By VAN HOLLAND
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
LEGGETT – The North Edgecombe Warriors put on a show at the 1-A state regional track meet Saturday. They won five events during the meet. But they want more and are still hungry for more. They want to follow that performance up with a similar one Friday in Winston Salem when they compete in the state meet at North Carolina A&T State University.
The girls team finished third overall in the regionals and had their best points total ever in school history. Overall there are eight girls competing in the state meet and four of them play softball as well.
Cierra Franklin, who is a four year participant, is shooting for gold in the triple and long jumps. Franklin finished first in the long jump in the regionals with a jump of 16.09 feet and placed third in the triple jump with a jump of 33 feet 7 1/2 inches.
Franklin has her mind made up that she will finish at the front of the pack Friday and the Warriors girls coach Samuel Branch has the same thought process.
"Cierra has worked hard and has trained to get to where she is," Branch said. "She has a shot at winning a state title. She has put out a lot and has worked very hard. She has a very high energy level."
Franklin is also a motivator for the entire team according to Branch.
Brittany Blackwell finished second in the discus throw and Chelsea King finished first in the 400 m.
The girls 4 X 100 m relay team finished first as well with a time of 51.66. Franklin, King, Blackwell and Alexandra Eatmon run in that event.
"I am expecting them to go out and do their best like they have all year," Branch said. "These girls are very energetic and are focused."
Branch has never seen a group of track stars focused like the ones he has going to the state meet. He just wants them all to do their best.
The boys have three relay teams going to the event and have four individuals competing in six individual events.
Donte Hatfield will be competing in the 800 and 1600 m event. He finished first in the regionals in the 800 m with a time of 2.06.88 and second in the 1600 m with a time of 4.54.50.
Jarius Collins finished second in the 100 m with a time of 11.56. Daquan McGuire finished second in the 110 m hurdles with a time of 16.83 and third in the 300 m hurdles with a time of 43.68.
Darius Phillips finished second in the long jump with a distance of 40 feet and 4 1/2 inches.
Collins, Phillips, Jacoby Bullock and Montay Stewart ran in the 4 X 200 relay and finished second with a time of 1.33.87.
The boys 4 X 400 relay team of Stewart, Collins, Hatfield and McGuire finished second with a time of 3.41.37.
Collins, Stewart, Bullock and Quantravis Harris won the 4 X 100 relay with a time of 44.37.
Coach Mike Jones was very impressed with his teams performance at the regionals and sees a possibility that they could repeat in the state meet and even possibly finish first.
"We have a very good chance of putting on a show," Jones said. "We have ran well all year and I know these guys want it bad."
Jones has high expectations of all his participants and believes Hatfield has a great chance of winning his two individual events.
"Looking at the field most of my guys have a good shot at winning because their times are first or second," Jones said. "I am expecting great things to happen Friday and I know these guys have it set in their minds to do well."
Jones also believes his 4 X 100 relay team has a great chance at winning the title, but he wants them to just go out and perform the best they can.