Eastern competes against league foes, shines in sprinting events

Eastern Alamance senior men’s track standout Markus Parson posted first place finishes for the Eagles in the 400 meter race in both recent home conference meets April 4 and April 11 at Fred Brady Stadium. On April 4, Parson defeated EAHS teammates and runners from Northern Guilford, Person County, and Rockingham County with a time of 53.69 seconds. A week later, Parson returned to his home track and prevailed in the April 11 meet against Rockingham County, Northeast Guilford, and Western Alamance with a time of 53.42 seconds. Parson shaved well over a second off his time between the two meets. 

Over the past couple of weeks, Eastern Alamance’s men’s track squad has gotten a chance to measure itself up against much of the best talent in the Mid-State Conference. In a pair of home meets at Fred Brady Stadium on back to back Thursdays April 4 and April 11, the Eagles hosted most of its league rivals, including Northern Guilford, Person County, Northeast Guilford, and Western Alamance. One local conference rival, Rockingham County, came to Mebane twice for both conference meets. 

Three Eastern men’s sprinters placed first in the April 11 home meet, which included Northeast Guilford, Rockingham County, and Western Alamance along with the Eagles. In addition, two EAHS sprint relay teams came in first against their league rivals in both the April 4 and April 11 meets. 

Senior Markus Parson, who qualified last spring as a junior for the NCHSAA 3A state championships in the 400 meter dash event, placed first in his featured event at both home events. This past week, he took the victory with a time of 52.42 seconds. Parson completed his lap around the Fred Brady Stadium track more than three seconds faster than second place finisher Myking Huntley (55.64 seconds), his EAHS junior teammate. 

Along with his second place finish in the 400 meter dash, Huntley got a first place result for the Eagles in the 110 meter hurdles, recording a top time of 17.78 seconds. Huntley also tied for second place for Eastern in the high jump competition with a leap of 5 feet, 4 inches. 

Sophomore teammate Tyler Ellison placed second in the 110 meter hurdles event (19.21 seconds), while freshman Coby Corbett placed fourth (21.36 seconds). 

Junior Elijah Burnette prevailed in the 300 meter hurdles, recording a winning time of 45.38 seconds. Ellison got another second place finish in the 300 meter hurdles event, coming in right behind Burnette at 46.80 seconds. 

The EAHS 4 x 100 men’s relay squad decisively defeated Rockingham County, Northeast Guilford, and Western Alamance, coming in with a time of 43.66 seconds. The Eagles will be looking to qualify for the NCHSAA 3A state meet later this spring with a strong showing at regionals. 

Eastern also prevailed in the 4 x 200 meter relay, defeating the Rams, Cougars, and Warriors with a run of 1 minute, 33.39 seconds. Eastern’s victorious run in the 4 x 200 meters race marked an improvement of more than nine seconds from the same race on the same track a week prior. 

The Eagles produced back-to-back third place results in the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 relay finals, with times of 3 minutes, 52.36 seconds and 10 minutes, 6.04 seconds, respectively. 

The Eagles were the only school to have competitors in the men’s pole vault, with juniors Kenan Walker and James Miller tying for first with a clearance of 8 feet, 6 inches. Fellow eleventh grader Ryan Powell came in third with a clearance of 6 feet, 6 inches. 

Along with Huntley and Ellison, EAHS got second place results from junior Caleb Baldwin in the 100 meter dash (11.58 seconds), and senior Tavion Battle in the 800 meter run (2 minutes, 19.06 seconds). Third place results were recorded by freshman Erik Battle in the 200 meter dash (24.82 seconds), and senior Joshua Robinson in the 100 meter dash (11.59 seconds). 

In the April 4 meet, which included EAHS, Person County, Northern Guilford, and Rockingham County, the Eagles got a total of three individual first place finishes from a trio of veteran sprinters. 

Senior Joshua Robinson won the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.40 seconds, while fellow senior Jaden Daye prevailed in the 200 meter dash (23.65 seconds). Markus Parson continued his push for another NCHSAA state championship berth with a victorious time of 53.69 seconds in the 400 meter dash. 

The Eagles defeated the Nighthawks, Rockets, and Cougars in the men’s 4 x 100 meter relay race, as EAHS came in first with a time of 46.04 seconds. Eastern also won the 4 x 400 relay with a run of 3 minutes, 44.22 seconds. The Eagles placed second, behind Rockingham County, in the 4 x 200 meter relay with a time of 1 minute, 42.50 seconds. 

Pole vaulters James Miller and Ryan Powell were the only competitors, with Miller placing first (8 feet, 6 inches), and Powell second (6 feet, 6 inches). 

Second place finishers for the Eagles at the April 4 home meet included junior Ezechiel Yao, who placed second in the 100 meter dash (11.84 seconds), behind only teammate Joshua Robinson. Yao also placed second in the 200 meter dash with a run of 53.89 seconds in the 400 meter dash - two-tenths of a second behind victorious teammate Markus Parson. 

The Eagles also got second place times from senior Tavion Battle in the 800 meter run (2 minutes, 16.79 seconds), sophomore Tyler Ellison in the 300 meter hurdles (46.56 seconds), and senior Preston Willets in the discus (99 feet, 5 inches). 

Third place finishers for the Eagles included junior Caleb Hester in the 100 meter dash (11.89 seconds), senior Khalid Richardson in the 200 meter dash (24.59 seconds), Ellison in the 110 meter hurdles (18.70 seconds), and junior Wyatt Willard in the shot put (36 feet, 3 inches). 

Eastern’s track squad returns to action on Thursday with a road meet at Cummings. The Eagles will meet up with a collection of schools from the local Mid-State 2A Conference, including Cummings, Graham, and Reidsville. The Eagles will compete at the Mid-State Conference championships at Northern Guilford on Tuesday, April 30, leading up to the NCHSAA Mideast Regionals on Saturday, May 11.