Warriors heat up the track

Published 7:35 pm Friday, February 6, 2015

The Nansemond River High School indoor track and field team has been busy winning and developing within the last week.

The NR girls’ team won Wednesday’s regular-season Ironclad Conference meet in Hampton, producing six of the Nansemond River program’s 10 first-place finishes on the day.

Nansemond River High School senior Kara Lyles gets the handoff from senior Candice James in the girls' 4x400-meter relay at the recent Virginia Tech High School Invitational. (Joe Fleming photo)

Nansemond River High School senior Kara Lyles gets the handoff from senior Candice James in the girls’ 4×400-meter relay at the recent Virginia Tech High School Invitational. (Jon Fleming photo)

Additionally, last weekend, both 300-meter dash runner Brandeé Johnson and the girls’ 4×400-meter relay team took first in the Virginia Tech High School Invitational.


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Warriors track coach Justin Byron said he approaches regular season conference meets, like the one on Wednesday, as “kind of a tune-up, a way to work on some things going into the conference (championship) meet.”

Wednesday featured several highlights, headlined by senior Kadeem Middleton, who won the boys’ 500-meter dash with a time of 1:06.45, a personal record. Byron said that this season, the time ranks No. 19 in the nation, No. 10 in the entire state and No. 1 in the Group 4A classification.

“That was a huge run,” Byron said.

The coach also said a conference meet like Wednesday’s is good, because “it allows some of my younger athletes to participate, so it’s vital,” and he later noted it is a chance to get some last-minute qualifiers.

Sophomore Monae Bynum qualified for regionals in the girls’ triple jump when she produced a mark of 33-feet-11-inches. Junior Dajae’ Goulet qualified for the conference championship in the long jump with a leap of 16-feet-1-inch. Junior Kiara Price qualified for conferences in the 55-meter hurdles, finishing in 10.38 seconds.

Some Nansemond River veterans also earned qualifications. Senior Kara Lyles qualified for regionals in the high jump with a mark of 4-feet-10-inches.

This season, “that was her first time high jumping,” Byron said.

Senior Courtney James qualified for conferences in the pole vault. She was the only Ironclad Conference competitor in the event on Wednesday and produced a 6-feet-6-inch mark.

Setting personal records in the 300-meter dash were junior Amirah Jones (44.11 seconds), Bynum (44.54) and sophomore Karah Foster (44.67).

Byron said having those three girls performing well means he will not have to utilize veterans like Brandeé Johnson as liberally in the relays at the conference, regional and state championship meets.

Byron said Nansemond River turned in awesome performances over the weekend in the Virginia Tech High School Invitational.

“It’s good when you see personal records,” he said.

The girls’ 4×400-meter relay team won with a new best time of 3:49.95.

Byron noted the splits were important, illustrating how strong the team was throughout. Sophomore Syaira Richardson ran her leg in 57.5 seconds, senior Candice James took 59.3 seconds, Lyles was done in 56.5 seconds and Johnson finished in 56.2 seconds.

The team’s time of 3:49.95 is No. 5 in the nation this year and No. 5 all-time in Virginia, Byron said.

Johnson did not run her best race in the 300-meter dash, but she edged Grassfield High School sophomore Lauryn Ghee by a hundredth of a second — 38.58 to 38.59 — to win.

Lyles had her shoe come off during the 500-meter dash, and she still ran her fastest time this year — 1:16.95. This season, that is the No. 11 time in the nation, No. 3 in the state and No. 1 in Group 4A, Byron said.

Following are the results from the second regular season Ironclad Conference indoor track and field meet that took place on Wednesday in Hampton:

Girls’ team results

1) Nansemond River, 173

2) Phoebus, 116

3) Lakeland, 47

4) King’s Fork, 36

5) Heritage, 8

6) Denbigh, 1

Boys’ team results

1) Phoebus, 155

2) Nansemond River, 117

3) Lakeland, 68

4) Heritage, 30

5) King’s Fork, 22

6) Denbigh, 8

Individual results and top Suffolk finishers

  • Girls’ 55-meter dash: 1st-Carolyn Brown (Phoebus), 7.17; 2nd-Kara Lyles (NR), 7.34
  • Girls’ 300-meter dash: 1st-Courtney Ricks (KF), 42.08
  • Girls’ 500-meter dash: 1st-Telina Bunch (Phoebus), 1:26.82; 2nd-Kiara Howard (NR), 1:28.25
  • Girls’ 1000-meter run: 1st-Ashanti Jackson (Phoebus), 3:20.62; 3rd-Christina Banks (NR), 3:27.62
  • Girls’ 1600-meter run: 1st-Casey Williams (NR), 5:51.08
  • Girls’ 3200-meter run: 1st-Haley Neal (NR), 13:04.38
  • Girls’ 55-meter hurdles: 1st-Carolyn Brown (Phoebus), 8.49; 3rd-Courtney Ricks (KF), 8.84
  • Girls’ 4×200-meter relay: 1st-Phoebus ‘A’, 1:47.77; 2nd-King’s Fork ‘A’, 1:48.11
  • Girls’ 4×400-meter relay: 1st-Nansemond River ‘A’, 4:11.51
  • Girls’ 4×800-meter relay: 1st-Phoebus ‘A’, 10:43.90; 2nd-Nansemond River ‘A’, 11:25.42
  • Girls’ high jump: 1st-Kara Lyles (NR), 4-10.00
  • Girls’ pole vault: 1st-Courtney James (NR), 6-06.00
  • Girls’ long jump: 1st-Amira Aduma (Phoebus), 17-02.00; 2nd-Asia Crocker (NR), 16-02.50
  • Girls’ triple jump: 1st-Kiera Rountree (L), 35-08.00
  • Girls’ shot put: 1st-Kara Lyles (NR), 31-08.00
  • Boys’ 55-meter dash: 1st-Dartrez Thompson (Phoebus), 6.63; 5th-Thomas Jones (KF), 6.88
  • Boys’ 300-meter dash: 1st-Thomas Jones (KF), 36.98
  • Boys’ 500-meter dash: 1st-Kadeem Middleton (NR), 1:06.45
  • Boys’ 1000-meter run: 1st-Davon Tonkins (Phoebus), 2:52.85; 4th-Ta’von Sessoms (NR), 2:57.34
  • Boys’ 1600-meter run: 1st-Kevin Tohak (NR), 4:57.86
  • Boys’ 3200-meter run: 1st-Darius Smith (NR), 11:18.91
  • Boys’ 55-meter hurdles: 1st-Jaelen Williams (Phoebus), 8.02; 4th-Gilbert Lopez (NR), 9.07
  • Boys’ 4×200-meter relay: 1st-Lakeland ‘A’, 1:35.38
  • Boys’ 4×400-meter relay: 1st-Nansemond River ‘A’, 3:36.39
  • Boys’ 4×800-meter relay: 1st-Phoebus ‘A’, 8:39.08; 2nd-Nansemond River ‘A’, 8:53.41
  • Boys’ high jump: 1st-Elijah Nelson (Phoebus), 6-04.00; 2nd-Kadeem Middleton (NR), 5-10.00
  • Boys’ long jump: 1st-Elijah Nelson (Phoebus), 21-09.00; 2nd-Kadeem Middleton (NR), 21-08.50
  • Boys’ triple jump: 1st-Elijah Nelson (Phoebus), 41-09.75; 2nd-Deonte Diggs (L), 39-11.50
  • Boys’ shot put: 1st-Anthony Hale (L), 39-07.50