Fast Start

Currituck girls, Northeastern boys place first at meet

Both teams won by more than 45 points

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Northeastern's Nolan Hodge took second place in the boys long jump at Pasquotank, Wednesday.


By Craig Moyer
Sports Writer

Friday, March 9, 2018

Currituck’s girls team and Northeastern’s boys team opened the outdoor track and field season by winning the NCRunners Eastern Tour #2 meet, both in commanding fashion.

The meet was held at Pasquotank, while Northeastern was considered the host team.

The Lady Knights finished in first place in the girls competition with 148.5 points, while the Currituck boys team finished in second place with 106.5 points.

Northeastern dominated the boys competition, finishing first with 152.67 points, while their girls team finished third with 89 points.

First Flight earned a second place finish from their girls team and third place from their boys team.

Bertie finished fourth in both the girls and boys competitions, while Gates’ boys and girls both finished fifth.

Bertie edged Gates County for fourth place, as the Falcons finished with 141.5 points and the Red Barons recorded 133.83 points.

Pasquotank boys team took sixth with their girls team finishing seventh, Edenton’s girls team finished sixth and boys finished seventh, while Perquimans’ boys and girls team both finished eighth.

While Northeastern dominated in the sprints, First Flight controlled the distance races, but Currituck had a more balanced meet, as the only team to earn points in all six groups of events on both the boys and girls side.

The Eagles scored 86.5 points in sprints, while the Nighthawks totaled 80 points in the long distance races, while the Knights highest points total was in the girls distance runs, where they scored 43 points.

Currituck head coach John Wheeler said having balance in all of the events is linked to their depth on the team this season.

Wheeler said he is thankful to see the program continue to grow, as the team has 82 members this season.

“They are all building on each other and I am happy with the results,” Wheeler said.

The head coach also noted that some of his runners were disappointed with their times, which proves their competitive edge and should help the team moving forward with the season.

One of the most thrilling finishes of the evening, came in the girls 4x100 relay, as Currituck battled to keep an edge on Northeastern.

Amberine Brown waited for the baton for the final leg for the Lady Knights, but Pasquotank had gained a large lead after the first three legs of the race.

Brown took the baton and came out of nowhere on the home stretch to take the lead and win the event by .8 seconds.

Currituck finished at 53.2 seconds, while Pasquotank finished at 54.0 seconds.

Brown spoke afterwards on her mentality to come from behind to take the win.

“I love chasing people down,” Brown said. “It just makes me want to run faster.”

For Brown, the strong performance was a continuation of her success during the indoor track season, where she took third in the state in the 55 meter sprint.

The senior said she was happy with her performance in the first outdoor meet of the season in cold conditions.

“I was happy with my performance during the indoor season and I am just going to keep pushing hard,” Brown said.

Brown also took first place in the 100 meter dash with a time of 12.5 seconds.

Other first place finishers for Currituck included Ryan Camden in the boys 800 meter, Jalen Owens in the boys shot put, Sarah Dover in the girls 800 meter and Leilani Lopez in the girls triple jump.

Wheeler said while his team did have a strong season during winter track, a lot of his team members are in their first season of outdoor track.

The head coach said after the meet that he was proud of his team’s performance and expects them to continue to improve and set personal records this season.

“They want to be the best, but at the end of the day they are wearing the red and white, just like the guy beside them and we are going to encourage each other,” Wheeler said.

Northeastern head coach Tony Johnson expected his team coming into the season to have success in the sprinting events, but struggle in the long distance events.

That was the case Wednesday, but the head coach said he was still proud of his team’s effort and performance was a little hard to judge with the cold and windy conditions.

“We have a lot of freshman who started the season out good and we have a few we just picked up from basketball season,” Johnson said.

While the head coach was proud of his team’s effort and performance in the season-opener, he said they have a lot to work on moving forward.

Northeastern earned first place finishes from Holden Hodge in the 300 meter hurdles, Josiah Felton in the high jump, Nolan Hodge in the triples jump, Aaron Harris in the 100 meter dash and J.R. Walker finished first in the 200 meter dash.

Nolan Hodge also took second place in the long jump, as the senior is coming off winning the state title in the event in indoor track.

On the girls side for Northeastern, Kiara Williams won the 200 meter dash and Dasia Phillips took first place in the shot put.

Northeastern also won multiple relay events, including the boys 4x200 and 4x100 relays and the girls 4x200 relay.

The Eagles head coach noted it is always tough going up against Currituck, as the two team’s have battled for Northeastern Coastal Conference titles the last few years.

“We are working to build athletes and get them ready to compete at the regional and state levels,” Johnson said.

Pasquotank was led by Carlos Cardenas, who finished second in the boys 300 hurdles, as well as a second place finish from Gregory Barnes in the boys 100 meter dash.

Edenton’s Ja’Nyryah White won the girls 100 meter hurdles for the Lady Aces.

Perquimans’ top finish came from their girls 4x200 relay team of Sandra Rennie, Madison Jennings, Sunasia Whidbee and Ma’Shanti White in third place.