ROCKINGHAM — Richmond track coaches Reggie Miller and Phillip Waddell have the same outlook going into the Southeastern Conference opener Thursday afternoon — win a conference title.
Both understand their teams have to be consistent across the board — from the sprints to the field events — to fulfill their goal.
“We have to do better in the distance,” said Miller, the boys coach. “We have to improve in the 800 and in the mile. That is what hurt us last year…I was too focused on trying to compete with Scotland and their speed. If we can’t finish first in an event then I want to finish second, third and fourth and win a championship that way.”
Waddell agrees with his counterpart about being more balanced and finding a way to neutralize Pinecrest’s distance running advantage.
“They have dominated for the last 10 years or so,” said Waddell, the girls coach. “I think we have an experienced group to give them all they can handle.”
Miller and Waddell believe their teams’ strength will once again be in the relay and sprint events. Both can foresee their relay squads battling for conference, region and state championships. A new wrinkle to the relay events this year is the medley, which has the first two participants each running 100 meters, before the third person runs 200 meters and the anchor leg runs 400 meters.
Keep an eye on these Raiders
Miller believes Jordan Richardson, who just missed qualifying in the shot put for the 4A state meet last year, is set to have a strong season. Newcomer Travis Newton and Tafari Rose should also be strong contenders to vie for a spot in this year’s state championship.
On the girls’ side, Waddell highlighted the improvement of Belle Hillenburg and believes Briana Everett and Briana David can battle for conference and sectional titles. Waddell also is looking forward to seeing French exchange student Lucille Chrétien compete in the 300-meter hurdles.
“We’re still working out here, giving 110 percent and giving our all,” Miller said. “We want to be able to compete with the best.”
The Richmond track teams will face Hoke County and Lumberton 4 p.m. Thursday at Raider Stadium. The cost is $5.
Baseball clash canceled
ROCKINGHAM — The Union Pines-Richmond Senior baseball game scheduled for 6 p.m. today was canceled because of a scheduling conflict.
Union Pines was slated to travel to face Cape Fear Valley Conference foe Overhills Tuesday, but poor field conditions forced the game to be rescheduled to today. This forced the Vikings to canceled their contest with the Raiders.
Richmond will return to action 7 p.m. Friday when it opens Southeastern Conference play at home against Hoke County.
Softball game wiped out
ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Senior-Jack Britt softball contest set for 5 p.m. today was called off after the Buccaneers were forced to move a conference game.
Jack Britt was scheduled to battle South View Tuesday night, but poor field conditions prompted the schools to move the contest to today.
Richmond’s next game is now scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday when it opens Southeastern Conference action at home against Hoke County.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.