Lack of talent isn’t a problem for local high school girls’ track & field programs. Butler coach Deborah Deeg, Rocky River coach Antoine Sidberry and Independence coach Ken Waldron have a bevy of elite female athletes among the three of them, which makes the outdoor season for track & field exciting for Matthews and Mint Hill.
All three programs should have a slew of athletes competing for a Southwestern 4A Conference championship in a variety of events, while regional and state titles could be a possibility for some, too.
Butler’s greatest team highlights of the season came in wins in its first, third and fourth home meets and at the Weddington Track & Field Invitational.
Sophomore Kristen Lliso (12.81 seconds in 100 meters and 17 feet, six inches in the long jump), senior Kathryn Jackson (6:05.01 in 1,600 meters), senior Noor Agha (5:54.47 in one mile) and senior Samiah Fulcher (101 feet, nine inches in the discus) give Deeg a solid mix of veterans and underclassmen.
Rocky River took first place at the Diamond Hornets Invitational, placed runner-up at the Butler Home Meet No. 3 and finished third at the Harding Home Meet.
Junior Mariah Atwater (24.80 seconds in 200 meters and 57.62 seconds in 400 meters), senior D’Amani Bryant (2:19.85 in 800 meters), sophomore Nyah Sidbury (6:05.90 in 1,600 meters), senior Lydajah McLeod (15.94 seconds in 100-meter hurdles, 47.24 seconds in 300-meter hurdles and 69.94 seconds in 400-meter hurdles), senior Kani-Jah King-Cooper (33 feet, 11 inches in shot put), junior Kenya Livingston (five feet, 10 inches in high jump) and sophomore Jirah Sidberry (19 feet, 0.5 inches in long jump and 36 feet, three inches in triple jump) make the ravens a force to reckon with.
Independence emerged victorious at the Monroe Meet No. 2 and finished third at the Olympic High School Meet No. 1.
Freshman Alexandra Deloache (12.27 seconds in 100 meters and 25.64 seconds in 200 meters) and sophomore Jade Williams (17:34 seconds in 100-meter hurdles) make the Patriots competitive.
The rest of the spring should be exciting as these teams enter the final stretch of their seasons this month and into May.