Huntington girls run away to third straight Region 1-4A crown

ON TOP AGAIN:  Huntington’s first-place 4×100 meter relay team was part of the Lady Raiders’ podium parade, topped by nine wins, during Thursday’s Region 1-4A championships at Lee Hedges Stadium. (Photo by JERRY BYRD, Journal Sports)

By JERRY BYRD, Journal Sports

Something special is brewing in the girls’ track and field program on Rasberry Lane as evidenced by Huntington’s third straight Region 1-4A Meet championship at Lee Hedges Stadium on Thursday.

The Lady Raiders scored 150 ½  points, almost 50 more than runner–up Leesville.

Huntington was led by the dynamic duo of junior Demetria Harris and senior Rondisia Williams. Both left the meet with four gold medals.

Harris won 100m hurdles (14.67) and long jump (18-3.50) and ran legs on Huntington’s winning 4×200 (1:39.97) and 4×100 (47.63).

While Harris is the LHSAA Class 4A defending champion in the hurdles, lately it is the long jump which Harris is enjoying the most.

“I’m having fun with it,” Harris said. 

Williams won both the 100m (12.00) and 200m (25.14) as well as joining Harris on the winning sprint relays. 

Earlier this week, Williams, affectionately known as “Minnie” to her friends, signed with Colorado State.

Last year, Williams was competing for Southwood and finished third in the Class 5A 100m. Next Saturday, she will be looking to earn her first state championship in her final high school meet. 

Other Huntington regional winners were Serenity Palmer in the high jump (5-2) and triple jump (36-0.5), and Aniyah Jackson in the 400m (1:00.62). 

Jackson battled Leesville’s Shyann McCummings and edged her out by .02 of a second. 

“I was just thinking I didn’t make it this far for no reason,” Jackson said. “I just had to keep pushing, pump my arms and get my knees up and it was worth it.”

Jackson feels like she has a fairly good idea of why the Lady Raiders have been so successful. 

“We have a relationship on and off the track,” Jackson said. “I’ve never had that in my seven years of running track. They are so encouraging. They push you all the time.” 

One of those encouraging teammates is Williams. The senior gave the younger Jackson a pep talk before her win in the 400m. 

Like Huntington, Tioga’s boys outdistanced the competition on the way to its third consecutive Region 1-4A Meet team title. The Indians scored 128 points. Neville was the boys’ runner-up with 69 points. Evangel, which scored 34 points and finished sixth, had the highest finish of any local team.

Locals won two events in the boys’ division. Northwood’s Maurea Hudson captured the long jump (22-5.5), and Woodlawn’s 4×200 relay won with a 1:29.77. 

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