Powell breaks state record in 200-meter dash

Published 9:58 am Wednesday, June 8, 2011

HARRISONBURG—Southampton High School senior Ronnie Powell for a second year in a row won the 100-meter dash at the Virginia High School League Group AA State Outdoor Championship in Harrisonburg on Saturday.

Although she did not defend last year’s title in the 200-meter dash, Powell placed second with a run of 24.25 seconds. Powell and winner Kiara Porter of Tabb High School, who ran a 24.17, broke the 200-meter state record set in 1997 by Keanna Schuler of Broadway; the old record was 24.36.

Powell’s time was the fourth fastest of any female posted in Virginia this season.

As for the 100-meter dash, Powell won with a time of 12.08.

Her preliminary time on Friday was 11.86, .03 seconds off the state record set in 2005 by Patrice Potts of Brunswick and the third fastest time posted by any female in Virginia this season.

Powell’s running days may not be over. She has had several offers from Division I and II universities, said Southampton Track Coach Alfred Charity.

“I along with the rest of the coaching staff, Southampton track team and Southampton High School are very proud of Ronnie,” Charity said. “She did her best last Saturday, and that is all I have ever asked of her as her coach.

“I told Ronnie in her sophomore year ‘dare to be great,’” Charity continued. “She has become a great state, regional and district champion. She has represented herself, her family and Southampton High School in a way that makes me very proud. She wins events with grace and takes a loss with dignity, saying she will do better next time.”

A three-time state champion, Powell has placed third or better for three straight years at state meets with the last two being first in the 100-meter dash and first and second in the 200.

The past two years, she has been the Southside District champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. This year she added the 400-meter dash to her district championship resume.

Powell has had state qualifying times over the past two years in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes and 300-meter intermediate hurdles.