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Boys indoor track team wants district championship

A tie for the Western Valley District boys indoor track title this season will probably not be good enough for the Halifax County High School boys indoor track team.

The Comets came away with a tie for the title with Patrick Henry High School last year after winning the final event of the day, the 4x400-meter relay.

Considering their results so far this season, this year’s team has a chance to come away with the title, according to Head Coach Mike Roark. 

“I’m not going to call it.  We have a great shot at it if we come out and run what we’ve been running,” said Roark.

“The thing I like is we’ve been faster the last two meets.”

Junior Devan Richardson persevered through an injury-plagued sophomore indoor track season but said he is in top form this time around, having already qualified for the state meet in the 55-meter dash with a best of 6.51 seconds. 

“It was a rough year last year, I was hurt for most of the season,” said Richardson, who ran at the district meet last season, although not at top form.

Richardson’s top competition will come from a pair of William Fleming sprinters.

“The team as a whole has been good.  We’ve got a lot of confidence, and we’ve been working real hard,” said Richardson, who has faced top-flight competition at recent meets.

“You need to race people who are better or are at the same level to improve your times,” noted Richardson, who is competing in the 55, 300 and 4x200 relay as well as the long jump at the district meet. 

The key to winning the district meet is staying focused on the task at hand.

“Just hard work this week and make sure our minds are focused on what we have to do once we get there,” said Richardson.

“Mentally, we’re ready.”

Sophomore Roland Brandon enters the district meet as the probable top seed in the hurdles and one of the top seeds in the triple jump.

Brandon ran on the 4x400 relay team that won its event and tied Patrick Henry for the district title last season.

He has already qualified for regionals in the 4x200 relay and the triple jump, but Brandon thinks his team has not reached its full potential.

Seeded high in two individual events brings its own kind of pressure, he noted.

“It gives me extra confidence but it also lets me know I have to keep it going, I have to progress and get better,” said Brandon.

“I think we have a great chance at coming out with a victory,” said Brandon of his team’s chances Saturday.

“If we get points in every event, we should be alright.”

Roark commented he has seen steady progress throughout the season, but the key to the district title may lie in depth.

“If you’ve watched our meets, we’ve been in the top-two or three everywhere, and we’ve got the good numbers out,” he noted. 

“We’re putting somebody in every event.   That’s the key, the sprinters are strong and we have four guys throwing the shot this week.

“We’ve got four 55’s, three guys triple-jumping, three guys long-jumping, and two guys running hurdles.”

Andrew Liegey will run the mile, according to Roark, who is looking for good performances from some of his other distance runners.

“We have a bunch of freshmen and sophomores running distances,” he explained

“In the 4x800 and the 3,200, we have to have those guys pick it up a little bit, but if they show up and run the way they’ve been running, we’ll get some points.

“We’re strong in the shot put.  Shalar Charlton, Tre’ Morgan, Jairus Logan and Treyquan Holt are plus 40 (feet), and that should get us into the region.

Jamal Crews will join Brandon in the triple jump, added Roark, who has a number of Comets football teammates out for track

“Football and track are attached at the hip, if you do it right, they help each other.  That’s how I look at it,” said Roark.

“Our times have gotten better at every meet, and that’s a good thing to have right now.”