thursday, April 26, 2007

By BY BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
YEATESVILLE — After pulling ahead of the competition on the first day of the Atlantic/Albemarle Conference track and field meet, the Northside Panthers’ boys and girls teams galloped towards the finish line and ran away with the conference crown Wednesday at Northside High School.
Over the last two days the Panthers’ boys won eight out 17 events, totaling 127 points. The Panthers’ girls would not be outdone as they matched their counterpart in wins, but surpassed them in points as they tallied a mind-blowing 192 of them to win their second straight conference title.
Also giving a strong effort was Perquimans. The Pirates’ boys team sat in fourth place at the end of day one but bounced back on the second day to place second with 81 points.
Finishing third was Camden with a score of 67, while Williamston placed fourth (41) and was followed by last year’s conference champions Southside (35).
The Williamston girls’ team managed to hold onto its second place standing on Wednesday as the Tigers were conference runners up racking up 107 points.
The Bruins’ 68 points were good enough to take third place, while the upstart Roanoke Redskins accumulated 57 points to place fourth. Perquimans trailed Roanoke with 26 points, but it was just enough to edge out Southside who scored 25.
Williamston coach Myra Register said she was happy to walk away in second place in the girls competition.
Bracey did more than well, as she won conference titles in the long jump and the 100-meter hurdles.
Though Southside struggled in Wednesday’s competition, Tijuana Keech had no problems as she ran away with the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:06.98.
The Panthers’ girls seemed to get stronger as the competition went on, winning six events on the second day.
Katie Bowen, Molly Hardison and Casey Lewis placed first, second and third respectively in the 1600-meter run, while Suzanne Lee and Ashley Clayton pulled off the double play in the 300-meter hurdles.
Lee placed first with a time of 48.81, while Clayton was right behind her with a 50.18. Williamston’s Jaimie Spruill placed third coming in at 51.48.
The Panthers pulled off the triple again in the 800-meter run. Once again Bowen was at the top of the list to take her second individual conference win with a time of 2:48. Placing second was Lewis, while Kayla Cerny scored third.
The competition was slim in the 3200-meter relay but Northside’s Molly Hardison pulled out the win with a time of 14.31.
In the 400-meter relay the Panthers overcame Williamston to take the title, and were led by Ashley Clayton, Savannah Boyd, Cerny and Lewis.
Boyd and Clayton also were on the conference winning 1600-meter relay team, and were joined by Ashley Meeks and Lakeyva Freeman.
Perquimans Jasmine Gary ran away with the 100-meter dash and edged out Keech in the 200-meter dash for her second conference win.
led by Bracey and Spruill, the Tigers topped Camden and Roanoke in the 800-meter relay. DaChelle Gupton and Shakenna Bass rounded out the squad that placed first with a time of 1:57.32.
The Panthers’ boys team were able to pull out four wins on Wednesday, with Warren Hamilton taking two of them.
Hamilton turned in two solid performances on the second day of the meet as he won both the 1600 and the 3200-meter runs by 10 seconds each.
In the 800-meter run, Northside’s Chad Davenport squeaked by Southside’s Brandon Cratch by two seconds to win with a time of 2:11.
The Panthers’ fourth win of the day came in the 800-meter relay, as Josh Jackson, Eric O’Neal, Dontae Dixon and Cody Asby turned in a time of 1:36.51 to beat Williamston by less than a second.
Camden’s Antoine Branch was lights out in the hurdles, as he won both the 110 and 300-meter hurdles event.
Perquimans swept the 100-meter dash as Doug and Brian Frierson place first and second respectively, and was followed by Marcori Ingram.
The Pirates’ Ashanti Thomas and Lamar Whidbee also came up big for Perquimans. Thomas nailed first in the 400-meter dash, while Whidbee ran away with the 200-meter dash.
The Perquimans team was just as quick in the relay events as it took first in the 400 and 1600-meter relays.
Though the Pirates ran through the competition on Wednesday, they still could not catch up to the first place Panthers. Woolard credited his seniors for guiding the team down the stretch and throughout the season.