Rivals battle for track bragging rights
Everyone pushes a little harder on rivalry day.
Northern and Southern Vance met for the first time on the track Thursday at Raider Stadium. Southern, stronger on numbers, dominated the girls competition while Northern won the majority of the boys events.
The Raiders and Vikings split in the 100-meter races. Southern’s Reggie Hunter won the boys race and Northern’s Jazmine Haywood took the girls event.
“With it being that crosstown rivalry, I always think everybody pushes a little bit more just because it’s Northern Vance,” Southern coach Shannon Allen said of Hunter. “I’m excited to see what he’ll give as the season progresses.”
Northern’s Tyrrick Bullock was unbeaten in the 100 a season ago as a freshman, finishing as the 3-A Carolina Conference Runner of the Year. He pulled up with a hamstring injury on Thursday, tumbling to the track before the finish line.
Hunter looked strong throughout the evening, anchoring the 4x100 winning relay team with Shawn Henderson, Ty-Traveon Roberts and Qualik Shearin.
“I was really impressed with our boys with their 100 times,” said Allen. “That’s the hardest they’ve run all year.”
“He looked exceptionally good to me,” added Northern coach Wilton Baskett. “Reggie looked really good. Some good closing speed.”
Haywood was the standout for the Viking girls. She also posted a win in the 200.
Vincent Ragland recorded a mark of 13.9 seconds in the 110 high hurdles, a regional qualifying time and potentially the fastest time in the state this year in any classification.
Freshman Jeffrey Jones also picked up a win in the 300-meter hurdles for the Vikes.
Baskett said Jaleel Seward performed well in the 4x1 and 4x2 races. Seward also placed first in the long jump.
“People really competing,” Baskett said of the meet overall. “Beautiful day. Both sides were very well-behaved. Competition was real, real high. Both teams had some impressive performers.”
Scott Hamrick was first in the mile for Northern while Southern’s Jonathan Carlock topped the field in the two-mile event.
Allen said the Raiders have been forced into some mixing and matching because of short numbers.
“Everybody was willing,” said Allen. “They accepted their roles. I just couldn’t be happier as a coach when you have kids that don’t mind stepping outside their comfort zone.”
Southern controlled the field events. Jaquez Bullock won the boys shot put with a throw of 47-feet, 2 inches. Deja Hicks was first for the girls with a toss of 27-feet, 3 inches.
Hicks also won the girls discus with a throw of 70-feet, 4 inches. Southern’s Xavier Gregory was tops for the boys with 122 feet, 9 inches.
Southern Junior Emerald Hayes, a state qualifier each of the past two seasons, won both the triple jump and long jump. She had a mark of 31-feet, 9.5 inches in the triple jump and 15.5 in the long jump.
Northern and Southern will compete against each other again at the conference meet April 24 at Cardinal Gibbons.
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