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Two regional track meets at War Eagle Stadium this weekend

Fans of high school track & field will be in for a treat this weekend as War Eagle Stadium will be the site of two regional meets, June 18-19.

Davie will play host to 21 teams Friday evening for the Midwest 1-A Regional. Then on Saturday, 19 schools from Guilford, Forsyth, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg and Union counties will join Davie for the 4-A meet. Both meets will begin at 4 p.m., and admission is $7.

Unlike past years when the top 16 individuals and relay teams were accepted into the regional meet, only the top 12 marks will be allowed to compete in this year’s edition due to COVID protocols. The top four finishers in each event at the four regional competitions will advance to the state meet next weekend at NC A&T. For Davie fans, the 4-A state meet will be June 25.    

Davie expects to be well represented Saturday night. Final entries are still being determined by the NCHSAA, but the War Eagles are expected to have a large contingent of athletes competing on their home track.

In the throws, Spencer Williams will be a heavy favorite to claim the shot put and discus titles as he is currently ranked No. 1 in the state in both events. His younger brother, Palmer, has the third-best mark in the region in the discus. For the girls, Monica Long has the fifth-best mark in the region in the shot and discus. Teammates Gracie Wilson and Krystal Davis are also expected to compete as both have top-10 marks in the discus.

In the pole vault, three Davie boys are likely to compete and are led by Austin Kiser. Daniel Horton and Austin Boswell should both make the field as well.

Davie should also rack up big points in the jumps. Ivan Poag and Bryson Robinson have the two best marks in the region in the high jump as both have cleared 6-6. JT Allen also hopes to make the field. Poag is also expected to excel in the triple jump, where he has the second-best regional mark and is also likely to make the long jump field. Robinson is a good bet to join Poag in the triple jump. For the girls, Jaylan Clement-Green appears poised to join the long jump field as well as the 100 meters.   

Allen comes in as one of the top two seeds in both hurdles events. Allen will be competing in one of the first events of the day, the 110 hurdles, and will double back in the 300 hurdles later in the meet. Khomauri Wilson should also get the nod to compete in the 110 hurdles.

The distance crew expects to be well represented. In the 1600 meter event, Caleb Young and Owen Sulecki look to be safely in the meet. Teammate Reece Yount also has a shot at an invitation, thus possibly giving the War Eagles three of the 12 competitors in the race. Andrew Brown is expected to compete in the 3200. For the girls, Riley Almond looks to be in the field in the 1600 while Lexie Kulis is on the proverbial bubble at the 800-meter distance.

Several Davie relay teams are expected to make the field as well. The meet kicks off at 4 with the 4×800 relays. The War Eagles expect to be represented in both the boys and girls events. In addition, the boys 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams as well as the girls 4×400 relay are likely to compete.

“A tremendous amount of work goes into putting on these meets,” said coach Rob Raisbeck. “Coach (Marc) Sweet is our meet director and has done a great job behind the scenes getting things lined up. We hosted both meets two years ago and got rave reviews, especially from the 1-A teams who got to experience our first class facility. Most schools don’t even have an eight-lane track so it is impossible for a lot of schools to host even if they wanted to. Coach (Mike) Absher, our AD, has also been very supportive of our desire to host and has been a big help getting things ready.

“Hosting the meet also gives our athletes a little bit of home track advantage since we don’t have to travel and our kids are familiar with the venue. We want to do whatever we can do to give our team the best chance of success even if it results in a lot more work for our coaching staff.  We have a chance, especially on the boys side, to place very high in the team competition, and I think we will qualify a bunch of athletes for states.”   

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As the outdoor track season comes to a close, the Davie cross country team is already making plans for the fall season. Summer workouts will begin June 22.

“We already have our fall meet schedule finalized, except we are awaiting confirmation on one meet,” said Raisbeck. “We will be back to racing as usual without limits to the number of teams allowed to compete. For example, there are already 85 schools entered for the big Friday Night Lights meet at Ivy Redmond Park on Sept. 10. We are inviting middle school kids interested in cross country running to join us for summer training as the high school association rules allow. Except for some designated no contact weeks, we will be meeting three days per week at 7:15 a.m. Tuesdays and Saturday will generally be at the Tanglewood dog park paved lot, and Thursdays will generally be at the Rich Park lower shelter. Occasionally we will mix it up and go to Salem Lake or some other place to train. We have already been approached by several middle school kids about joining us and we encourage anyone interested in learning about our track or cross country program to contact me.”