Team WAR races to two national titles

Published 10:15 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Nansemond River High School track and field team earned two national titles over the weekend.

Team WAR traveled to New York to participate in the New Balance Indoor Nationals meet, as they have the past few years. As per usual, Nansemond River came out blazing.

The boys’ 4×200 team of Jevon Waller, Daiqwuan Faircloth, Jacob Nixon and Kevin Johnson took the gold with a time of 1:27.11, which was the 10th-fastest time in U.S. history.

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Team WAR also earned a national title in the mixed relay event. This year was the first year they put it together, and the event includes relay teams made up of two boys and two girls. Faircloth, Waller, Kori Carter and Tre’Breh Scott-McKoy took first.

All year, Coach Justin Byron had talked about seeing his boys’ team step into the spotlight the girls have been in for the last few years. Over the past couple of the seasons, the boys’ team has been steadily pushing its way into a prominent force, and it showed over the weekend, particularly in the 4×200 final.

In the Warriors’ previous meets, they had been battling injuries, so they did not quite finish where they wanted to in the regional and state indoor meets. However, everything came together at the right time for nationals.

“This was huge for them, seeing their hard work and dedication pay off,” Byron said. “They are national champions, and that’s something no one can take from them.”

“This felt good,” Waller said. “We have had plenty of mishaps and injuries these last couple of meets, and to have everything come together at the right time and to come out on top is a great feeling.”

As for the mixed relay event, Byron said he was glad he had made a last-minute change to put the team together, as they initially were not going to participate. Faircloth ran the anchor leg and edged out the second-place team to give Team WAR the win in dramatic fashion.

“I told the kids we wanted to go out there and have fun,” he said. “They went out there and won it against some stiff competition. It was fun, it was exciting, and it just speaks to the depth of our whole team.”

The girls’ 4×200 team of Scott-McKoy, Carter, Brene Donaldson and Asia Crocker took second with the fourth-fastest time in U.S. history.

Byron described this national meet as one of his favorite so far. He felt like this was the first year they saw an equal amount of success on the boys’ and girls’ side of things. Most importantly, he treasured the compliments Team WAR got for the way the athletes carried themselves.

“That right there is as big as a win,” Byron said. “You take care of things off of the track, and good things will happen on it.”

Nansemond River will now turn its attention to the outdoor season.