Northern, Webb compete for titles

May. 17, 2014 @ 07:47 PM

Northern Vance has had athletes capable of competing for or winning state titles in each of the past two seasons, but the Vikings haven’t been able to get close to the podium because of injuries or mishaps.

Tyrrick Bullock was the only Northern representative Friday in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A track and field championships.

As the season progressed, the Vikings looked well on their way to having more than one athlete in blue and gold on the N.C. A&T track.

But Northern head coach Wilton Baskett isn’t frustrated by the trend.

“It’s a blessing to be here,” said Baskett. “You have to be on the track to have a chance to win it. We’re happy to keep coming here, but we have had a tough time.”

Northern’s Tamaj Bullock also qualified in the 100, but couldn’t compete because of a hamstring injury suffered at regionals. The sophomore, considered the second-fastest on the team behind Tyrrick Bullock, went down in the 4x200 meters at regionals, causing him to miss the 4x100 race. Both Northern teams had shown potential to compete for state titles.

Northern’s 4x2 squad led at the state meet last season before dropping the baton and the 4x1 team had the same mishap at regionals.

Tyrrick Bullock, a junior making his second consecutive appearance in the 100 meters, didn’t have close to his best race Friday and failed to make the finals running a time of 11.33 seconds.

“It was kind of tough on Tyrrick being the only Northern Vance person on the track at a state meet,” said Baskett. “I just think his nerves probably got the best of him. I’m proud of him. He had a very good season.”

Jahmaal Daniel of Fayetteville Sanford claimed the 100 with a mark of 10.62.

Tyrrick Bullock had the fourth-best qualifying time entering the state meet.

“Bad,” he said of his performance on Friday. “I don’t know what happened.  I didn’t show up.”

Tyrrick Bullock said the experience will motivate him to work harder in the offseason.

Next season, he’ll continue to have Tamaj Bullock nipping at his heels.

“He’s got company now with Tamaj,” said Baskett. “He’s got somebody right on his heels. So we’re real strong.”

If they can just get luck on their side.

Something to look forward to

None of the six athletes that competed between Northern and J.F. Webb Friday are seniors.

And the five returners for the Warriors next season are all girls.

Webb freshman Mia Terry made her state championships debut, competing in the shot put and discus events.

Terry finished 15th in the shot put and 10th in the discus.

“I look at it as a learning experience,” said Terry. “So now I know what to look forward to.”

“A lot of freshmen don’t make it to states, especially in two events,” said Terry’s Webb coach Nealie Whitt.

Whitt is a former Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion discus thrower at N.C. Central. He said because of Terry’s limited experience entering the season, she’s only been executing a half-spin technique. That will change to a full spin next season and Whitt expects the Warrior rookie to make great strides by then.

Striving for greatness

Last season, it was Rainesha Taylor making her debut as a Webb freshman in the state meet.

The sophomore competed in the 100 meters Friday as well as the 4x100 and 4x200 races.

Competing for the first time in the 100 on the state level, Taylor took fifth overall in the 100 with a mark of 12.57 seconds.

“It wasn’t my best,” said Taylor. “I wasn’t really prepared for it. This is my first year, just jitters. Hopefully next year when I come back here I can just flow, everything just goes the way it’s supposed to.”

Running the anchor leg, Taylor made up ground for the 4x1 squad that also features Cora Puryear, Precious Battle and Glandra Jolly.

Taylor took the baton from Jolly and led the Warriors to second in their heat and ninth overall.

Puryear is the only junior on the squad, Battle is a sophomore and Jolly is a freshman.

“It’s just really a blessing to be here,” said Battle. “Each year I just want to get greater and greater.”

The 4x2 team, featuring the same group as the 4x1, was disqualified for an exchange infraction.

“I’m disappointed, but I’m still happy with how the season went,” said Webb head coach Kyle Blackwell. “The girls stuck together. They’re still young, so nerves probably got them. But it’s OK, we made a lot of progression.”

Notes: Fayetteville Sanford won the boys overall title with 58 points, eight better than Northeast Guilford; The Western Alamance girls finished with 56 points to edge second-place to edge Asheville Reynolds’ 50 points.

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.