Nansemond River girls track win state title

Published 7:38 pm Monday, June 6, 2022

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Just as it had done during the indoor track season, Nansemond River’s girls track team captured the Class 5 state championship, dominating the field with nearly 30 points separating it from its next closest competitor.

Like the indoor state championship meet, it was the same two teams finishing first and second, with the Warriors topping everyone with 89 points ahead of Glen Allen (60 points), Stone Bridge (56.5), Maury (47) and Prince George (43) rounding out the top five teams in Friday and Saturday’s championships at Todd Stadium in Newport News.

“We knew if they were to execute what we had been working on all season, we had a good chance to come out on top,” said Nansemond River track coach Marco McKoy.

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They were led by a pair of individual first-place finishes from Sydney Ellis in the 100-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles. She was also on the first-place 4×400 meter relay team with Ansolei Taliaferro, Trinity Lucas and Nyah Harrison. Ellis’ time in the 100 hurdles is the third-fastest in the state this year, according to McKoy, and her time in the 300 hurdles the fourth-fastest in the state.

The girls’ 4×400 relay team is the top relay team in the state.

Jaliyah Person also won a state title in the 400, with the second-fastest time in the state and 10th fastest in school history. She also finished second in the 200 and had a pair of third-place finishes in the long jump and the triple jump. Person, along with Taliaferro, Peyton Wright and Kiara Mahoney took second in the 4×100 relay.

Grace Flynn finished second in the high jump, while Taliaferro and Harrison had third-place finishes in the 300 hurdles and 400, respectively. Harrison also scored in the 200 with an eighth-place finish.

“We did have some performances that went above and beyond, and I think that is one of the things that separates these ladies from a lot of other competitors is that when they get to crunch time, they know how to elevate themselves to have a stronger performance than what was expected,” McKoy said.

With just two seniors leaving — Ellis and Taliaferro — the Warriors’ girls track program looks to be primed for future success, but he cautioned against them becoming complacent with a region full of strong teams and competitors. McKoy said the team, however, has freshmen and sophomores who are ready to step up.

Nansemond River’s boys couldn’t quite duplicate its indoor state championship, as McKoy said they were battling injuries — one in particular to Savion Wingate, whose strong indoor performances helped the Warriors win a state championship this winter — but it still had a strong showing, coming in third overall with 48 points, behind first-place L.C. Bird (67) and Glen Allen (63).

“I was extremely happy because they did finish higher than what they were projected to finish,” McKoy said.

The Warriors’ Deondre Hardy captured state titles in the 110 hurdles and triple jump, and Charles Wall-Davis had a pair of second-place finishes, taking second in the 300 hurdles and coming just behind Hardy in the 110 hurdles. Hady’s time in the 110 hurdles is the fastest time in the state and third-fastest in school history, and he has the second-longest triple jump in school history. Wall-Davis’ time in the 110 hurdles is the third-fastest in the state.

“Deondre always sets the tone for us,” McKoy said. “He’s been our tone-setter for a while now. … He’s shown everybody in the state that he’s one of the best athletes there is.”

McKoy said Wall-Davis’ performances were impressive, especially since the state meet was just the second time sprinting since missing a month of the season with an injury. He said both Wall-Davis and Hardy have pushed each other to stronger performances.

“To get two second-place finishes tells you just how good this young man is going to be in the future,” McKoy said.

Hardy, who also took third in the long jump, teamed up with Andres White, Nicholas Grier and Christopher Griffin to finish third in the 4×100 relay.

King’s Fork’s girls had a solid sixth-place finish in the Class 4 state championship track meet at Liberty University in Lynchburg last Friday and Saturday, scoring 36 points as Heritage of Newport News won the state title.

The Bulldogs were led by a state championship meet record 46.93 seconds in the 4×400 meter relay from Deja Ward, Taylor Spruill, Courtney Johnson and Asia Powell. By more than a second, they broke the meet record that had been set by King’s Fork in last year’s meet. Three of them — Ward, Powell and Johnson — were on last year’s relay that set the mark.

A quartet of Lakeland girls earned a state championship of their own, as Kamryn Monroe, Kimari Rountree, Jamauri Demiel, Brianna Goodman won the 4×400 relay at the Class 3 state championship meet at Liberty University. The same four also finished second in the 4×100 relay. Rountree had a third-place finish in the 300 hurdles.

For the Cavaliers’ boys, Justin Royez was the top finisher, taking third in the shot put.

The strong performances, evidenced by at least one first-place individual or relay finish from all three of the city’s public high schools at their respective state championship meets,

“Over the last couple of years, the city of Suffolk has made some investments back into athletics, particularly track,” McKoy said, “and I just think it’s going to pay off even more in the future.”


Nansemond River girls (Class 5)

200m – Jaliyah Person, 2nd (24.73); Nyah Harrison, 8th (25.08)

400m – Jaliyah Person, 1st (55.63), Nyah Harrison, 3rd (56.89)

100h – Sydney Ellis, 1st (14.37)

300h – Sydney Ellis, 1st (44.42); Ansolei Taliferro, 3rd (46.45)

4×100 relay – Ansolei Taliaferro, Peyton Wright, Kiara Mahoney, Jaliyah Person, 2nd (47.83)

4×400 relay – Ansolei Taliaferro, Sydney Ellis, Trinity Lucas, Nyah Harrison, 1st (3:55.71)

High jump – Grace Flynn, 2nd (5-6)

Long jump – Jaliyah Person, 3rd (17-8)

Triple jump – Jaliyah Person, 3rd (38-6)


Nansemond River boys (Class 5)

110h – Deondre Hardy, 1st (14.01); Charles Wall-Davis, 2nd (14.21)

300h – Charles Wall-Davis, 2nd (38.67)

4×100 relay – Andres White, Deondre Hardy, Nicholas Grier, Christopher Griffin, 3rd (42.50)

Long jump – Deondre Hardy, 3rd (22-10.5)

Triple jump – Deondre Hardy, 1st (47-9.5)


King’s Fork girls (Class 4)

100m – Asia Powell, 2nd (12.14); Courtney Johnson, 7th (12.76)

200m – Courtney Johnson, 8th (26.86)

100h – Arlisha Boston, 4th (15.17)

4×100 relay – Deja Ward, Taylor Spruill, Courtney Johnson, Asia Powell, 1st (46.93)

4×400 relay – Andrea Watkins, Deja Ward, Azariah Taylor, Arlisha Boston, 2nd (4:05.39)

Triple jump – Deja Ward, 7th (35-0)


King’s Fork boys (Class 4)

4×100 relay – Devin Sloan, Amron Lewis, Jean-Claude Bile, Zyar’e Wynn, 7th (42.89)


Lakeland girls (Class 3)

100m – Kamryn Monroe, 5th (12.97)

400m – Jamauri Demiel, 7th (1:00.44)

300h – Kimari Rountree, 3rd (47.31)

4×100 relay – Kamryn Monroe, Kimari Rountree, Jamauri Demiel, Brianna Goodman, 2nd (50.05)

4×400 relay – Kamryn Monroe, Kimari Rountree, Jamauri Demiel, Brianna Goodman, 1st (4:06.49)


Lakeland boys (Class 3)

110h – Anthony Stewart, 6th (16.72)

300h – Damarion Artis, 5th (42.57), Anthony Stewart, 7th (43.04)

Shot put – Justin Royez, 3rd (49-10)