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2007 Eastern Challenge

Eddie Smith Field House, Chapel Hill NC

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Meet's own site

page at nc.milesplit.com

Preview: Meet features nation's best in Mayo, Dutch, Coleman, & Hayes, Should Produce Top Performances

By: Ben Hovis of NCRunners.com, a MileSplit Network site

Look for fast times and soaring marks Friday & Saturday at the Eddie Smith Field House, on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

Some of North Carolina's, Virginia's, and South Carolina's best track athletes will be participating at the Durham Strider's Eastern HS Challenge. This meet is huge with over 100 athletes entered in many of the events. For example, the boys 300 meters has 171 individuals.

North Carolina returns 4 athletes who were named to the USA Today All-USA High School Track & Field team: Gabby Mayo of SE Raleigh, Johnny Dutch of Clayton, Patience Coleman of Southern Durham, & Kamorean Hayes of Harding. All 4 will be in action this coming weekend. This should be a great preview for what North Carolina has in store during the rest of the indoor season!

Check out the complete performance list.

Notes: (1) Kya Brookins of SC may not be running due to confusion with her entry. Kya is currently the #1 ranked 60m runner in the country. (2) Dakota Lowery of West Johnston will not be running this weekend. Best of luck to him as he represents NC in NY at the New Balance Games.

Boys & Girls 55m Dash
In the girls event there are 4 NC runners who broke 12.00 in the 100m last year. Gabby Mayo, the nations best in the 100 & 200 last year, is the obvious favorite. Behind her is the #2 returner in NC, Kelsey McKorkle from South Central HS. Gabrielle Glenn is seeded 8th but should finish higher than that as she has already run 7.13 FAT this season. The last sub 12.00 runner is Jacinda Evans of Southern Durham. She has clocked 7.28 this season at the Wally Gilbert Invitational. Shequyra Guy of West Charlotte ran 7.86 for 60m at the UNC Opener. She is only seeded 27th, but after her qualifying run among college athletes, look for her to improve a lot on 27th. However, look for Kya Brookins from South Carolina to possibly push Gabby a bit. Kya ran 7.28 for 60m this season and has the top time in the country.

Kelvin Hardesty leads the seed times for the boys, but missed the Arkansas Invitational this past weekend due to an illness. Hopefully he's healthy and ready to roll. Kelvin ran 10.59 FAT last outdoor season. Antonio Sales is also in the field, but seeded 22nd. Is this a case of inflated times? We'll see. Chris Culliver of Garner ran 6.1h at a Polar Bear meet, so he will definitely be up in the mix. West Charlotte's Edward Alexander is no slouch as he ran 10.64c for the 100m last year. He's seeded 4th. There are many new names in this event, so we'll see how it turns out.

Boys & Girls 55m Hurdles
Again, the athlete to watch on the girls side is Gabby Mayo. Gabby is ranked as one of the nation's leaders in the 100m hurdles. Cummings' Latoya James, the #3 seed, was the 2nd fastest 100m hurdler last spring in 14.27 and has run 8.19 FAT this winter already. This field looks outstanding as many of the top returners in the 100m hurdles for this coming outdoor season are entered. Harding has 3 in the group, Bethune, Carroll, and Nelson. Vance's Kiara Benson, Cummings' Sherice Walker, Patience Coleman of Southern Durham, Joanna Wright of Reynolds, and Jasmine Isley of Charlotte Latin should all be up there. South Carolina's Jasmine Stowers of Pendleton HS defeated Latoya James by a time of 8.79 to 8.89 at the UNC Opener. Add her to the top 5 as well.

In the boy's event the top two seeds are extremely talented hurdlers, as both clocked sub 14.00 FAT times last year outdoors. Clayton's Johnny Dutch, one of the nations' best, looks to get back to elite form and Charlton Rolle of Reynolds has run 7.34h this winter. Butler's Spencer Adams ran 14.09 FAT last season and is seeded 3rd. Phillip Bush of North Rowan won the Wally Gilbert Invitational in VA running 7.53 FAT already but is only seeded 12th. Look for him to finish much higher. Wayne Davis of SE Raleigh should also be in the mix for the top 5.

Boys & Girls 300m Dash
Looking at last year's top runners in the 200 and 400 should give us a good idea of what will happen here. Gabrielle Glenn of Providence HS has run 40.84h this season. She is only seeded 8th, but she will finish much higher. The #2 seed goes to Felicia Paulding of Harding who ran 24.74c in the 200 last spring. Kelsey McKorkle also ran 24.64c in the 200. Jacinda Evans has already run 42.05 and Janet Carrothers of Harding ran 57.69 last spring. They should be towards the top. However, the top seed belongs to South Carolina's Kya Brookins. Kya ran 24.02 at the Russel E. Blunt Invitational last year. Look out!

The boys race is going to be a great one. Antonio Sales gets a proper seeding here with the #1 seed. Lamarr Davis of East Wake has run 34.64h this winter and is currently ranked #5 in the US with his 48.17 at the Arkansas Invitational this past weekend. Johnny Dutch is also in the race, seeded 6th, he has run 36.60 for 300 with hurdles in the way! There are seriously too many names in this race to name them all. Edward Alexander, Kelvin Hardesty, Anthony Hendrix, Charlton Rolle, etc. This one should be fun to watch.

Boys & Girls 500m Dash
Ebonie Cunningham could've been a favorite in the 300m as well, but here she should run away with the title. Cunningham ran 55.10 last spring to lead NC. Pushing her along should be Janet Carrothers of Harding and Yvonna Hines of NE Guilford. Erika Charles will be near the top as well, coming off a 1:00.74 at the UNC Opener this past weekend.

Anthony Hendrix of New Bern is seeded #1 for the boys. He ran 49.24c and also split 1:52 in the 800 last spring, as a 9th grader! At the Arkansas Invitational this past weekend, Anthony ran 1:55.56 for 800m. He's ranked #4 in the country right now. However, Lamarr Davis is seeded #2 and as I said earlier, recently ran 48.17 for 400m indoors. His time ranks him 3rd all-time on the NC list. Darius Law of SE Raleigh should be considered a threat with his 48.61 400 last spring as well as Anthony's brother, Andrew. Clinton Peguese of West Charlotte ran the fastest HS time in the 400 at the UNC Opener, 51.60. Finally, look for Parklands' Jarrell Elliot to be battling for a top 5 spot.

Boys & Girls 1000m Run
As we get into the distance events, we now have to start looking at VA athletes as well. Ashley Kukura of Kellam(VA) ran 2:59 at last year's VA state meet. The #2 seed is also from VA, Lia Divalentin's 1000m PR is 3:04. The Chantilly VA sophomore had a stellar triple last weekend at the Montgomery Invitational in finishing second in the mile run to Catherine White at 5:03, clocking a 2:20 800, and running a 5:11 1600 meter anchor leg on her DMR. Christina Hobbs of Sun Valley burst on the scene last winter and should do well. Also, Amanda Lapp of SE Raleigh ran 2:17 in the 800 last spring. Of course you can't count out late charging Andie Cozzarelli either.

There are a few NC guys in this event who have high expectations this coming indoor/outdoor season. Dylan Ferris ran 1:51.95 last spring and on Saturday he ran 2:32 outdoors in a Polar Bear meet. Lamarr Davis of East Wake is the #2 returner in the nation at 800m as he ran 1:50 in postseason racing. Dakota Lowery of West Johnston is coming off an incredible XC season, so it should be very interesting to see what he is capable of. Also, John Curtiss of Providence ran 1:56 last spring and he too is coming off a very successful XC season. Top seed from Virginia in Herndon senior Ermin Mujezinovic has split 4:13 on a DMR anchor 1600 meter leg for his squad, which earned All-American honors outdoors at Nike Outdoor Nationals.

Boys & Girls 1600m Run
The #1 seed Hiruni looks to have only run 5:18, but is seeded at 5:10. Her fellow Virginians, Hallie Eilerts and Meredith Tighe of Oakton HS have run 5:11. Both did it last spring, so look for them to be pressing the pace. Sarah Weber of Washington-Lee HS has also run 5:11 in the 1600. The two top seeds from NC are Lindsay Ester, Burl. Williams, who ran 5:19 last year and Adrianne Soo of Durham Academy. Soo ran 17:56 at Foot Locker South and hasn't run track before. She could easily find herself at the front of the field.

Familiar names from the 1000m may find themselves out front in this one too. Dakota Lowery and Dylan Ferris should lead NC with help from Greg Dame of Mount Tabor and John Curtiss of Providence. VA will be led by Paul Norland and Nathan Brame with both runners having personal bests of 4:23 as Brame is VA's defending 1A state champ in the event.

Boys & Girls 3200m Run
In the girl's event, NC will be led by Adrianne Soo, Andie Cozzarelli, and Mount Tabor's Courtney Whittington. These 3 should separate themselves from the rest of the NC runners. With them will probably be Lia Divalentin of Chantilly (VA) who has run 11:06, and Sarah Weber of Washington-Lee (VA) who has run 11:23.

Dakota Lowery may be tripling which would be very tough. He may pull out of at least one event to go for a quick state qualifying time. If he is ready for this one, he will be up there. Look for another great race between he and Andy Wacker of Pinecrest. We saw many of these during XC. The 2 top Virginians have PR's in the upper 9:30's, so if Lowery and Wacker are fit, they should run away from the field. Andrew North of Asheville had a very successful XC season too, so look for him to be gunning for the top 5.

Boys & Girls 4x400m Relay
Harding and SE Raleigh's girls ran very impressive times last year in the 4x400. Harding ran 3:54.48 and SE Raleigh ran 3:55.26. They have the firepower to pull away, but don't count RJ Reynolds out as they ran 4:15 by themselves this winter.

New Bern defeated SE Raleigh outdoors at the Clayton Polar Bear meet, 3:25 to 3:26. These two should be battling for the victory along with West Charlotte. WC is coming off a 3:28 at the UNC Opener on Saturday. Also, Parkland recently ran 3:26 outdoors at a Polar Bear meet in Winston.

Boys & Girls 4x800 Relay
The Virginian teams look to lead the way in this one, as they claim the top 5 seeds. Sun Valley has a seed time of 10:05, with Christina Hobbs leading the way. I haven't seen this time from a meet, but I've been told they are capable of running in this range.

The boy's race is no different. The teams from Virginia take 3 of the top 4 seeds. New Bern, who ran 7:51 last season with 800 standout Karjuan Williams will look to prove themselves with his graduation. The Hendrix brothers are coming off 1:55 and 2:01 races in Arkansas, and word on the street is they have 2 more 2:07 guys.

Boys & Girls High Jump
Patience Coleman, the nation's #1 returner, will look to continue her dominance of the high jump. Patience cleared 6' last season and is ranked #2 on the NC All-time list. Ashley Gatling of Deep Creek has cleared 5-10, but that was back in 2004. Both athletes cleared 5-6 this past weekend so this could turn out to be a good one.

The favorite on the boys side looks to be Kevin Nichols of Hickory (VA) who has cleared 6-6 already this winter and has a personal best of 6-8. Isaiah Thompson of Asheville HS cleared 6-6 last spring, so he should be up there battling for the title. Doug Onuscheck or Ravenscroft is seeded #2 and is quite possibly the best high jumper in the NCISAA.

Boys & Girls Pole Vault
The leader is Anne Marie Gordon of Mills Godwin (VA). She has cleared 11-9 this season and looks to be an obvious favorite. Joanna Wright has cleared 10-6 this winter, but it is rumored she is very close to vaulting something higher. Taylor Cook and Brooke Miller of Watauga both cleared 10' at the Keydet Invitational in VA.

The #1 seed is Tim Beierle of Harrisonburg(VA). He has cleared 15-3 this winter at the Spotswood Invitational #2. There are a number of athletes seeded with 14' vaults. Macey Ruble of Watauga cleared 14-0 at the Keydet Invitational. Maverick Miles of South Rowan has also cleared 13-6 this winter. Kent England of Asheville HS cleared 13-6 last spring, so he is legit as well.

Boys & Girls Long Jump
Ranae Nelson of Harding is the #1 seed and is also the #1 returner in North Carolina.Taryn Wentz of Forest Hills, Jacinda Evans of Southern Durham, and Chrishawn Williams of SE Raleigh have all jumped 18-5 or better.

Charlton Rolle has jumped 22-8.75 this winter already. Austin Davis of Northern Durham has jumped 22-2 so far and Percy Hinnant has done 22-00. The #1 seed is Isaiah Thompson, but I'm not sure about his 23 foot seeding. Rashaad Cannon of Highland Springs is the state leader in Virginia with a jump of 22-10.25.

Boys & Girls Triple Jump
Burlington Cummings has 3 very good triple jumpers. Latoya James leads the trio as she is ranked #7 in the US. Close behind her is Sherice Walker and Brittany Wilkins. All 3 have been over 35' so far this winter. Forest Hill's Taryn Wentz jumped 37-9 last year so she is definitely a contender. Also, Radiance Basden of Western Guilford jumped over 38' last spring. Finally, Chrishawn Williams jumped 37-7 last spring so don't count her out either. This one could be good.

Jamel Allison of Mooresville had the 2nd best jump of the season last spring with a jump of 47-9, however Austin Davis of Northern Durham has the #1 seed. Austin had the 3rd best jump last spring, but has already jumped 47-10 this winter at the UNC Opener this past weekend. Austin's jump places him #3 in the US right now. Travis Weston of South View is the 6th seed but was the 4th best jumper last spring. Also, Virginia's Cannon will be jumping again.

Boys & Girls Shot Put
Kamorean Hayes, Harding University HS, is the nations top shot putter. She has a best of 52-2 and in her first throw of the season threw 48-3 last weekend. She is currently ranked #2 in the US with her UNC Opener throw. She should win this and just about every other meet she enters this winter and spring. She may win this event by 10' with Aslynn Halvorson of Butler and Diedra Morrison of Wilkes Central battling for 2nd. Aslynn threw over 41 feet to finish 2nd at the UNC Opener behind Kamorean. They train together and may get used to finishing 1,2 in North Carolina events.

Jaymes Brooks of Denbigh HS(VA) has a PR of 56-2.50 which is very impressive. Adrian Little of Farmville Central threw 53-6.75 last spring and has already thown in the 54's this winter. Jason Roberts of SW Guilford has thrown 52-7 this winter. They are NC's best.



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