Washington eye regional title; Area teams ready for 1A East Region track meet

Published 10:13 pm Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sports Writer
Washington didn’t win the conference title, but with 4A powerhouse New Bern out of the way, the Pam Pack boys’ track team has its sight set on bigger things, starting with a NCHSAA 1A East Region Championship.
Today, the Pam Pack will be one of 24 teams vying for a regional championship at Nash Central in Rocky Mount.
This year, Washington will send 18 boys and nine girls to the regional championship. That’s more than double last year’s total. Blank credits assistant coaches William O’Pharrow, Phil Crews, Wayne Flint and Scott Dills with helping turn the program around.
The boys have several ranked competitors in the regional championships. Leading the way is senior Travis Daniels, who is the top-seed in the triple jump (44-feet, 4-inches) and the third-seed in the long jump.
Other boys with state qualifying potential — must finish in the top-four at regionals — are Jamont Jones and Dakuan Spencer. Jones is the second-seed in the 200-meter sprint, while Spencer’s best chance comes in the 300-meter hurdles where he’s the fourth seed.
The 4×100-meter relay team of Jones, Darien Peele, Keenan O’Brien and Marvin Spruill also are one of the favorites in their event. The quartet enters the one-lap sprint as the No. 3 seed.
On the girls side, Sharita Grice is the heavy favorite to win the discus. Grice has a season-best throw of 128-feet, -inches, while her nearest competitor has yet to reach 105-feet.
Samantha Smith also is expected to have a big day. The Pam Pack senior enters the regional championships as the No. 4 seed in both the shot put and 100-meter hurdles.
Other girls who could be vying for a state championship berth are Vantashia Palmer in the 300-meter hurdles and Jessica Rogers in the 800-meter run and 1,600-meter run.
The 4×100-meter relay team of Kiki Bailey, Felicia Pope, Mercedes Ellegor, and Palmer is the No. 5 seed, and the 4×400-meter relay team of Palmer, Bailey, Rogers and Elizabeth Tanner will be seeded sixth.
The top-four qualifiers from each event will move onto next weekend’s NCHSAA 3A State Track &Field Championships on May 17 at the University of North Carolina A&T in Greensboro.
Atlantic Conference is well represented
Sports Writer
Both the Southside boys’ and Northside girls’ track teams added Atlantic Conference Championship trophies to their school’s display cases last week.
However, a regional championship trophy might be out of the question.
The Seahawks and Lady Panthers will both be well represented at today’s North Carolina High School Athletic Association 1A East Region track meet, but both teams appear poised to settle for individual success.
Pamlico and Topsail are heavily favored to duke it out for both the boys’ and girls’ crowns.
Southside will send 14 boys to the regional meet, while Northside will have 10 representatives, and Williamston will have nine.
Southside’s Byron Jordan is the area’s lone top-seed in the boys’ events. Jordan is the favorite in the 300-meter hurdles with a regional qualifying time of 41.30 seconds. He’s also seeded second in the 110-meter hurdles, less than two-tenths of a second behind Pamlico’s James Bell. Jordan will also be a part of the second-seeded 4×200-meter relay team. He will join Chris Godley, Michael Clayton and Jimmy Stokes in the two-lap race.
Godley also has a regional championship in sight as he enters the 400-meter dash as the No. 2 seed, while the 4×800 team of Brandon Cratch, Terrence Windley, Malcom Wright and Sam Mullins also sits in the No. 2 hole entering regionals.
Southside has several other athletes who could finish near the top of the leaderboard. Dash Spruell has the fourth fastest regional qualifying time in the 400-meter dash, while Sam Mullins will be the fourth-seed in the 1,600-meter run, the fifth-seed in the 800-meter run, and the sixth-seed in the two-mile. Michael Clayton is the No. 5 seed in the 400-meter dash and Nic Moore is seeded sixth in the 300-meter hurdles. And Brandon Cratch is the No.3 seed in the 800-meter run, while Terrance Whidley is the No. 6 seed in the same event.
On the girls’ side, Northside will send 14 athletes to today’s regional meet, while Williamtson will have 12 representatives, and Southside will compete with eight girls.
Northside’s Katie Bowen and Ashley Clayton, along with Southside’s Mary Baker are the area’s top female competitors. All three are tops seeds in their respective events.
Bowen in favored to win the 800-meter run. The Panthers’ sophomore has a seed time of 2 minutes and 34 seconds, almost two seconds better than any other competitor. Bowen will also run in the 1,600-meter run, where she’s the fourth seed and will also compete in a pair of relays.
Clayton is the No. 1 seed in the 300-meter hurdles and is the fifth seed in the 110-meter hurdles. She’ll also compete on the fourth-seeded 4×400-meter relay team with Bowen, Kayla Cerny, and Savannah Boyd.
Baker is the favorite in the discus after a toss of 104-feet, 8-inches earlier this year, and is also the No. 2 seed in the shot put, behind Pamlico’s Quiesha Miller.
Northside, Southside, and Williamston also have several other girls who could compete for a regional title.
Northside’s Alicia Brewer is the No. 3 seed in the discus and No. 6 seed in the shot put. Cerny is the No. 6 seed in the 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles. And the Panthers’ 4×800-meter team of Bowen, Molly Hardison, Brooke Leigh, and Elizabeth Harris is the No. 3 seed.
Southside’s Tiffany Harrell is one of the favorites in the 400-meter dash, and will team with Qua’neika Thomas, Renihia Hodges, and Atyanna Stakie to form the third-seeded 4×400-meter relay team.
Williamston’s charge will be led by Lynn Davis and Jamie Spruill. Davis is the No. 3 seed in the discus and No. 4 seed in the shot put, while Spruill is the second-seed in the 300-meter hurdles, the fourth-seed in the triple jump, and sixth-seed in the long jump. Spruill will also join Candace Speller, Jakela Bryant, and Sha’Tori Brown to form the No. 5 seed 4×400-meter relay team.
The top-four finishers in each event will move onto next weekend’s NCHSAA 1A State Championship Track Meet on the campus of North Carolina A&T in Greensboro.