Local high jumper peaking for Jr. Olympics
Sanford's Chelan Stanford will compete in her first USATF (USA Track and Field) National Junior Olympics this weekend and she's going into the high jump event there at a new personal best.
In the 2013 Russell E. Blunt East Coast Invitational in Durham Friday-Sunday, Stanford placed fourth in the girls 11-12 year-old long jump, with a mark of 14-feet-0.25, and fourth in the high jump with a new personal record in competition at 4-feet-7.
Stanford's finishes were some of multiple top places for Sandhills Track Club.
Sandhills, a year-around club based at Union Pines and Pinecrest high schools, had four individual champs and its boys 17-18 year-old team win its division title.
Spencer Walden, a Union Pines graduate, won the boys 17-18 high jump with a mark of 6-feet-8.75. Walden bested Steven Dunbar of Lions Den club via a tiebreaker.
Mateius Brown, a rising senior at Western Harnett, won the 17-18 shot put at 55-feet-11. Jalen Peterkin of the Durham Striders was second at 52-feet-6.75. Brown finished second in the discus (151-3) and the javelin (137-11).
Sandhills' Matthew Carllson added points in all three throwing events, finishing third in the discus (147-11), third in the javelin (131-4) and fourth in the shot (50-3.5).
Sandhills edged Western Branch Track Club, of Chesapeake, Va., 53-51 atop the boys 17-18 standings.
Tiarra Bailey, a rising junior at Jack Britt, won the girls 15-16 800 meters in 2:20.69, beating the rest of the field by more than four seconds.
Romel Ponder, a rising junior at Overhills, won the boys 15-16 long jump with a best jump of 20-feet-7.25.
More point-scoring places by Sandhills athletes were - Timbre Kelly taking second in the girls 9-10 high jump (3-9.25). Jania Hodges was third in the girls 11-12 high jump (4-7). Hayden Smith was second in the boys 11-12 javelin (98-8) and third in the high jump (4-1.25). Tyrese Kelly placed second in the boys 13-14 triple jump (31-4) and Khawon Kelly was fifth in the boys 13-14 shot put (36-9).
The USATF National Junior Olympics opened Monday and runs through Sunday at North Carolina A&T's Irwin Belk Track in Greensboro.