ROCKINGHAM — Travis Newton had a short answer to explain why he bounced back from a difficult stretch during the track season.
“I practiced hard. All I do is practice.”
Newton’s dedication paid off in the 4A East Region meet Saturday at Hoggard High School in Wilmington. The senior grabbed the 100- and 200-meter titles as well as helped Richmond’s 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams to victory.
“I kept my focus on the finsh line,” Newton said. “And I was able to come out on top.”
Newton was the top seed in both of the individual events going into the event and posted the best times in the preliminary heats as well. He pulled away for the victory over Hoke’s Brandon McRae in the 200. Newton clocked in with a time of 21.72 seconds, while McRae crossed the line in 21.9.
The pair also squared off for the title in the 100 and the race was closer.
Newton edged McRae once again for the win. Newton finished with a time of 10.69, .04 better than McRae.
“I’m longer so it’s hard for me to get out of the block,” Newton said about his victory.
Another Richmond runner also competed in the 100 finals — Jayvon Boyer. The freshman finished fifth and just missed qualifying for next weekend’s 4A state meet at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro. The top four finishers in each event advance to the state.
Boyer, a member of the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams, said he is surprised to be competing at a high level.
“Being the only freshman still out here running feels good,” Boyer said. “I was expecting to go to the conference meet and if not that, at least get a couple of medals. It’s really a humbling experience. It’s opened my eyes.”
Boyer runs the second leg in the 4x100 and is the anchor on the 4x200. Boyer said he doesn’t feel any additional pressure being the only ninth-grader on the team with two seniors (Isaiah Brewington and Newton) and a junior (Gus Chambers).
“Not really,” Boyer said laughing. “It’s a humbling experience because I’m a freshman and people don’t think freshmen can go this far.”
The Richmond boys team tied Jack Britt for fourth in the event with 62 points. Southeastern Conference member Hoke captured the regional title with 83 points, Pine Forest was second at 68 and Ashley came in third at 63 1/2.
In the girls competition, Richmond’s best individual result came in the discus as Daesha Everette placed fifth. Everette was also sixth in the shot put. Bri David was sixth in the 100 hurdles.
The Richmond girls team finished tied for 15th in the meet with 12 points along with SEC member Purnel Swett. South View claimed the regional championship with 95 points, besting Hoke by 34 points.
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.