Track and field sprints through regionals

Sophomore+Ben+Trelles+passes+the+baton+to+sophomore+Jason+Keys%2C+the+last+runner+on+NC%E2%80%99s+team+in+the+varsity+boys+4x400+meter+relay.+While+the+team+did+not+place+high+enough+to+continue+to+sectionals%2C+coaches+and+team+members+remain+hopeful+for+the+future.+%E2%80%9CWe+have++a+good+group+of+young+kids+and+our+older+kids+have+provided+leadership%2C+good+leadership%2C+like+how+we+expect+things+to+be+done+around+here.+The+program+has+grown+leaps+and+bounds+in+the+seven+years+since+I%27ve+been+here%2C+leaps+and+bounds.+It%E2%80%99s+a+lot+better%2C%E2%80%9D+head+coach+Michael+Dillard+said.

Jenny Loveland

Sophomore Ben Trelles passes the baton to sophomore Jason Keys, the last runner on NC’s team in the varsity boys 4×400 meter relay. While the team did not place high enough to continue to sectionals, coaches and team members remain hopeful for the future. “We have a good group of young kids and our older kids have provided leadership, good leadership, like how we expect things to be done around here. The program has grown leaps and bounds in the seven years since I’ve been here, leaps and bounds. It’s a lot better,” head coach Michael Dillard said.

Jenny Loveland, News Editor

Competing last week in their first regional meet since 2019, NC’s 2020-2021 track and field team showed huge potential. Taking place over the course of two days, the meet offered athletes the chance to show their skills in their chosen events. Entering the meet, coaches expressed hopes that athletes would perform to the best of their abilities, drawing on the training they completed throughout the season.

“We want everyone to have… the best race they’ve done this season. This is the region championship so we want to be the best that we’ve been all season. The hope is that when we do that, that’s good enough to go to sectionals and get some kids qualified for state,” long distance coach John Huff said.

This year, between the ever-present pandemic and an extremely young roster, coaches worked diligently to build the foundational skills of the team. While disappointment around the loss of last year’s promising season remains, coaches anticipate  seeing what the new members of the team will do in the future.

“We’ve got a lot of young kids who we’re looking forward to [seeing in] the future. We’re just a very young team, we don’t have a lot of upperclassmen. I think we have a total of ten seniors… We had our season last year. No doubt in my mind we would’ve finished top ten in boys and girls in the state, and we didn’t get that opportunity, but neither did anyone else who thought they might win it,” head coach Michael Dillard said.

The underclassmen exceeded expectations with their performances in the meet, constituting the majority of the athletes chosen to continue to sectionals. Notably, freshman Kate Kunst placed second in the girls pole vaulting finals with a vault of eight feet, and freshman David Eziomume scored third in the boys long jump finals with a distance of nineteen feet. Overall, the Warriors finished in sixth place.

“It’s pretty competitive, but it’s nice that there’s people who I can be with to see them grow, and grow with them, and get faster,” Magnet sophomore and long distance runner Alexis Christian said.

With this meet marking the end of the season for most of NC’s athletes, the team looks forward to the coming seasons and the potential they hold.