Monroe girls track and field wins third consecutive state title

North Carolina A&T commit and Redhawk senior Reneazia Collins had yet another powerful performance at the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A state track and field championship on Saturday, May 10 held at Collins’ future college. The speedy sprinter had first-place finishes in each of her events, winning the 100 meter in 12.42 seconds, the 200 meter in 25.48 and the 400 meter in 56.39. Collins also ran a leg of the championship 4×200 team that finished in 1:41.65 alongside teammates Akeyra Hailey, Julice Crowder and Simone Gwehi. Her championship worthy performances earned her the meet MVP.

The Monroe girls track and field team won the state title after four first-place finishes from senior sprinter Reneazia Collins.

The Monroe girls track and field team won the state title after four first-place finishes from senior sprinter Reneazia Collins.

Collins led the Redhawks to their third consecutive state championship after winning the 1A state title in 2012 and 2013. The Redhawks finished with 82.50 points, besting second place Carrboro (57) and third place Durham School of the Arts (51).

“It’s surreal,” said coach Nichole Jackson of the win, who’s been an integral part of the Redhawks’ success. “We go out to compete every year but to watch this special group of girls from their freshmen year to now has been amazing. They’ve worked hard for this and deserve every bit of it.”

Jackson said that Collins’ leadership, dedication and raw talent has been a big piece of their continued success.

“Reneazia is undoubtedly extremely talented,” Jackson said. “To win all her events for the second year in a row is incredible. But not only that, she’s just a joy to coach. She knows what she wants, works hard and gets after it every day and that attitude spreads through the team.”

Alongside Collins, the Redhakws had stacked talent in state runners-up Hailey (100 hurdles, 15.74) and Asha Jordan (300 hurdles, 46.54). Gwehi took fifth place in the 100 hurdles (16.75) and the 4×400 relay team of Sophia Gainey, Tyriona Houston, Gwehi and Jordan placed eighth in
4:25.52.

In field events, Bria Roddy placed third in the discus, throwing 111 feet, 4 inches. Hailey finished third in the long jump (18-02) and Jordan finished third in the shot put (39-07) to break a 10-year school record, while Veranda Webb placed eighth (33-05). In the triple jump, Crowder placed sixth (35-04.25).

“I told them before we got off this bus at states, ‘This is your meet. You can do this again if you want to,’” Jackson said. “And I think we’ve been successful for two reasons. I tell the kids that they can be good just from natural talent or they can be good by combining that with their work ethic and that’s really made a big difference. The kids buy into it.”

Other top performers at the 2A state meet included Monroe’s Raquan Neal who finished fourth in the triple jump (44-00) and teammate Desmen Robinson who placed eighth (42-08.50). Central Academy of Technology and Arts’ Elijah Inuwa was the state champion in the 800 meter for the second consecutive year, running in 1:55.78. CATA’s Lane Butler placed seventh in the shot put (46-01) and Josh Weirich placed ninth in the 1600 (4:48.10). From Parkwood, Sam Mobley finished in fourth place in the long jump (21-06.50) and Brandon Massey finished tenth in the 300 hurdles (41.25).

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