Area teams ready to run at 1-A track championships

Published 11:42 pm Saturday, May 17, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
GREENSBORO — Thirty-six individual crowns and two team titles will be at stake today in Greensboro, as more than 50 schools invade North Carolina A&T State University for the NCHSAA Group 1-A State Track &Field Championships.
Among them will be teams from Southside, Northside and Williamston.
For more than 500 athletes, the pressures on the line to bring home a state title. At this point in the year, it’s only the cream of the crop that’s left, so throw out the seedings, because anything can happen.
Southside will have 11 athletes competing in 10 different events.
On the girls’ side, senior thrower Mary Baker enters the 1-A meet as the favorite in the discus with a seed of 110-feet, 11-inches. She’s also seeded-fourth in the shot put.
Freshman Tiffany Harrell will be the only other Seahawks’ girl competing as she lines up 14th in the 400-meter dash.
On the guys’ side, Byron Jordan will carry the torch for Southside. The senior hurdler will be seeded eighth in the 110-meter high hurdles and seventh in the high hurdles. He’ll also be on the fourth-seeded 4×200-meter relay team along with Chris Godley, Michael Clayton and Tony Grice.
Jordan is confident that he can do much better than his rankings.
Also competing for the Seahawks will be Brandon Cratch (No. 7 seed in the 800-meter run), Godley (No. 14 seed in the 400-meter dash), Dash Spruell (No. 7 seed in the high jump) and the 4×800-meter relay team (No. 14 seed) of Cratch, Terrance Whindley, Malcolm Wright and Sam Mullins.
Northside’s girls team — which won the Atlantic Conference and finished third in the East Region — will send nine girls.
Among those leading the Panthers’ charge will be Ashley Clayton. Clayton, who won the East Region’s 100-meter hurdles title, enters the state meet ranked 11th in the 100-meter hurdles and fifth in the 300-meter hurdles.
Katie Bowen will also compete in a pair of individual events for Northside. Bowen will be seeded 11th in both the 800-meter run and the 1,600-meter run.
"We’re pretty beat up at this point in the season,” Southside coach Jerry Klas said, “but we’re going in there hoping for a top-ten finish from our boys. That would be a great finish for us”
Sophomore Alicia Brewer is also hoping to do well today. She’s seeded seventh in the shot put after a toss of 32-feet, 10-inches at regionals.
Molly Hardison and Orianna Phillips will also compete in individual events for Northside’s girls team. Hardison is seeded 13th in the 3,200-meter run, while Phillips is the 16th seed in the high jump.
Northside will have a pair of relay teams competing today as well. The 4×400-meter relay squad of Bowen, Clayton, Kayla Cerny and Iva Winstead won a regional championship last week and will enter today’s meet as the ninth seed.
Northside will compete in the 4×800-meter relay where the team of Hardison, Brooke Leigh, Callie Leigh and Elizabeth Harris will be seeded 15th in the 16-team event.
Northside will send one boy to the state meet. Andrew Cadle will be the No. 15 seed in the two-mile run.
Meanwhile, Williamston will send five individuals and four relay teams to this weekend’s meet. Jamie Spruill and Lynn Davis will each compete in a pair of events for the Tigers. Spruill is the 16th seed in the long jump and the ninth seed in the 300-meter hurdles, while Davis is the 12th seed in the shot put and the No. 9 seed in the discus.
Lashonya Bazemore (No. 10 seed in the triple jump), Emery Griggs (No. 14 in the boys’ discus) and Marquise Staton (No. 15 seed in the 300-meter hurdles) will also be competing for Williamston.
Williamston’s four relay teams, the 4×100-meter boys’ team (Griggs, Cedric Moody, Brandon Alston and Javian Andrews), the 4×800-meter girls’ team (Sheneka Bowers, Candace Speller, Kierra Gainer and Breann Wilkins), the 4×200-meter girls’ team (Sha’Tori Brown, Dominique Comer, DaChelle Gupton and Quashonna Smith) and the 4×400-meter girls’ team (Spruill, Speller, Brown and Jakela Bryant) will all have their work cut out for them as they enter the meet outside the top 12.