Washington ready for regionals

Published 9:45 pm Thursday, May 2, 2013

Washington’s Kendall Bridges (above) will run the 4x400 with Cierra Hales, Kate Miller and Alex Franz at Saturday’s East Regional meet. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

Washington’s Kendall Bridges (above) will run the 4×400 with Cierra Hales, Kate Miller and Alex Franz at Saturday’s East Regional meet. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

Washington will need a big bus this Saturday as the Pam Pack track and field team will bring 23 athletes to the NCHSAA 3-A East regional meet at West Carteret, a number that veteran coach Jon Blank was pleased with.
It’s been an up and down year for Washington as the team boasts a blend of proven talent with some up-and-coming stars, but a strong showing at the Coastal Conference meet  enabled the Pack to bring 12 boys and 11 girls to this Saturday’s regional.
“I’m very pleased with the way things worked out for us and the outcome,” Blank said. “For us to have that balance between the boys and girls is a lot of fun.”
On the boys’ side, Stevie Green, who won Costal Conference championships in the high jump and the 110-hurdles, will compete in those two events and will team up with Devonta Corprew, Wante Smallwood and Jarquez Keyes for the 4×100-meter relay.
Green, who enters the regional as the No. 1 seed in the high jump, has been a stalwart for the team this season.
“Stevie Green has been a constant for us this year and he has a great shot at winning the region and advancing to the state level,” Blank said. “It’s exciting for him. With this being his first year out he’s been very competitive.”
Karim Topping will battle in the long jump and triple jump, while Daquan Daniels earned an invite to compete in the high jump.
“I think Karim has a great shot of advancing too,” Blank said. “I would love for him and all the athletes to go out and fight for that top four finish so they can go on and advance because I think that’s a great experience for these kids.”
Blank also felt like Tarahje Burke, who will also run in the 110-meter hurdles, is capable of a strong showing.
“I think Tarajhe Burke can compete in the 110 hurdles,” Blank said. “He’s currently seeded 10th but he’s another guy who with the extra competition there can put on a great showing.”
Keyes, Corprew, Smallwood and Myron Brooks will partake in the 4×200, while Willie Smith, Jose Chavez, Phillip Peaden and Victor Santos will run the 4×800 and Javon Whitney will compete in the long jump.
“We’ve had a late season surge with our boys’ relays,” Blank said. “Especially the 4×800. They’ve consistently gotten better this year and they’ve been getting after it this week.”
On the girls side, Caitlyn Hales, Shaneen Midgette, Dajah Smith and Zandria Edwards will run the 4×200, Cierra Hales, Kendall Bridges, Kate Miller and Alex Franz will compete in the 4×400, while Miller, Callie Landen, Michaela Daniels and Mikaela Jones will run the 4×800.
“The girls have been scrappy all season,” Blank said. “We’ve been struggling to get team wins but we were able to get three relays into the regionals.
“They’re not ranked anywhere near the top but I think for this young group of girls the experience of running in this meet will definitely help the girls and this program in the future.”
While it’s hard to determine which teams or individuals have the best chance to advance to state, Blank said he just wants to see his athletes give their best efforts.
“With the young kids, I would just like them to exceed their standings. If they’re ranked 10th I would love them to finish eighth or ninth,” Blank said. “But, some of our top end guys I’m looking for them to get a top four finish. I want to take as many to state as possible.”