Coach Matthew Reep and his North Lincoln track program have celebrated a lot of championships in the past two years, winning back-to-back state titles in boys cross country and the girls Southern Piedmont Conference and 2A West regional championships in outdoor track last season.While Reep and the Knights are in pursuit of more titles at the 1A/2A/3A state championships on Feb. 9 in Winston-Salem, qualifying 11 athletes to states, their focus is always the same.Our constant focus is on doing what we can control, preparing and training to be at our best, no matter what that is for each individual, said Reep, in his eighth year leading North Lincoln. We dont focus on our competition, we just look at ourselves. Weve been able to have a lot of success over the years by taking the talent we have and helping them develop to their highest potential.Junior Ryan Shannon knows all about the North Lincoln way and is seeing the results of his work pay off as he enters the state meet as with top-eight times in the state in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs.Its off limits to even look at our opponents time at some points in the season, Shannon said. I think that helps us to focus on being at our best, not necessarily shooting for a certain time.Several of North Lincolns runners will hope to be at their very best on Feb. 9, with state championships on the line.Junior Andrew Fea, the 2A state runner-up in cross country last fall, will contend indoors as well in the mile run. He has the 12th best time in the state, 4:41.36, while senior Josh Mosteller could also be a factor with a qualifying time of 4:42.38Shannon is among the top runners in the two-mile run. His 9:58.99 is good for the sixth best time in the state this season. Senior Chris Boyle also looks to finish his career strong in this event.While distance running is the Knights strength, junior Chase Stehling could also be a contender in the shot put, where he had the seventh-best throw at 47 feet, 1 inch. Stehling, at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, is splitting time on the basketball court for the Knights. He averages eight points and seven rebounds on the hardwood.While each Knight will be on his own at states, they work together on daily basis .The thing I love most about the North Lincoln program is our family feel, Shannon said. We are all very close and very passionate about what we do, from the training to the nutrition to our teammates. We all want to be the best and no one wants to be the one behind the rest of the guys in practice. I think that really motivates each of us.The North Lincoln girls also have a few state qualifiers with junior Allie Castro leading the way in the 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters.Junior Caitlin Potter looks to be a factor in the 1,000-meter run with the 13th-best time (13:18.02) in the state this season.The Knights also have a relay with potential as the senior quartet of Brooke Anderson, Kayla Reep, Morgan Ellis and Neely Hallman boasts a top-10 time (10:49.77).All of the North Lincoln runners have gotten several opportunities to get used to the state championship venue, the JDL Fast track, which is a 200-meter indoor facility, where they have competed in each of their regular season meets.While the indoor season can be used as a transition and link between cross country and outdoor for many runners, Reep said they take everything seriously.Most of our runners want to run indoor track because it keeps them working hard all year, Reep said. It makes sense to most of them to maintain that same level of fitness and intensity.
Tuesday, Feb. 05, 2013
N. Lincoln looks for more success at state track
N. Lincoln qualifies 11 athletes
North Lincoln junior Ryan Shannon is one of a school-best 11 indoor track state qualifiers. COURTESY OF JERRY CASTRO
Allie Castro, a junior at North Lincoln, looks to improve upon her 1,600 and 3,200 meter performances at the 1A/2A/3A indoor state meet on Feb. 9. COURTESY OF JERRY CASTRO
Other area athletes to watch Boys • Patrick Sheehan, Lake Norman: Wildcats’ junior amongst 4A’s best in the two miles (9:46.40). • Dejaun Massey, Hopewell: Titans’ sprinter has 4A’s top time in 55-meter dash (6:34) • Jesse Earnhardt, East Lincoln: Mustangs’ senior looks to go out on top in the long jump, has fifth-best 1A/2A/3A qualifying jump (21-9). Girls • Sabrina Moore, North Meck: One of the state fastest on any surface has fourth-best time in the 55-meter dash (7.24), also 2nd-best long jump (17-10). • Argia Gibson, Lake Norman: Has top-six qualifying jumps in long and triple jump in 4A. • Reagan Portelance , Lake Norman: Reigning I-Meck cross country champion looks to be a factor in the mile run.