The Eastern High School Challenge was hosted by Southern Durham High School this past Friday and Saturday at the University of North Carolina’s Eddie Smith Field House in Chapel Hill. The Challenge was comprised of high school athletes across the state of North Carolina as they competed to qualify for the state and national tournaments.
For Apex High, the thrill of victory was experienced many times throughout the Challenge as they finished with strong performances.
The Apex Cougars’ Alexis Murphy finished in third place in the women’s preliminary 55 meter dash with a time of 7.19 seconds. From there, Murphy went on to finish fourth in the Women’s final 55 meter dash with a time of 7.18 seconds, ending her day on a high note.
The Cougars’ women’s relay team finished with a respectable seventh place in both the 4x400 (4:18.13) and 4x800 (10:57.55) relays.
Brianna Heilsnis put in a strong performance of her own as she finished in fourth place in the women’s shot put.
The Cougars’ men’s relay team finished in sixth place in the 4x800 meter relay with a time of 8:42.56.
To finish off the day, Jalen Ware finished in fifth place in the men’s high jump which started at five feet ten inches. Ware jumped 6-02.00.
Even though the Fuquay Varina Bengals had their share of defeat, they finished the Challenge with a few bright spots.
Leading the Fuquay Varina Bengals was Brian Davis. Davis finished the Challenge with a first place finish in the men’s 500 meter dash with a time of 1:05.89 and a third place finish in the men’s 300 meter dash with a time of 35.89 seconds.
Clay Jones joined Davis with a top five finish of his own. Jones placed third in the men’s 1000 meter run with a time of 2:35.93.
For the West Johnston Wildcats, the Challenge was definitely that… a challenge. However, the Challenge did present some success.
Leading the Wildcats was the women’s relay team. The team had the only top five finish for the school in the Challenge as they took fifth place in the women’s 4x800 meter relay with a time of 10:11.09.
Also putting the Wildcats in the spot light was Jeremy Gower. Gower finished in tenth place in the men’s 1000 meter run with a time of 2:41.71.
For the Garner Trojans, there was one shining moment in the Challenge. Theodore Brown finished second in the men’s triple jump. Brown finished with a 45.7 foot triple jump as he qualified not only for the state tournament but the national tournament as well.
Brown said that to jump like that he has to “keep looking straight and hold my phases.”
When asked what he expects of himself as he makes his way to the national tournament Brown said, “To compete. At least come in the top ten.”
Trojan coach Gary George had high praise for Brown stating, “He is our senior leader. His work ethic is vital to the rest of the team. You have to have him to be successful.”
The next Eastern High School Challenge meet will be held next weekend in Winston-Salem starting on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm. The meet will be the first ever high school event held in Winston-Salem’s new indoor track.