North’s Jesse Riley second in 200 at state meet

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

GREENSBORO—North Brunswick’s Jesse Riley finished second in the 200-meter sprint and third in the 100 Friday at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 2A state track meet.


For Riley, the 200 was a race he thought he had a good chance to win. He finished in 22.20 seconds. Romar Morris of Salisbury was first in 21.85. South Brunswick’s Quan Ray was sixth in 22.69.

Riley and Morris—later named the boys’ MVP—raced next to each other.

“I expected a first,” Riley said. “Morris is definitely really fast. I talked to him before the run. He was worried about me. I was worried about him.

Riley appeared to have an edge after the turn.

“I had him,” Riley said. “I lost him in the last 50-100. He got it.”

In the 100, Riley finished in 11.13. Morris was first in 10.80 and Jerry Raper of Salisbury was second in 11.04. Ray was seventh in 11.37.

“I didn’t even expect to get as high as I did,” Riley said, “only because I don’t have a really good start but a better pickup. I got off (the starting line) right when the gun blew. Third place—I feel good about it.”

But Riley was still shaking his head about the 200.

“I was ready to win the 200,” he said. “I let it go. But second and third—that’s pretty good at a state meet.

North had two other top-four finishes, in the relays. The 4x800 was third and the 4x400 was fourth.

North’s 4x800 relay of Rashaad Nelson, Anthony Hicks, Tony Wright and Ryan Moeller finished third in 8:19.22. (North entered the race with a seeded time of 8:23.98.) Brevard finished first in 8:11.46. Central Davidson, which led most of the race, was second in 8:17.50.

Nelson ran the first two laps of the eight-lap race

“My plan of attack,” he said, “was to sit on the first couple of runners and try to outkick them with 200 to go. I brought it in third place, so I thought I did pretty well. But I’m a competitor (who wants first), so I didn’t think I did too well overall.”

Hicks, in his first year of track, kept the Scorpions near the lead.

“I wanted to at least keep us in contention, in the top three” he said. “I dug it out. I walked down the sixth-place man. As they came down the last stretch, I kind of wore out. I don’t think I did too good in that last stretch.”

He handed off to Wright with four laps left.

“We were out of contention already,” Wright said. “We were in fifth place. I wanted to make the lead back up, get back in position.”

Wright kept North in the lead pack. He was fifth when he handed off the baton to Moeller. A strong run in the final two laps by any of the top five runners would win the race.

“I saw two of them pretty close ahead of me,” Moeller said. “I can’t let my three teammates down, so I had to chase them down and at least hold (third) place. But it was because of these guys (I was in position).”

Moeller’s final lap kick enabled North to finish ahead of Swansboro by 1.39 seconds.

“Top three was a heck of way for us to end our senior years,” Moeller said. “We’re really excited.”

North’s 4x400 relay of Hicks, Jason Riley, Nelson and Jerry Davis finished fourth in 3:29.72. North Pitt won in 3:24.89. North was in the lead pack throughout the four-lap race but was either third or fourth for most of the race.

Nelson also competed in the 300-meter hurdles. He finished sixth in 41.08. David Shaw of St. Pauls was first in 39.09.

North’s 4x200 boys’ relay finished in 1:32.15. Shelby won in 1:29.93. North’s 4x100 relay finished in 44.10. The winning time was 43.10. Neither of North’s sprint relays finished in the top eight.

In the team competition, North, the Class 2-A East Regional champion, finished seventh (28 points). Salisbury was first (55 points).

Ryan Minor of South Brunswick competed in the shot put and the discus, events in which state records were set.

Minor finished fourth in the shot put (49 feet, 9 inches), an event in which Kenneth Rowland of Northside Jacksonville set a Class 2-A record with a put of 58-7.

Minor was fifth in the discus (152-9). Andrew Byrd of Orange set a Class 2-A state record with a throw of 181-1.

Several other county athletes also competed in individual events, but only one of them finished in the top eight. South Brunswick’s Jenna Kazmierczak was seventh in the 100-meter hurdles in 16.74. The winning time was 14.50. Kazmierczak was sixth in the 300 hurdles in 48.65. The winning time was 45.52.

South’s 4x100 girls’ relay finished in 52.78 but did not place in the top eight. The winning time was 49.73. South’s 4x400 also did not place in the top eight.