The 2013 USA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, last month felt a little effect from western Wake County.
Cary Academy graduate Thomas Graham (2012), now at Stanford, was fourth in the 5,000 meters junior race. Apex graduate Alexis Murphy (2012), now at South Carolina, was seventh in the 200 junior race.
Past rivals now teammates: Former Apex Cougar Audrey Diener (2012) and Panther Creek Catamount Cassie Crawford (2010) were once pole-vaulting foes in the Tri-9 Conference. Now they are Appalachian State Mountaineers and both performing well.
Diener, a freshman, competed in 15 matches and had four top-three finishes. She cleared an outdoor-season best 3.73 meters in the Mountain vs. Beaches meet, and her best indoor score, 3.70 meters, in the Appalachian Invitational Indoor Track Meet.
Crawford, The News & Observer Female Athlete of the Year in 2010 after winning a state title in gymnastics and setting a state record in the pole vault, is now a multiple-time conference champion. Crawford earned a title at the Southern Conference Outdoor Championships and Indoor Championship and was named the SoCon Athlete of the Month for January.
In her junior campaign, her best outdoor finish was 3.90 meters in the pole vault, at the Auburn Tiger Classic, and her best indoor finish was 3.85 meters at the Appalachian Invitational Indoor Track meet.
Davis wins first event: Freshman Brian Davis, a Fuquay-Varina graduate (2012), competed in eight outdoor meets in the 2013 season. His season-bests include a 11.20 in the 100, 21.77 in the 200 and 48.28 in the 400. In indoor events, Davis won his first collegiate event at the Virginia Tech Elite Meet, recording a 48.62 in the 400.
Christensen goes the distance: Former Cary Imp Jenna Christensen (2011), primarily a distance runner at UNC-Charlotte, celebrated a big win last season, placing first in the 1,500 with 4:42.83 at the HPU VertKlasse meet. As a sophomore, she also helped the team place fourth in the Atlantic 10 Championships as a part of the 4x800 relay team.
Two share success at NCCU: Josh McClam, a former national champion long-jumper at Holly Springs (2011), proved his versatility in his first season, competing in the 60-meter indoor hurdles indoor and the long and triple jump.
In indoor events, McClam finished in the top five six times. His best 60 time was 6.98 at The Tiger Challenge, 7.10 meters in the long jump at the CNU Holiday Open and a 13.59 in the triple jump at the Virginia Tech Invitational.
McClam, listed as a freshman, held the team’s best long jump: 15.14. Athens Drive graduate Kevin Vincent (2012) tallied two top-five finishes, competing in both indoor and outdoor track events during his freshman season. He took part in the 200, 400 and 500 in addition to the 60 and 110 hurdles.