MOCKSVILLE, N.C. — Members of the Richmond Senior High School boys’ and girls’ track and field teams will get a chance to compete for individual event state titles this weekend.
A handful of Raider and Lady Raider athletes competed in the Mid-West Regionals at Davie County High School Monday, two days after stormy weather postponed the event. Three different events for both the boys’ and girls’ teams saw state-qualifying performances.
In order to make the state championship meet, participants had to finish in the top four spots of their respective event.
For head coach Reggie Miller’s Lady Raiders, sophomore Jakerra Covington qualified in the high jump, while also playing a part in helping the 4×100 and 4×200-meter relay teams also make it.
Covington is on both relay teams, and is joined by junior teammates Maddisyn Diggs, Monasia Kearns and Dymond McNeal.
“The girls did a great job on Monday,” Miller said. “They understood that hard work, determination and commitment is the key to success. And that’s why they have a chance to compete for a state championship.”
On the boys’ side, coached by Chris Campolieta, senior Preston Coker will represent the Raiders in the 200-meter dash, as well as a member of the 4×100-meter relay team. Junior high jumper Antron Miller also finished near the top of his event, getting into the state meet.
The Raider 4×100-meter relay team is comprised of Coker, fellow senior Malik Stanback, junior Jaheim Covington and sophomore Caleb Hood.
“The boys did really well considering the nagging injuries we faced this year,” Campolieta said. “This was the first time we’d successfully gotten the baton around the track (in the 4×100) since our second meet.”
Richmond was well represented in both the boys’ and girls’ high jump. Jakerra Covington took first overall in the regional event, clearing the bar at 5’-0”. Antron Miller placed fourth overall, leaping up and over the 6’-2” mark, a new personal record.
Of the three relay events that Richmond qualified in, the boys’ 100-meter relay team had the best finish in second place. The quartet of Raiders circled the track in a time of 42.41 seconds behind Ronald Reagan High School (41.79 seconds). Coker ran the first leg, and the race was anchored by Hood.
The Lady Raiders took third in the 4×100-meter relay and fourth in the 4×200-meter relay. In the first race, Kearns opened the first leg and McNeal closed it to help Richmond finish in 49.17 seconds. In the 4×200, the Lady Raiders finished in 1:45.46 with Diggs anchoring the race.
Coker competed in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, finishing in the top six of both, and qualified for the open 200-meter race. His fourth-place time of 21.98 seconds was just 0.12 seconds off from third place, and 0.90 seconds from first-place finisher Cameron Rose (Hickory Ridge High School).
“Preston is a dog, and you don’t use that term in track very often,” Campolieta said. “I was very proud of him to even step on the track to put himself in a position to compete with a wrapped hamstring.
“His sub 22-second finish in the 200-meter was awesome,” he added. “I’m looking for him to run faster and compete at states.”
Another notable finish for the Raiders was junior Joerail White’s personal record discus throw. Although he placed sixth in the event, White hurled the discus 136’-9”.
Also just missing out of the state championship meet with seventh-place finishes were sophomore Dalton Stroman (high jump, 5’-10”) and senior Christopher Quick Jr. (long jump, 20’-2.75”).
“Overall, I’m happy that our guys gave great effort and showed great character at the meet,” Campolieta closed. “It’s great for these guys to get a chance to place at states and compete at the highest level track and field can offer.”
Junior triple jumper Allexis Swiney just missed the cutline for states, as her mark of 33’-6” saw her finish in sixth place. The girls’ 4×800-meter relay team took seventh overall (11:05.44), seeing Ariel Brown, Sierra Ramsay, Zamiya McInnis and Taliyah Cobb come up just short.
The NCHSAA track and field state championship will be held on Friday and Saturday at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro.