SOUTHERN PINES — The Richmond boys and girls track and field teams had eight runners qualify for the state championship meet at the NCHSAA 4A Regional Championships was held at Pinecrest this past Friday.
In order to advance to States, an individual or a group must place in the top four of the respective event.
The Raiders were able to accomplish that feat on five occassions during Regionals.
Jaleen Baldwin, Preston Coker, Dante Miller and Malik Stanback took first place in the boys 4×100-meter relay — and were crowned regional champions — with a time of 41.56 seconds. That same quartet placed second in the boys 4x200m relay.
Coker, junior, finished third in the boys 100m dash (10.88) and Baldwin, senior, placed third in the 200m dash (22.48). Miller, senior, just missed out on a chance at states in the 200m dash after placing fifth with a time of 22.61 seconds.
“We got disqualified out of four events and that really took the wind out of our sails. Our two fastest kids in the 100 didnt’ even get a chance to compete for a chance to go to states” said head coach Chris Campolieta. “But they repsonded well in the relays. We will be seeded second in both…and I personally feel we can be state champions in both the 4×1 and 4×2.
“We’re look to let everyone in the state know who the fastest team is when those relays take place Saturday,” he continued. “We hope to do something that probably hasn’t been done in the county in a long time.”
There was only one state-qualifying finish that came from the girls team and that was courtesy of Jakerra Covington, Harmony Jones, Monasia Kearns and Dymond McNeal — the four members of the Lady Raiders’ 4x100m relay squad.
They collected finished fourth with a time of 49.67 seconds, which was only a second off from an opportunity to compete at the New Balance Nationals that will be held in Greensboro next month.
“(I’m) very proud. The girls knew that out of the 16 top teams we had to place in the top four, and we did,” head girls coach Reggie Miller said. “I’m so happy for them. It goes to show when you work hard great things happen.”
A number of Raiders were just a few seconds, inches or feet away from qualifying for States.
Senior Malik Flowers was able to clear six feet in the boys high jump, but it wasn’t enough. He finished in fifth place behind Jide Huntley (Porter Ridge), Dillan Lucas (West Forsyth), Jarel Henry (East Forsyth) and D’Andre Hayes (Northwest Guilford). Richmond’s Jamel Baldwin jumped five feet, eight inches in order to place eighth.
Daryn Mason, senior, and Joerail White, sophomore, almost had the opportunity to represent the Raiders in the boys shot put and discus, respectively. Mason placed sixth (42 feet, 9 inches) and White came in seventh (124 feet, 4 inches).
“I’m really proud of Joerail, who hit another personal record in the discus,” Campolieta added. “Overall, it’s been a joy to coach these boys. I’ve built a special relationship with each one of them and I look forward to keeping it in the years to come.”
Sophomore Kibreanna Stewart had a chance in the girls high jump, but couldn’t get past the four-foot, eight-inch bar and had to settle for sixth place. She also came in ninth place in the triple jump (32 feet, 9 inches).
McNeal, sophomore, finished seventh in the girls 400m dash (1:04.31), junior Taliah Wall placed eighth in the girls 100m hurdles (16.57 seconds), the girls 4x400m relay team was seventh (4:27.97) and the 4x200m squad was eighth (1.47.84).
As a team, the boys placed fifth overall (48 points) and the girls came in 12th place (14 points).
The State Championships will be held on Saturday, May 19, at North Carolina A&T State University.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected]com. For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.