DURHAM — Despite having 17 members qualify for the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in California this week, the Wilson Wide Awake Elite Track Club opted to end its 2022 season a little closer to home.
Instead of a cross-country trip, the club traveled to Durham County Stadium this weekend for the prestigious Russell E. Blunt East Coast Invitational, an annual meet hosted by the Durham Striders track club that attracts young athletes from up and down the East Coast.
Aaron Hicks, one of the national qualifiers, enjoyed a career day Sunday as he set a personal best in the Boys Ages 11-12 400-yard dash in the finals with a runner-up time of 59.88 seconds.Breaking the minute barrier had been a goal of Hicks’ since qualifying for nationals in the event earlier this month.
He also placed third in the 200 finals with a time of 27.18, not even his best time. J’Khari Simmons of the Winterville-based Revelation Peak Performance TC won the 100, 200 and 400.
Wide Awake’s Jakerion Bryant was also a double medalist, taking second place in the Ages 11-12 100 dash with a time of 12.94 seconds. He placed fourth behind Hicks in the 400 in 28.11, well off his seed time of 27.15.
Also picking up medals for Wide Awake were Kaylen Lawson and Alisia Baskerville. Lawson took fifth place in the Girls Ages 9-10 division with a time of 14.82, easily surpassing her seed time of 15.81. Lawson also played seventh in the 200 in 31.41. Baskerville finished fifth out of eight in the Women Ages 17-18 triple jump with a leap of 8.86 meters (29 feet, 1 inch).
Other top 10 finishes for Wide Awake were Ty’Nasia Emory’s seventh place in the Girls Ages 15-16 200 in 26.19, Rachel Key-White’s sixth place out of 16 in the Girls Ages 15-16 long jump (4.57 meters/15-0) and Brendan Barnes’ sixth place in the Boys Ages 11-12 400 in 1:04.81.
Mason Whitehead qualified for the finals in the Boys Ages 9-10 200 but was unable to participate.
Also competing for Wilson Wide Awake at the Russell E. Blunt East Coast Invitational were Lennox Jones, Maddox Jones, London Hines, Cali Murray, Gracyn Dickerson, Ayden Whitehead, Daylen Sherrod, Carter Jones, Kaeden Brooks, Serenity Frieson, Janiya Johnson, Ty’Kirah Artis, John Edwards and Kenneth Lawson.