ROCKINGHAM — Leading up to last week’s conference meet at Hoke County, the Richmond 4×200-meter boys relay team had won its event at the team’s last three meets and was looking for its fourth straight first-place finish.
What Jaleen Baldwin, Preston Coker, Dante Miller and Shane Summey were able to do, however, was much bigger than just beating out the other three teams competing in Raeford last Wednesday. Not only did they work together to outrun Hoke, Seventy-First and Jack Britt, respectively, they outran every other squad in North Carolina.
Richmond’s 4x200m relay team now holds the state record for the fastest time (1:27.90) in the event this season.
“We actually had the fastest time in the state after the first or second week but it went down right away. Someone ran in an invitational and took it,” head coach Chris Campolieta said. “So I let the boys know that in order to win a state championship, they need to be a 1:27 team — just based on past results. And they’ve bought in.”
Campolieta, who’s in his first year as the boys head coach, tweeted out a photo of the new rankings from nc.milesplit.com early Sunday evening. He says he expected the 4x200m team to cut its time down from where it was at the beginning of the season due to the work that has been put in when it comes to handoffs and being in better overall shape.
The four guys who make up the Raiders’ 4x200m relay team also run the 4×100 race together, which has led to them building a “really good connection.” It also helps that each runner is no stranger to first-place finishes.
Baldwin has a couple of wins in the 200m dash, Coker has topped both the 200m and 400m races, Miller hasn’t lost a 100-meter dash in conference and Summey has multiple victories in the 110m and 300m hurdles.
Miller set a personal record in the 100m dash two weeks ago with Baldwin and Coker right behind him in second and third place, respectively — which Campolieta said is a team goal week in and week out.
“I tell them that we need to go 1-2-3 in the 100. Dante and Jaleen have been one and two in every race they’ve ran this year,” Campolieta said. “They’re a confident groups of kids. They go into meets knowing they’re the fastest kids on the track.”
Richmond’s 4x200m team hopes for another first-place finish when it travels to Jack Britt next Thursday, April 12.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.