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Southeast Region Early Season Outdoor Highlights

Performances heating up early!

by Brandon Miles, Southeast Region Editor

Email regional editor Brandon Miles at [email protected] with any newsworthy results and information out of the Southeast Region

Distance: Hubers wins 4:07.78 stacked 1600 country race over Heller (4:10.25)

Ben Hubers posted the leading performance out of the Southeast region in the distance events out of his county championship meet. When your county championship has competition at the level of Jay Heller in the 1600 meter run, a two-time Footlocker finalist such as Hubers will be pushed for a fast time. The Cobb County Championships in Georgia nearly had two runners under 4:10 in the event with Hubers clocking a swift early season time of 4:07.78 for the win and Heller in second in a solid time of 4:10.25.

Emily Reese, a Footlocker finalist in 2005, but failed to qualify in 2006, had a solid 3200 meter opener with a 10:36.25 clocking for the Chamblee High School junior at the Roswell Relays on March 24th.

Dylan Ferris of East Forsyth NC, one of the nation's top returning 800 meters runners (1:51.95 best in 2006 outdoor) started off his spring near top form at 1:52.99 at Wake Forest.

Sprints: NSIC champs Guy Jr. and Christian continue to roll into spring.

NSIC 200 meter national champion Trenton Guy Jr. from West Charlotte NC, competed unattached at the home for Nike Outdoor Nationals at NC A&T in Greensboro in the 200 meter dash and took it to the college competition with a 21.24 win in the 200 meter dash.

Legal wind for the Florida girls and Marrow FL sr Justin Christian at Bob Hayes as he rolled out to one of the nation's best clockings this spring so far in an impressive 10.42 in the 100 meter dash. Christian won the national title at NSIC over Guy (6.77) in 6.69, while finishing a close second to the North Carolina star as a runner-up in the 200 meter dash in 21.19 at the New York Armory.

Florida girls are rolling early and trying to keep pace with the other major states girls from Texas and California as the Bob Hayes Invitational on March 17th saw many of the top times so far including a 11.30 100 from Shataya Hendricks and 23.77 200 from Brittany Jones. Chris Ward, a senior at Evans High School in Florida, became only one of two athletes in the Southeast this spring so far to break 47 seconds in the 400 with a 46.90 clocking at Bob Hayes.

Georgian Antonio McKay went 46.85 in the event only one week earlier on March 10th at the Georgia Challenge.

Hurdles: 2 under Aries Merritt's meet record!

There is something in the water in Cobb County, because there were great performances all around in the county championships as two hurdlers in Trey Charles and William Wynne went under Aries Merritt's 300 meter hurdle meet record of 36.90. Merritt's name should ring a bell to many as he went onto to star at the University of Tennessee and win NCAA titles as well as share the world's fastest time in the 110 meter hurdles in 2006 at 13.21. Merritt now runs professionally for Reebok.

Charles won the county championship in 36.72 with Wynne close beind in second with a 36.90 clocking. Having two hurdlers under 37 seconds could be argued to be more impressive than two runners at 4:10 or better in the 1600 meter run as only 14 hurdles in the country were able to dip under the time in 2006, while a total of 17 runners were sub 4:10 in 2007. Nonetheless, something that cannot be disputed is that Cobb County is producing some of the nation's best.

Wyne had a banner weekend in the hurdles as he was also the 110 meter hurdle winner as he also broke Merritt's meet record (13.92) in that event as well with a 13.89 best time. Both of Wynne's performances should find him near the top if not at the top in the nation so far this season.

Nike Indoor Nationals hurdle champion Johnny Dutch opened his spring with a solid 13.6 hand held clocking in the 110 meter hurdles. Meanwhile, Leesburg FL sr Sion Feliciano came out of the blocks hard at the Bob Hayes invitational with one of the nation's top times in the 300 meter hurdles at 37.53.

Teona Rodgers of Wharton FL was an All-American indoors at Nike Indoors and has not a lost a step since returning home from Landover as she posted a 13.70 clocking in the 100 meter hurdles at the Lake Mary Invite.

Relays: Miami is where its at for girls 4x400's!

The state of Florida appears to have two very tough girls' 4x400 meter relay teams for others in the nation to contend with this year out of Miami with Miami Northwestern FL at 3:44.79 and Miami Southridge at 3:46.89 already rolling in March. Keep in mind that only two team ran faster than those two times last year in the country.

Field Events

A national champion and an All-American are found in the girls' throws with Kamorean Hayes of Harding University NC in the shot put and Natalie Baird of Park View VA in the discus. Hayes, coming off a national championship at Nike Indoors, was just off a US top 20 all-time performance in her first meet with a 48-2 mark. Hayes is already on the all-time list at US #7 all-time with her 2006 outdoor best at 50-8.

Meanwhile, Baird was only two feet off the Virginia all-time state record (159'9") in the discus last year as a sophomore with a season best of 157-7 as she finished the year with All-American honors at Nike Outdoor Nationals. She began this year at the Langley Track Classic with a winning mark of 146-9.

Only a sophomore, Cardinal Newman FL's Andrew Hutchinson nearly eclipsed 50 feet in the triple jump at a conference meet with a top mark of 49-10.50. Miami Northwestern FL sr Lizzie Harris has looked sharp early on with a 40+ foot mark in the triple jump (40-2) and almost over 20 feet in the long jump (19-10.50).