NRHS tunes up and wins

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, January 9, 2014

The day after Wednesday’s inaugural regular season conference indoor track and field meet in Hampton, Nansemond River High School coach Justin Byron got a call from another school’s coach, who noted the Warriors had won.

“I said, ‘What race?’” Byron recalled.

Byron said he does not usually check the team scores of the meet. He has rarely had any good reason to do so. Years of Southeastern District meets illustrated that team wins were limited to big schools, which could flood the field with athletes. Bryon assumed the coach was referring to an individual event.

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But in an Ironclad Conference 18 field composed of six similarly sized schools, Nansemond River’s girls’ and boys’ teams both came out on top.

Byron said he is focused more on effort right now and less on times, treating the meet like a tune-up or practice for the conference championship. Even so, the girls’ team had 154 points, edging out Phoebus High School, which had 150.50. The boys’ team put up 148, while Phoebus was the closest competition with 125.

“It does feel good that you can practice and be competitive, so as a coach that gives you some confidence going into the (conference championship) meet,” he said.

It aids his athletes’ confidence, too. “It helps them mentally to be prepared for the championship meets when they know that they’re competitive in the regular season,” Byron said.

“The distance team is really carrying us right now, in large part due to our new distance coach, Aaron Dudley,” Byron said.

Sydney Johnson, Darius Smith and Nicholas Gill finished 1-2-3 in the boys’ 1000-meter run while Benjamin Littlejohn, Kevin Tohak and Airrin Davis finished 1-2-3 in the boys’ 3200-meter run. In the boys’ 1600-meter run, Davis and Littlejohn placed first and third, respectively.

For the girls’ team, Kara Dixon, Casey Williams and Caroline Hubbard placed 1-2-3 as the only competitors listed in the 3200-meter run.

Wednesday was also an opportunity for some of Nansemond River’s stars to wander far outside their signature events. “The athletes are really embracing the diversity,” Byron said.

Sprinter Mia McClain competed in the shot put event, placing second with a throw of 30-feet-4.5-inches. Normal shot-putter Zakiya Rashid and McClain tried the triple jump, placing fourth (31-feet-4.5-inches) and fifth (29-feet-10-inches), respectively.

Lakeland High School head coach Gregory Rountree was excited by what he saw from his teams. On Thursday, he said, “I was really impressed with what our kids did last night.” Both his boys’ and girls’ teams scored more than 100 points, 103 and 116.50, respectively.

Kiera Rountree and Khadijah Clouden finished 1-2 in the triple jump, both qualifying for states.

Ja’Len Baker notched a personal best time of 36.80 seconds in the 300-meter dash, placing second.

“(Teahney) Walker tried the high jump for the first time ever,” Rountree said, and she placed second, leaping 4-feet-10-inches.

King’s Fork High School’s girls’ team finished fourth with 53 points, and its boys’ team finished fifth with 42.

“We used this meet pretty much as a conditioning meet, because most of our kids just came back from the holidays,” KF coach Marvin Ricks said. He was encouraged by what he saw.

All three Suffolk public schools begin competition today in the two-day Suffolk Invitational at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton.


Following are the results from the first regular season Ironclad Conference 18 track and field meet on Thursday:

Girls’ team results (14 events scored)

1) Nansemond River High School, 154

2) Phoebus High School, 150.50

3) Lakeland High School, 116.50

4) King’s Fork High School, 53

5) Heritage High School, 14

6) Denbigh High School, 4


Boys’ team results (15 events scored)

1) Nansemond River High School, 148

2) Phoebus High School, 125

3) Lakeland High School, 103

4) Denbigh High School, 67

5) King’s Fork High School, 42

6) Heritage High School, 35


Individual results and top Suffolk finishers

  • Girls’ long jump: 1st-Carolyn Brown, (P) 17-05.00; 2nd-Gabrielle Snipes, (KF) 16-07.50
  • Boys’ long jump: 1st-Darius Banks, (D) 22-01.00; 2nd-Gregory Rountree, (L) 18-09.50
  • Girls’ triple jump: 1st-Kiera Rountree, (L) 35-04.00; 2nd-Khadijah Clouden, (L) 35-03.00
  • Boys’ triple jump: 1st-Xavier Williams, (NR) 40-00.00
  • Girls’ high jump: 1st-Carolyn Brown, (P) 5-06.00; 2nd-Teahney Walker, (L) 4-10.00
  • Boys’ high jump: 1st-Keion Roberts, (NR) 6-00.00; 2nd-DeVante Brown, (L) 5-10.00
  • Girls’ shot put: 1st-Hannah Hinson, (KF) 33-00.00; 2nd-Mia McClain, (NR) 30-04.50
  • Boys’ shot put: 1st-Chris Peace, (D) 40-11.00; 2nd-Kenneth Smiley, (NR) 39-04.00
  • Boys’ pole vault: 1st-Robert Kelly, (KF) 8-00.00
  • Girls’ 55-meter hurdles: 1st-Carolyn Brown, (P) 8.64; 3rd-Mia McClain, (NR) 9.03
  • Boys’ 55-meter hurdles: 1st-Tyson Bivins, (H) 8.43; 6th-Antonio Boone, (L) 9.33
  • Girls’ 55-meter dash: 1st-Mia McClain, (NR) 7.41; 2nd-Brandee Johnson, (NR) 7.43
  • Boys’ 55-meter dash: 1st-Darius Banks, (D) 6.54; 6th-Rimar Williams, (L) 6.76
  • Girls’ 4×800-meter relay: 1st-Lakeland ‘A’ 10:33.47
  • Boys’ 4×800-meter relay: 1st-Phoebus ‘A’ 9:11.98; 2nd-Nansemond River ‘A’ 9:15.25
  • Girls’ 4×200-meter relay: 1st-Phoebus ‘A’ 1:47.03; 3rd-Nansemond River ‘A’ 1:53.52
  • Boys’ 4×200-meter relay: 1st-Phoebus ‘A’ 1:34.57; 2nd-Lakeland ‘A’ 1:36.58
  • Girls’ 1600-meter run: 1st-Alexis Albright, (L) 6:11.65; 2nd-Jamee Albright, (L) 6:12.08
  • Boys’ 1600-meter run: 1st-Airrin Davis, (NR) 4:49.91; 2nd-Brandon Gipson, (KF) 4:50.02
  • Girls’ 500-meter dash: 1st-Amira Aduma, (P) 1:22.55; 3rd-Courtney Ricks, (KF) 1:24.75
  • Boys’ 500-meter dash: 1st-Dartrez Thompson, (P) 1:11.04; 4th-Riven Williams, (L) 1:13.52
  • Girls’ 1000-meter run: 1st-Ashanti Jackson, (P) 3:24.61; 2nd-Kristen Vick, (L) 3:38.82
  • Boys’ 1000-meter run: 1st-Sydney Johnson, (NR) 2:48.32; 2nd-Darius Smith, (NR) 2:57.41
  • Girls’ 300-meter dash: 1st-Brandee Johnson, (NR) 40.38; 2nd-Kara Lyles, (NR) 41.41
  • Boys’ 300-meter dash: 1st-Kadeem Middleton, (NR) 36.22; 2nd-Ja’Len Baker, (L) 36.80
  • Girls’ 3200-meter run: 1st-Kara Dixon, (NR) 13:32.51; 2nd-Casey Williams, (NR) 14:05.17
  • Boys’ 3200-meter run: 1st-Benjamin Littlejohn, (NR) 10:59.41; 2nd-Kevin Tohak, (NR) 11:11.17
  • Girls’ 4×400-meter relay: 1st-Lakeland ‘A’ 4:28.26; 2nd-Nansemond River ‘B’ 4:36.67
  • Boys’ 4×400-meter relay: 1st-Lakeland ‘A’ 3:41.69; 2nd-Nansemond River ‘A’ 3:44.39