by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
Lancaster High has state qualified 13 athletes in seven different events for the Group 1A/2A state indoor track and field meet February 22-23 at Roanoke College.
Lancaster High’s indoor track team competed in its final regular season meet last weekend at the Atlantic Coast Invitational in Hampton with senior Diamond Taylor throwing the shot put 36’3″ for second place and a state qualifying standard.
“That was a significant accomplishment for Diamond since she was competing against athletes from some of the largest (state) schools,” said LHS coach James Timm.
The event’s winner, Gabrielle Holliday, was from JR Tucker High School and Jalani Davis, who took third place, was from Bethel. There were 44 throwers in the shot put event.
During the season, Lancaster also state qualified its girls 4X800 meter relay team of seniors Vilesha Waller, Jasmyn Tomlin and Monica Waddy and sophomore Maddie Davis.
Senior middle distance runner Zac Benton state qualified in the 1,000-meter run and sophomore speedster Chris Dameron will compete at state in the 55-meter sprint.
Three LHS boys relay teams have qualified for the state meet including its 4X200-meter team of Dameron, junior Darius Reed and sophomores Marcus Keeve and Elijah Palmer.
Benton will compete at state in three events including his solo event and with both of LHS’s 4X800 and 4X400-meter relay teams. Benton is joined by Keeve, senior Wyatt McCranie and sophomore Zach Kane on the 800-meter team.
The 400-meter team includes Benton, Dameron, Reed and sophomore Elijah Palmer.
Running middle distance for the Devils’ boys team this year were Reed, Keeve and Benton, while junior Kyle Bean, McCranie and Kane ran long distance events. Sprinters were Dameron, senior Divarus Redmond, freshman Carlos Norris, sophomore Kaimion Crockett and Palmer.
Throwers were seniors Brandon Hill, Tahj Hodges and Jervall Kelly; juniors Krishawn Wiggins, Kaleb Rich and Damarcus Doggett and sophomore Ty’Jae Henderson.
The girls team included middle distance runners Davis, Waller, Waddy Tomlin and freshmen Virginia Demario and Tara Gill, and sophomore McKenzie Hathaway and distance runner sophomore Mears Pollard. Sprinters included sophomore Nealaysia Redmond and freshmen Olivia Rich and Tanashia Henderson. Taylor was the team’s only thrower.
Coached by Timm and Draper Washington and throwing instructors Markus Ferguson and Irvin Nickens, Lancaster’s indoor track team competed in three meets this season. In the third year of the program, the team size and interest continues to grow, said Timm.
“Every year we’ve had more participation,” he said. “The team has worked really hard, but they always do. I’ve been pleased with the effort and with how much they’ve worked.”