APEX — Competing in Saturday’s North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s 4A Mideast regional meet, the Richmond Senior High School track and field program brought home some serious hardware.
Members of the Raider and Lady Raider teams participated against 23 other high schools from around the region at Apex Friendship High School.
Richmond’s boys’ team collected two regional championships, while the girls’ team had several athletes nearly qualify for the 4A state championship meet.
In order to compete in next week’s state championship, track and field athletes had to finish in the top four of their respective event at regionals.
Bringing home a regional title was the boys’ 4×100-meter relay team, as well as senior high jumper Javares Stanback.
Seniors Cason Douglas, Kelay Lindsey and Jaylen McDonald, along with junior Taye Spencer, completed the lap around the track in 42.71 seconds in the 4×100-meter relay. That was the fastest time out of the 14 teams running.
The four Raiders were 0.11 seconds faster than the runner-up team, Hillside High School (42.82 seconds). Also qualifying for states were Hoke County (42.96 seconds) and Panther Creek (43.13 seconds).
Stanback, who won the long jump during the Sandhills Athletic Conference championship two weeks ago, set a new personal record in the high jump. He bested his previous record by two inches, clearing the bar at 6 feet, 6 inches.
The high jump regional championship was decided by a jump-off after Stanback tied with fellow SAC jumper Shaun Thomas (Pinecrest). To declare a solo champion, starting back a six feet, Stanback cleared 6-6 again, while Thomas failed to clear the bar. Three others tied for second place with a mark of 6 feet, 2 inches.
Senior Javares Stanback was regional champion in the high jump. (Contributed photo)
Douglas also earned a spot to run for the state championship in the open 100-meter dash, taking fourth overall with a time of 10.95 seconds.
He was just 0.19 seconds behind winner Andre Whitaker-Myart (Northern Durham, 10.76 seconds).
McDonald and Spencer both ran in the 100-meter dash, taking 10th and 14th place, respectively. Senior Trey Thomas competed in the triple jump and finished in 12th place.
Stanback just missed out on qualifying in the long jump, earning fifth place at regionals. He set another PR with a mark of 21 feet, 11.5 inches, missing the cut by half an inch to Jordan Reece (Jordan, 22 feet, 0 inches).
For the Lady Raiders, junior Andrea Ellerbe competed in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, and both the 4×100-meter and 4×200-meter relay teams ran.
None of the Lady Raiders would finish in the top four, and Ellerbe’s seventh-place time of 12.81 seconds in the 100-meter dash was the best finish for the team in any event. She also took ninth in the open 200-meter with a time of 30.50 seconds.
The girls’ 4×100 relay team earned ninth place (51.04 seconds) and took 10th place in the 4×200 relay (1:48.83).
Now the five Raiders who qualified for states will gear up for Saturday’s state championship meet, which will be held at North Carolina A&T State University.