Six Redhawks Qualify for State Meet in Nine Events

Adonus Lee clears the bar to qualify for the state meet.

Kelsey Briggs clears 16-feet.

The day was cold, windy and often rainy as hundreds of athletes from more than 50 schools put forth their best efforts to qualify for the SCHSL High School State Track and Field Championships. In this Central Division meet, to make it into the State Championship meet, the athletes must be among the top eight finishers in each event.

Just to get here, the competitors had to finish in the top four places in their region track and field meets, which were held the week before. Westwood was the region’s championship team in both the boys and the girls divisions. Westwood had nine girls in the State Qualifier in 12 events. Westwood girls also had two relay teams in the meet. Redhawk boys had 10 boys in the Qualifier in 14 events, plus two relay teams.

Despite the weather, the athletes all braved the cold and showed their best form in their attempts to make it into the State meet in each event. The top eight finishers in the State Qualifier are eligible to compete in the State Championships to be held on May 10 and 11 at Lower Richland High School.

Westwood athletes did themselves proud with six of their finest track and field stars qualifying to compete in the State meet in nine events.

“Anthony Friday should win the shot put. He may not win the discus, but he should make it into the State meet OK,” said Westwood head coach head coach Lawrence Terry prior to the meet. “Jai Lykes should have the rest of the field beat by 10 feet in both shot and discus. Even though Jai and Anthony are at the top of the chain, we want them to improve their marks. Friday threw the discus 161 feet in practice and I hope he can get 150 feet here for a personal best. Besides the throwers, we have Raymond Hall in the pole vault who could easily win State. Adonus Lee has been injured, and hasn’t practiced much since region. He has a personal best of 6-feet, 4-inches in the high jump, but I hope he can reach 6-foot-6 for a new best height. Lee should do well in the long jump as well. For our girls, Kelsey Briggs is among the favorites in the long jump. Briana Pressley should qualify in both the 100 and 200 dashes. Our distance athlete, Ereck Lewis, could qualify but he would have to drop his time some because there are a lot of real good guys here.”

Junior Anthony Friday was the winner of the boy’s shot put, hurling the 12 lb. orb 52-feet, 3.75-inches. He was the only boy able to get the heavy ball over the 50-foot mark. After his first put, also over 50 feet, he said, “I just wanted to get the winning put out of the way, so I can go for numbers.” He was as good as his word. Friday also qualified in the boy’s discus throw with a fourth-place heave of 148-feet, 10-inches, a new personal best.

On the girls side of the throwing events, senior Jai Lykes propelled the shot 38-feet, 9.75-inches, good enough for second place. Lykes spun the discus out past the 110-foot line for a fourth place finish in that event at 117-feet, 3.5-inches.

Redhawk jumpers also had a good qualifying meet. In the girls’ long jump, 10th grader Kelsey Briggs was fourth with a 16-foot, 2-inch leap. Da’Sha Jobes also qualified for that event, making it into the sandpit 16-feet, 2-inches past the take-off board. For the boys, sophomore Adonus Lee cleared the bar in the high jump for a meet record-tying 6-feet, 4-inch jump, putting him in a four-way tie for first place.

In the running events, junior Brianna Pressley finished seventh in the girls 100-meter dash, and fourth in the girls 200-meters with times of 12.64 and 25.59 seconds respectively.

The weather promises to be more cooperative for this weekend’s State Championships and the Redhawks are determined to go home with some trophies to keep the ones company which were won in the region meet.

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