Timberland track teams look promising in 2017
By C.R. Cumbee
St. Stephen—Both the Timberland boys’ and girls’ track teams have produced medalists at the state meet in recent years, and several athletes should be in contention for gold again this spring.
Andrea Fox took over as the girls’ coach this season and has plenty of talent to build around, starting with senior Stacy Kinlaw. Kinlaw was a part of the 400-meter relay team that won a state championship in 2015 before adding an individual medal in the 400-meter dash a year ago.
She will look to defend her title in that event as well as compete in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash.
“Already in practice and in meets, she’s shown the potential to run faster than she did at the end of last season,” Fox said. “She and all of the girls have a lot of motivation and a lot of focus. The jump from 2A to 3A should not be a problem.
“She’s always looking for ways to make herself better,” Fox added. “That rubs off on everybody else. Everybody else is trying to be just as fast as Stacy, and she’s trying to be just as fast as the boys. She just wants to win.”
Kinlaw is also one of the members of the 400-meter relay team that has shown plenty of potential. Joining her on that unit is junior Destiny Croker and sophomores Elizabeth Jenkins and Elajah Allen.
“We’ve got some work to do with handoffs, but once we iron that out, we should be running in the high (40-second range),” Fox said.
Other key members of the team include senior Alaye Wade, who should earn points in the high jump, triple jump and discus. Freshman Ashlee Drawdy is solid in the 800-meter and 1600-meter runs.
The boys’ team is a senior-laden group, but head coach Rick Taylor knows that if they can get through the difficult region opposition in Hanahan and Bishop England, they will have a chance at state.
Jermaine Gadsden is one of the top performers this spring after missing out on a medal in 2016. He initially placed third in the 400-meter hurdles but was later disqualified after it was determined he didn’t completely clear one of the obstacles.
“He’s the workhorse and leader of this team. He takes the guys and makes sure things get done. He’s like an unpaid coach on the staff,” Taylor said.
Also doing well is Ra Anderson, who qualified for the state meet last year in the high jump and triple jump. He has already cleared the 6’4 mark this season.
“He might qualify in all three (jumping events) before it’s all said and done,” said Taylor. “He’s used to how we work. Last year was his first year running track. Now he’s got more confidence in the way he practices and the way he approaches meets.”
Keon Middleton-Weaver should be a threat in the triple jump as well while Jayquan Washington has come on strong in the discus throw and 400-meter hurdles. Matthew Rembert is another to keep an eye on in the 110-meter hurdles.
Gadsden, Washington, Damarcko Dingle and Jaquan Green team up to run the 1600-meter relay, which is doing even better than Taylor could have imagined.
Timberland will next compete in the Berkeley County Meet at Cane Bay High on April 4-5.