Team WAR shows well in Florida

Published 10:08 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Nansemond River High School’s girls’ track team traveled to Florida last weekend to participate in the Pepsi Relays. Present and past Lady Warriors performed well at the event.

Team “WAR” continues to participate on national level meets. Their first outdoor meet this season came by way of Gainesville, Fla. The Pepsi Relay was a meet hosted by the University of Florida that included high school, college and professional competition.

Nansemond River got the chance to compete against top competition as well as meet some of their idols. They were also able to meet up with alumni of Nansemond River and watch them compete.


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Coach Justin Byron said the whole experience was amazing.

“It was a great trip,” Byron said. “But even bigger than the competition was the ability to be able to see our alumni. For our kids to be able to see our alumni was just amazing. A lot of kids don’t get to see that while they’re still in high school. It was a great moment and a great weekend.”

Some of the notable alumni the current Warriors got to see were University of Kentucky senior Sha’Keela Saunders and University of Miami sophomore Zakiya Rashid. They also got to see University of South Carolina sophomore Kara Lyles and University of Florida freshman Brandee’ Johnson. Johnson’s team was the host of the event.

Just a year removed from high school, Johnson put on an impressive performance. She ran the 100- and 400-meter hurdles with times of 13.14 and 57.21. Those times ranked fifth and eighth respectively in the whole NCAA.

Nansemond River showed well in the high school portion of the event, which was before the college and professional athletes competed. Syaira Richardson finished 10th in the 100-meter dash and second in the long jump. Kori Carter and Tre’breh Scott-McKoy placed third and 10th in the 100-meter hurdles, respectively. Asia Crocker placed 13th in the high jump and 16th in the long jump.

The 4×200 relay team placed second with a time of 1:36.56, and the 4×400 team placed third with a time of 3:43.90. Anaya Monroe, Carter, Richardson and Crocker made up the 4×200 team. Carter, Scott-McKoy, Richardson and Monroe made up the 4×400 team. The 4×400 team’s time was the 10th best ever in the state of Virginia.

“Everyone had their best opener of their careers, which is impressive,” Byron said. “For our first meet of outdoor competition, for everyone to do that is solid.”

Byron said Nansemond River is still transitioning from the indoor season, while Florida schools don’t have indoor seasons.

“We are not looking for top times right now,” Byron said. “But every time we step on the track, we want to try to execute our strategies or develop our techniques. Every meet is about developing. We want to continue to get better so we can put it together at the end.”

The end Byron references is regional, state and national meets. Everything in between will be preparation. Nansemond River will compete in the Norfolk State University High School Invitational meet this Friday. The meet continues Saturday.