Schools ready to hit the track

Published 11:28 am Saturday, March 29, 2014

FRANKLIN—Area high school track and field teams are hard at work preparing for the upcoming season of play.

Zachariah Holemon

Zachariah Holemon

At Franklin High School, the school has a brand new track.

“We are excited about the track, and that we will be able to conduct track meets at FHS,” said Franklin High School Athletics Director Dave Lease. “We are also hoping down the road to be able to sponsor invitational track meets also at FHS.

“Many thanks to all that made this happen,” Franklin head track coach Denise Sumblin said, “I have great expectations for the team this year.

“In 2013, we finished third in the district and just missed finishing first in the 4×100 in the state final met. The four members of that team are returning this year.”

They are Latrell Lane, Javonte Baker, Corey Porter and Marcus Stephens.

In other categories, Sumblin spoke about his sprinters, Quashawn Jefferson, Malcolm Walker, Zachariah Holemon and Darrell Ross.

Throwing the shot put and discus for this year will be Anthony Lott-Davis and Arron Sumblin.

Doing the long jump will be Corey Porter, and Quayshaun Jefferson will compete in the high jump.

“We have four or five players returning from last year and quite a few newcomers that haven’t been tested yet, but we feel good about them,” said Sumblin. “The weather has been a factor this spring and we have not been able to get as much practice as we would like to have. We have all new equipment and we are excited about the new track surface. The new surface will improve the speed of our athletes.”

Girls team Coach Mona Sumblin said that she only has a few returning players from last year. With the formation of girls soccer this year, she lost a few of her former players. She added that some are split between the two sports and this is having an effect on the team.

For the returning players, Sumblin spoke highly about Skiler Woolfolk, Ma’ronica Everette, Josie Rankin and Latrina Cross. Skiler is looking good and running well and will be competing in the 800m, one-mile run and throwing the discus.

Rankin will be doing the high jump and running in the 800m. Running in the 4×100 will be Latrina Cross, Ma’Ronica Everette, Cierra Eley, Kayla Powell and Josie Rankin.

For Southampton County High School, head coach Alfred Charity said, “the Southampton track team will be very young this year. We have one returning state runner, Devine Fenner, who placed eighth in the 400m dash at the AA state track meet in Harrisonburg last June with a time of 50.46.”

Fenner also had state qualifying times in the 100m (11.57) and 200m (23.06).

The team has two returning Regional I runners from last year: Travesha Anderson, who is a senior and participated in the 200m and 400m; and Justin Heiser, a sophomore who participated in the 1600m.

The Indians also have a solid group of throwers (discus/shot put) this year spearheaded by Marqui Eaton, Sam McDonald and Xvarien Shearin, all seniors.

“We have a good core of mid-distance runners with Madison Alderman, Ryenn Gibbons, Samantha Jenkins, Shayna Stephenson and Brandon McGuire,” said Charity.

He addressed the eighth-graders that are on this team, and said they have a chance to do something special if they continue to improve. Those members include Haleigh Andrew and Indiyah Stephenson. The 400m relay teams, including Kristen Lane (girls) and Coby Williams (boys), have some work to do, but they are coming along just fine, he said.

Charity spoke about the new alignment and Southampton is now in Conference 25 with Colonial Heights, Lafayette, New Kent, York, Poquoson, Park View and South Hill. It is almost like the old Bay Rivers. Their East Region will consist of Conference 25, 26, 27 and 28.