LAURINBURG — Although only seven runners made the trip on Wednesday, the Richmond girls track team left a lasting impression at the Scotland Last Chance Meet by winning four of the five events it competed in.
Freshman Jakerra Covington placed first in the 100-meter dash (12.45 seconds), sophomore Kibreanna Stewart cleared five feet for the top spot in the high jump, and both the 4x100m and 4x200m relay teams outran their respective competition.
Stewart didn’t finish first in the triple jump — topping out at 33 feet, six inches — but head coach Reggie Miller said the sophomore was “right on cue” with her measurements.
“I think they did great. I’m so proud of these girls,” said Miller, who was happy to see the Lady Raiders rebound from what could be seen as an underwhelming performance at last week’s conference championship meet.
“If you get mad about it and you’ve still got other meets to go, you’re wasting energy. So we’re just trying to move forward knowing there’s a better tomorrow,” he added. “If we dwell on what happened in the conference, we’ll miss out on the prize we’re about to receive at regionals.”
Richmond’s 4x100m relay squad clocked its best time of the season (49.50s) on Wednesday, which was less than a second away from breaking the program record (48.89s) that was set back in 1988.
That finish also helped the Lady Raiders move ahead of High Point Central — reigning state champions in the 4x100m relay — in the regional rankings. They now hold the No. 4 spot heading into next weekend’s competition.
“You would’ve thought we won a national championship,” Miller said of the 4×100 team’s reaction after hearing its time. “Our goal was to run a 49 we were able to meet that goal. Those girls knew they could do it … they needed that.”
Miller was forced to make changes to the 4×100 lineup due to sophomore Maddisyn Diggs’ absence. Fellow sophomore Dymond McNeal, who placed third in the 100m dash on Wednesday, filled in for Diggs.
Covington was also a new addition to the Lady Raiders’ 4x100m relay team that took first place at the conference meet.
“I told the girls that we’ve got something special,” Miller said. “They don’t realize how special we are that we can go into the conference championship with a fast team and then swap it out for an even faster team.”
Now, Richmond prepares for the 4A Midwest Regionals that takes place next Saturday, May 12, at Pinecrest.
Only 10 girls qualified for regionals, but Miller says “those 10 girls have big hearts.” What he saw from the small group in Laurinburg is what he expects from the crew that’ll be competing in Southern Pines a week from now.
“We just want to go in with the same energy, the same momentum,” Miller added. “We want to get to the state championship and I believe we can do it.”
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.