Track Club Members Advance to Nationals

BY F.W. MANNING II: SPECIAL TO THE PILOT

Three members of the Sandhills Track Club are headed to Nebraska for the National Junior Olympic track championships.

Last weekend Deonnonti McLean of Hoke County, Celine Winfield of Southern Pines and Kate Morris of Seven Lakes finished third or better at the USA Track and Field Region III meet in Rock Hill, S.C. to qualify.

McLean won the high jump and took second in the triple jump in the Boys Intermediate (15U) division.

Ten-year-old Celine Winfield (2nd place), and 9-year-old Morris (3rd place), of Seven Lakes both qualified for the national meet in the bantam (10U) division.

Jasmine Baldwin took
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third place in the sub-bantam mini-Javelin, although there is no national competition in that division.

Head coach Nat Carter and his staff will depart Wednesday morning, along with the athletes and their families for Omaha, the site of this year's USATF National Meet.

Carter feels this summer's Track Club has gone great.

We have had some kids that have been real competitive, he said. We had 24 kids qualify for the region out of about 48 total we had participating in the state meet. In the states you had to be in the top five to advance to the regional, and once there, the top three earned births to the national meet.

Five states, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland are in the USATF Region III.

For McLean it was his first year ever participating in any of the jumping events.

I just started jumping this summer, said McLean, I really like to just sprint but when I came out here Coach Carter wanted me to try to jump and it worked out.

Winfield has now been involved with track for three years and admitted she felt very good when she realized her performance had landed her in the nationals.

I am very surprised, she said, and can not wait to get there.

While Winfield is a track and field veteran at the ripe old age of 10, Morris is new to the sport. She was ecstatic when she discovered she too had qualified for the national meet.

I am so glad Celine is going to be going with me, said Morris, and I can be there cheering her own and she can be there cheering me own.

Coach Carter said that while the trip to Nebraska will be an exciting event filled with fun and lasting memories it will also be and expensive endeavor.

Therefore the Sandhills Track Club is gladly accepting any and all donations on contributions which would help cut the cost of their trip to America's heartland.

All donations or contributions can be sent via check or money order to: Sandhills Track Club (c/o Emily Alston), PO BOX 4841, Pinehurst, NC, 28374. For more information about donating or the trip in general, contact Carter at 910-949-2537.

Contact F.W. Manning II at sports@thepilot.com