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The Nansemond River High School girls' outdoor track and field team won its first-ever regional championship over the weekend. Front row, from left: Kiara Price, Brandeé Johnson and Kara Dixon; back row, from left: coach Justin Byron, coach Aaron Dudley, Lauryn McNeal, Karah Foster, Kiara Howard, Casey Williams, Candice James, Courtney James, Kara Lyles, Zakiya Rashid, Mia McClain, coach John James and coach Robin Hirsch. (Toy Redding photo)
The Nansemond River High School girls' outdoor track and field team won its first-ever regional championship over the weekend. Front row, from left: Kiara Price, Brandeé Johnson and Kara Dixon; back row, from left: coach Justin Byron, coach Aaron Dudley, Lauryn McNeal, Karah Foster, Kiara Howard, Casey Williams, Candice James, Courtney James, Kara Lyles, Zakiya Rashid, Mia McClain, coach John James and coach Robin Hirsch. (Toy Redding photo)

NRHS girls win regional track meet

Published 11:17pm Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Virginia High School League’s recent realignment gave Nansemond River High School’s girls’ outdoor track and field team a legitimate opportunity to win a regional title against schools of similar size.

They took it this past weekend at Lakeland High School, defeating Phoebus High School by 23.5 points to become the 2014 VHSL Group 4A South regional outdoor track and field champions.

NR coach Justin Byron explained that preparation for this coming weekend’s state championships was still the priority during the regional meet, but he certainly did not overlook the chance at a regional win.

“As far as the girls’ side, there’s a lot of work to do, but a lot did go correct,” he said. “We tried our best to win the meet without compromising our plan.”

Some athletes were competing in events other than what they will compete in at states, but still did well.

“To me that kind of shows that they’re ready for the next level,” Byron said.

Sophomore Brandeé Johnson won the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 43.53 seconds. Junior Kara Lyles won the long jump with a leap of 18-feet-6-inches.

Junior Zakiya Rashid won one of her signature events, the shot put, with a throw of 42-feet-0.5-inches.

The girls’ 4×800-meter relay team placed fourth, breaking the school record by nearly one minute with a time of 9:55.89. The team featured senior Kara Dixon, junior Candice James, Kara Lyles and freshman Casey Williams.

Lyles passed about three or four teams during her leg to hand off the baton in first place.

The boys’ team placed ninth out of 20 schools that scored points.

“I think the highlight of the meet was the boys’ 4×400,” Byron said.

The boys’ 4×400-meter relay team won with a time of 3:21.17. The team currently ranks No. 3 in the state throughout all classifications and No. 2 in the state for Group 4A. The group of runners includes senior Airrin Davis, sophomore Terrence Lambert, senior Malcolm Sheppard and junior Kadeem Middleton.

The state championships take place this Friday and Saturday in Harrisonburg.

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