KFHS girls’ 4×100 team excels at Penn RelaysPublished 10:26pm Thursday, May 2, 2013
The King’s Fork High School girls’ 4×100-meter relay team made school history last Friday by posting a record time of 47.46 seconds to place third in the small schools division at the 2013 Penn Relay Carnival in Philadelphia.
The team emerged from a qualifying round of 357 competing relay teams from schools with female enrollments of 524 or fewer.
“I was very happy for them and very excited,” King’s Fork head coach Kisha Ricks said. “This is the first time we’ve actually made the finals at Penn Relays, to make the finals and place and get a medal.”
Their finishing time of 47.46 seconds is also currently ranked No. 1 in the state of Virginia, according to 2013 Outdoor Rankings on MileStat.com.
The team is composed of juniors Gabrielle Snipes and Roneka Spady and sophomores Brittany Dickens and Courtney Ricks.
“We were all excited; all four of us were extremely excited,” Snipes said. “As soon as we saw each other, we were just screaming because we were just so happy with how we did.”
Spady noted what made the fast finish possible.
“Coach Marvin (Ricks) and Coach Kisha and Coach Ruchelle (Ricks), they do a great job coaching us, so our workouts, it paid off at Penn,” she said.
Kisha Ricks, too, pointed to the prep work as the key.
“That’s the perk of training is you build upon one thing to the next to ultimately get to your grand outcome,” she said. “They’re still training.”
Ruchelle Ricks spoke to the potential the team possesses to get even better.
“Actually, we were shooting for low 46 (seconds), high 45, so they still have a lot to practice on,” she said. “Just looking at the hand-offs at the Penn Relays, they still have seconds that they can cut off.”
She added that “pretty much, we are shooting for the state record.”
Kisha Ricks was a part of the team from Bayside High School that set the still-standing 4×100-meter state record in 1997 — 45.79 seconds.
At the Penn Relays, the crowd that appeared to number in the thousands was an unavoidable factor, leading to nerves for the team. The 4×100 team ran its qualifying heat on Thursday, posting a 48.07 time.
“As soon as we got to the finals and championships, we were all more calm and more ready to run instead of worrying about nerves,” Snipes said.
Snipes and Spady are veterans of the team since their freshman year, but the other half has less experience. Courtney Ricks is in her second year on the team and Brittany Dickens is in her first.
“Everybody’s at different stages, and we’re just putting it together where they’re at,” Kisha Ricks said. “It’s sort of like teaching — you find out where the student is, and you build upon it.”
Courtney Ricks and Spady had the distinction of being on two relay teams that set new school records at the Penn Relays. The girls’ 4×400-meter relay team finished fifth on Thursday with a new best time of 4:07.53. The team also included Kana Hashigami and Danielle Hill.
The 4×100 girls confirmed that their success will not only boost their confidence, but also motivate them to improve even further entering the next Southeastern District meet on Wednesday at Lakeland High School.