Relay title leads Lakeland’s day

Published 8:50 pm Saturday, May 28, 2011

Baton: Lakeland’s Quentin Gilchrist gets the baton from Rausheeim Thompson for the third leg of the 4x100-meter relay Saturday at Darling Stadium. The Cavaliers won the Eastern Region title in the relay, with JaQuan Demiel and Anaquan Peterson as the other two Cavalier relay members, in 42.44 seconds.

HAMPTON — The last day of the Eastern Region Outdoor Track and Field Championships was full of ups, downs and even downs that still proved outstanding for Lakeland’s track team Saturday at Darling Stadium.

The Cavalier relay team of JaQuan Demiel, Rausheeim Thompson, Quentin Gilchrist and Anaquan Peterson won the 4×100 regional title in a time of 42.44, with Peterson pulling away from second-place Western Branch on the final 100 meters.

Demiel’s first event on the track Saturday, the 110-meter hurdles, was the prime example of one of the struggles for Lakeland on the day. The Cavalier senior hit the third hurdle, kept going and was still in line for a finish somewhere in the top three before hitting the final hurdle even harder and stumbling to the finish line coming in eighth.

Email newsletter signup

“I knew I had to come harder in the 300 (hurdles). I knew I had to redeem myself,” Demiel said.

He did so, but with more adventure.

Demiel led all the way around and was pulling away in the final 100 meters before hitting the final hurdle. He fell to the track, but his forward momentum kept him going over the line and his lead was large enough that he still crossed first.

Demiel’s regional title, in a time of 38.07 seconds and still enough for a 0.73-second margin, came with a big, bloody scrape ranging from his right bicep to the front of his shoulder.

The Cavaliers had a shot at the regional team championship down to the final event, the 4×400 relay. By the time of the last event of the hot afternoon, it was the third or fourth event of the day for everyone on Lakeland’s foursome and the Cavs came up short.

Lakeland junior Anaquan Peterson, who won the long jump Friday afternoon, finished third in the triple jump Saturday morning, ran the last leg of the victorious 4×100 relay and in the 4×400 relay.

“When it comes to the team, he just runs harder for us,” Demiel said of his teammate. The Cavaliers had a slim lead when Gilchrist handed the baton to Peterson for the last 100 of the 4×100. Peterson raced away from the field on the last straightaway.

“On the relay we always count on him to run hard, just like he did for us today,” Demiel said.

For King’s Fork, Davon Grayson had the best individual finish tying for second in the high jump with a mark of 6-feet-3, topping his best of the season by an inch.

KF senior Qualitra Brown finished fourth in the 400 and fifth in the 200 while fighting through a lower back injury suffered earlier Saturday while running a leg of the 4×100 relay. Brown won the Southeastern District 400 title last Saturday in 54.89 seconds and ran the regional final in 58.18. A duplicate of her district race would’ve won on Saturday by more than two seconds.

In the boys 400, Thompson finished third (49.61) for the Cavs and KF’s Deion Dickens finished fourth (49.84).

King’s Fork finished second in the boys 4×400-meter relay. Just as in the Southeastern District Championships, Oscar Smith edged the Bulldogs.

KF’s Gabrielle Snipes finished sixth in the 100-meter dash in 12.72 seconds. Lakeland’s Shakiella Daniels was sixth in the 400 (59.25). Nansemond River’s Desmond Stills finished sixth in the shot put (137-feet-6). KF’s Lawan Brown was sixth in the pole vault (13-feet-0). The top six competitors in each individual event are guaranteed places in next week’s VHSL Group AAA state championships.