Home Local Sports Coleman, Stanback and Wall compete at 4A state championship

Coleman, Stanback and Wall compete at 4A state championship

Clockwise, left to right: Aaron Coleman, Tyrene Stanback and Emerson Wall in action during the 4A state championship. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

GREENSBORO — Hundreds of student-athletes filled the Marcus T. Johnson Track at North Carolina A&T State University on Saturday for the NCHSAA 2A and 4A state championships.

Among them representing Richmond Senior High School were senior Emerson Wall, junior Tyrene Stanback and sophomore Aaron Coleman.

It was the second career appearance for Coleman, who ran as a freshman in the 3A state championship last year for Scotland High School. For Stanback and Wall, it was their first trip to states.

Each competing in a single event, neither Coleman, Stanback or Wall qualified for the finals in their respective event.

Coleman was the first Raider to compete in the 110-meter hurdles, followed by Stanback in the high jump and Wall in the triple jump.

“The kids did a great job,” head coach Reggie Miller said. “We didn’t get the results we wanted, but I’m so happy that they got a chance to compete in the state championship. They left everything out on the field and did a tremendous job.

“They remained motivated and did everything they needed to do,” he added. “This is the highest level they can compete at, and starting in the first meet and competing in the last meet of the season, says a lot about them.”

Winning the 4A boys’ team title was Weddington High School (44 points) and Cuthbertson High School took home the girls’ team championship (75 points).

One of the first events of the day, the 110-meter hurdles preliminary race featured two heats of eight runners. The top-two finishers of each heat, along with the next four fastest times advanced to the finals.

Running in lane one of the second heat, Coleman ran the race in 15.23 seconds, which was faster than his performance in last year’s title meet. 

He finished 11th in the prelims, missing the qualifying time by 0.25 seconds behind eighth-place finisher Jaylen Morrow of Chambers High School (14.98 seconds).

Hillside High School’s Desmond Smith won the 110-meter hurdles state championship, completing the race in 14.06 seconds.

“I ran a better time than I did last year, so I showed progress there,” Coleman said. “The competition was strong today and I just have to be better prepared next time.


“I was nervous and I let the nerves get the best of me. This whole experience was really fun because of competing against the best 4A competition.”

Competing in a flight of 16 competitors in the high jump, Stanback wasn’t able to clear the bar at 6 feet, 0 inches to advance. Getting three attempts, Stanback nearly cleared the mark in his first two before missing it again on the third.

Entering the state championship, Stanback had cleared 6 feet, 2 inches at the 4A Mideast regionals the week before. His personal record, set this season during a meet at Scotland High School, is 6 feet, 3 inches.

Jonathan Kroger (Reagan High School) and Sheldon Ulmer (Northwest Guilford High School) both cleared 6 feet, 8 inches to take first and second, respectively. Pinecrest High School’s Shaun Thomas was third (6 feet, 6 inches).

“It was a good experience and I really felt like I belonged here,” Stanback shared. “I loved the competition, but I wasn’t able to get the outcome I wanted. You just live and learn.

“I didn’t lean like Coach (John) Rich was telling me to do. Because of that I wasn’t able to clear the bar and that’s something I’ll work on. I’m grateful to have gotten the chance to be here.”

Closing out the Raiders’ performance later in the afternoon was Wall. Like the high jump, the triple jump featured 16 competitors.

Fresh off of setting a personal record during the 4A Mideast regional (43 feet, 10 inches), Wall secured 13th place with a final mark of 43 feet, 2 inches. That distance came in his third attempt.

Armon Wright (Chambers) won the event with a jump of 46 feet, 11 inches. The state runner-up was Javariante Core (Western Guilford) at 45 feet, 5.75 inches.

“This was my first time coming out to states and it was good and really fun while it lasted,” Wall said.

“My first jump wasn’t my best and the second one I scratched by a toe. My last jump was good, but I could have held my second phase a little longer. If I had, I think that would have carried me over to the finals.”

The Richmond Observer will publish a photo gallery of the NCHSAA 4A state championship soon.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.