Wind blows Leonard out of State

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

That BLASTED wind!

As the gun went off Saturday afternoon, King’s Fork senior Peaches Leonard hurtled down the Nansemond River High track. Fifty-five meters, three places, and 7.12 seconds later, the Lady Bulldog crossed the line. Not only was her time good enough to qualify for Southeastern District and regional competition, but it was .3 seconds faster than the qualifying time for State.

Email newsletter signup

There was just one little problem – Mother Nature had given Leonard a bit of unwanted help. Saturday’s hard wind had, the meet’s judges ruled, given her and the rest of the runners an advantage. In keeping with track rules, .48 seconds was added to all their times, which pushed Leonard’s mark to 7.58 – and .16 past the state-required time.

&uot;I didn’t know,&uot; Leonard said. &uot;I’ve been training hard, and I knew we had mad competition.&uot; Her Bulldogs finished fourth in the meet, Nansemond River


Maybe she shouldn’t worry. Because on Wednesday at the district meets at Christopher Newport University, Leonard will get one more shot to run with the state’s best – and that meet will be indoors, keeping her safe from wind, rain, sleet, snow, or anything else that could interfere.

She’s already there in high jumping – Leonard’s propulsion of 4’10&uot; was good enough for state. She helped the 4X200 relay team to second place and finished fourth in 300-meter racing with a time of 48.97, within four seconds of qualifying for district competition.

&uot;That felt great,&uot; she said of the 300. &uot;It’s the first time I’ve ever run it. &uot;

Brandi Novak, who finished .4 seconds behind Leonard in the 300 and teamed with her, Mary Rose and LaTonia Gatling in the 4X200, took fifth in the long jump with a 13’9.5&uot;, and teamed with Rose, Gatling and Ivory Williams for a second place finish in the 4X400.

In boys competition, Peaches’ brother Coredero was fourth in the 300 with a 41.9, followed by teammates Clarence Jones (43.4) and Josh Brown (43.8).

Malik McBride represented River with a third place 5:33.41 in 1600-meter competition. Jay Bright was third in the shotput with 43’3&uot;.

Over at Lakeland, both Cavalier teams finished third in another district meet. Predist Walker won the 55-hurdles in 7.85 and was third in triple jump with a 30’7.9&uot; and Robert Delpesche took the pole vault with a 9’6&uot;. The 4X200 relay boys team finished second.