DAVIDSON – The reigning champion is back to defend her three titles.

Community School of Davidson junior Malia Ellington, one of the Southeast’s premier distance runners, hopes to repeat as state champion in three events at the N.C. 1A meet May 9 at N.C. A&T in Greensboro.

Ellington will compete in the 800- , 1,600-  and 3,200-meter races. She swept all three at the N.C. 1A West Regional in Asheville on May 3. Ellington was no match for the field, winning the 1,600 by more than 15 seconds, the 3,200 by more than 13 seconds and the 800 by nearly eight seconds.

“The 1,600 is probably my strongest,” Ellington said. “I’ve run a lot of miles (races) lately and have some good times. I have the most experience with the event. The 800 is totally different and I’m really going to focus on it. You have to go out faster. The 3,200 is the last race, so it’s anything you’ve got left (physically). The plan is to start steady and kick in at the end.”

Ellington said her experience at state meets and larger off-season events will help her.

“It’s so important to cool down, get water and you really have to stay focused because the meet can go by so fast,” she said.


LN Charter strong in relays

HUNTERSVILLE - Two Lake Norman Charter boys’ relay teams won at the N.C. 2A West Regional on May 3 in Columbus and advanced to the state meet May 10 in Greensboro.

The Knights’ 4x800 relay team of Keaton Cooper, K.J. Barskdale, Tamir Hornesby and Sean Powers won in eight minutes, 19.62 seconds.

The 4x400 relay team of LaMarcus Smith-Kelley, Keaton Cooper, Tamir Hornesby and Powers won in 3:32.29.

“I think we have a very good shot of winning the 4x800 relay if we ran like we did at regionals,” Lake Norman Charter coach Craig Zamiara said.

Powers also is a contender in the 800-meter race. He was second at the regional with a time of 2:00.14.