Richmond Hill High School has had its fair share of top-notch middle distance and distance runners over the years, and coach Levi Sybert expects that to continue this year behind runners such as Amanda Elliott and Corey Jones.
But the Wildcats should be more balanced in 2014, with newcomer Althea Awe and speedy returner Michael Clark leading the way in both sprints and jumps.
“We will have a little more balance at the big meets,” said Sybert, who has 89 on the track team, half of whom are back from last season.
So far, so good.
Awe took first in the girls’ triple jump at last week’s meet at Liberty County High School, covering 31 feet, 5 inches. She placed third in the long jump with a leap of 15-4 ¾.
Clark won the boys’ 200-meter run with a time of 22.74 seconds.
The program remains strong in the distance events, as well. Elliott — who will run for Air Force Academy — won the girls’ 1,600-meter race with a time of 5 minutes, 31 seconds, while talented sophomore Rachel Hammesfahr placed second with a 5:50. Sophomore Emily Hollowell was second in the 3,200 with a 12:55.
The girls’ 4x400 relay team also grabbed first, with Elliott, Savannah Ashe, Deneisha Fleming and Anna Cabrera combining to turn in a 4:40-0.83.
Other top finishers at Liberty Countyincluded Fleming, who ran a 1:09.745 to take second in the 400, and Ashe, who placed second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 52:34.
On the boys’ side, Jones won the 1,600 with a time of 4:42 and ran the first leg of the Wildcats’ first-place 4x400 relay team, which also consisted of Zarrius Walker, Nasim Dubose and Quinn Webb.
Other top finishers included senior Zack Jones, who won the 3,200 with a time of 10:50; teammate Adrian Sardina was third with an 11:13. In addition, Tyler Minor placed first in the 300-meter hurdles with a 43.81.
Sybert said the program has already “had a handful of PRs already in our first regular meet of the season, so that is always a good sign.”
“The joys of this season has been the strong leadership from the returners and the challenges will still be within the field events,” he said.