Lady Bulldog fights for 400 title

Published 9:36 pm Saturday, May 21, 2011

The 400: King’s Fork senior Qualitra Brown leads down the final stretch of the 400-meter final during the Southeastern District Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Lakeland Saturday. Brown won the event in 54.89 seconds for her first district title in the 400.

King’s Fork competes in district track meet

King’s Fork senior Qualitra Brown won the Southeastern District title in the 400-meter dash Saturday afternoon at Lakeland — and made it look easy.

At least, it seemed easy as she won by a wide margin for her first district crown in the 400. The reality, Brown said, was a lot tougher.

Brown led by a wide margin by the time the sprinters made the last turn into the final 100 meters and wound up winning by 1.02 seconds, a wide gap by normal standards, over Western Branch’s Javette Lee.

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“I’ve been dealing with my hamstring, but I was confident I could leave it on the track today. The pain after (the race) was the worst pain in my life, but it was good for the race and that was the main thing,” Brown said.

“I was pretty confident in my race. I knew I had to focus on Javette because she’s really good,” Brown said.

The hamstring injury and a new training regimen have tested Brown through the outdoor season. Brown, who’s accepted a track scholarship at Villanova University next school year, knows it was worth it for the 54.89 seconds of the 400 final Saturday and feels even better about the next two weekends with the Eastern Region and state Group AAA championships coming up.

“The coaches have been making me do the 4-by-800 and the two-mile and I’ve been so mad at them. They told me, though, ‘You need to gain some strength,’ and it’s paying off,” Brown said.

Brown was on the Lady Bulldog 4×800 relay team Thursday on the first day of the meet at Lakeland and a little more than an hour after the 400 final, she was in the 4×400 relay.

Lakeland senior JaQuan Demiel won his sixth and seventh individual district championships by sweeping both hurdle races; winning the 110-meter hurdles in 15.10 seconds and the 300 in 38.59 seconds.

Demiel’s also working back from a hamstring injury that kept him out of competition for part of the outdoor season. The district meet was his second since returning.

“The 110 was horrible. It was one of my worst in years,” Demiel said. “The 300 was pretty good. It was one of my better races since coming back.”

“I’m still getting my legs back into it. I have to run through the whole race and that’ll come with practice,” he said.

Demiel had a huge lead in the 300, stumbled going over the final hurdle, and still crossed the line 2.08 seconds ahead of the field.

Demiel is building toward defending his two hurdle state championships from a year ago.

Antonio Jones was runner-up in the triple jump to come in as Nansemond River’s best individual finish. Jones leapt 45-feet-6. Lakeland’s Anaquan Peterson was third with a mark of 45-feet-2.

Nansemond River finished second in the boys 4×100-meter relay. King’s Fork was second in the boys 4×400.

King’s Fork’s Deion Dickens finished second in the 400 in 48.83 and KF’s Lawan Brown finished third in the pole vault at 11-feet-6.

On the girls side, the Lady Bulldogs earned two runner-up results, with Melinda Hickman in the 800 in 2:30.13 and Gabrielle Snipes in the 100 in 12.75.

The Eastern Region Outdoor Track and Field Championships are set for Friday and Saturday at Hampton’s Darling Stadium.