Lakeland senior Antonio Boone flies through the air in the 300-meter hurdles during Saturday’s Suffolk Invitational at Lakeland High School. He finished with a 43.27-second time. (Melissa Glover photo)
Lakeland senior Antonio Boone flies through the air in the 300-meter hurdles during Saturday’s Suffolk Invitational at Lakeland High School. He finished with a 43.27-second time. (Melissa Glover photo)

Warriors comfortable in weekend meet

Published 10:10pm Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In its 21st year, the Suffolk Invitational track meet attracted a smaller field than usual on Saturday, but still produced some highlights by athletes from Nansemond River High School and host Lakeland High School.

“When I evaluated the meet, I kind of looked at how we had done, and as a team, that was probably our best meet of the season,” Warriors coach Justin Byron said. “We had a countless number of (personal records), and a lot of our younger athletes were able to run against good competition,” but in an atmosphere in which they were still comfortable.

Nansemond River won four different events, and its girls’ team placed fourth out of 12 scoring schools, producing 54 points. The boys’ team placed seventh out of 12, producing 56 points.

Lakeland senior Alexus Copeland runs in the 400-meter dash. Copeland finished with a time of 1:08.03. (Melissa Glover photo)
Lakeland senior Alexus Copeland runs in the 400-meter dash. Copeland finished with a time of 1:08.03. (Melissa Glover photo)

Warriors junior Kadeem Middleton took first in the 400-meter dash with a 4A state-qualifying time of 49.95 seconds.

“That was his first time breaking the 50-second barrier, which is a huge accomplishment on the high school level,” Byron said.

Middleton also ran a 4A state-qualifying mark in the 200-meter dash, 22.31 seconds, which was good for third.

Junior Kara Lyles won the 300-meter hurdles with a 46.07-second time.

Byron said sophomore Kiara Price, a first-year track athlete, set personal bests every time she competed.

“At that meet she qualified for conference in the long jump, the 200 and the 100, and then she finished the day with the fastest split (for Nansemond River) in the 4×400,” Byron said.

Junior Zakiya Rashid and freshmen Karah Foster and Casey Williams completed the 4×400-meter relay team that won with a time of 4:19.53.

The boys’ 4×800-meter relay team won with a time of 8:41.81, fueled by seniors Sydney Johnson and Airrin Davis and sophomores Nicholas Gill and Kevin Tohak.

Junior Candice James ran a 25.68-second time in the 200-meter dash to qualify for 4A states.

Others registered conference championship-qualifying times for either the first or second time in an event. These athletes included freshman Kiara Howard in the 100-meter dash, Karah Foster in the 200-meter dash, Casey Williams in the 800-meter run and sophomore Shenique Brown in the shot put.

For the boys, it was sophomore Jonas Jones in the 100 and the 200, senior Malcolm Sheppard in the 400-meter dash and Airrin Davis in the 400 and 800.

Lakeland track coach Gregory Rountree was mostly positive in his evaluation of his team.

“I was satisfied,” he said. Though there’s room for improvement, he said, the coaches were pleased with the results they got from the Cavaliers, “especially the younger kids.”

Lakeland won two events, including the boys’ high jump, in which sophomore Devonte Brown took first with a 5-foot-8-inch leap.

Senior Antonio Boone, junior Jordan Stokley and sophomores Ja’Len Baker and Jajuan Walker formed the 4×400 team that won with a 3:31.28 mark.

Following are the team results from Saturday’s Suffolk Invitational at Lakeland High School:

Girls’ team rankings

1) Western Branch High School, 128.50

2) Phoebus High School, 76.50

3) Churchland High School, 71

4) Nansemond River High School, 54

5) Hampton High School, 52.50

6) Smithfield High School, 50.50

7) York High School, 47

8) Gloucester High School, 40

9) Woodside High School, 38

10) Heritage High School, 22

11) Lakeland High School, 19

12) Indian River High School, 18

Boys’ team rankings

1) Phoebus High School, 98

2) Churchland High School, 76

3) Western Branch High School, 68.50

4) Smithfield High School, 63

4) Indian River High School, 63

6) York High School, 57

7) Nansemond River High School, 56

8) Lakeland High School, 55

9) Woodside High School, 51

10) Gloucester High School, 22

11) Heritage High School, 17

12) Denbigh High School, 5.50

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