One thousand, three hundred and fifty-five athletes will compete in the High School League’s State Track and Field Championships, which begin today at Lower Richland High School and conclude Saturday with the crowning of team state champs.
Here are 10 local athletes to keep an eye on:
Jasmine Quinn, Fort Dorchester. She will be the favorite to win the 100- and 200-meter dashes in Class AAAA, but where she really shines is in the long jump and 100-meter hurdles. Don’t be surprised if she sets state records in both events. Last week, she sailed 18-11 in the LJ and ran one of the fastest times in the country in the hurdles, with a 14.02 clocking.
Griffie Loy, Bishop England. He’s the state strong man and should easily repeat as the Class AA state champ in the shot put and discus. Again, if Loy in on and the weather is right, he could challenge for two state records. Last week, he went 59-4 in the shot put and 186-2 in the discus, distances that are near the top of the list in the country.
Davon Anderson, Summerville. He’s been a state champ for two years, and should win gold Saturday to conclude his junior season. He won the 110-meter high hurdles last week with a time of 14.33, but has been clocked at 14.20 in the event.
Christopher Gaddist, Woodland. One of the smoothest hurdlers in the state, Gaddist is the favorite in both the 110- and 400-meter hurdles in Class AA. He ran a 14.33 last week at the Class AA Lower State championships.
Raven Saunders, Burke. Saunders doesn’t get the attention that the Class AAAA athletes do. But she should. She’s the defending Class AA state champ in the shot put and discus, and will be the prohibitive favorite on Saturday.
Georgia Compton, Wando. She’s been all-state for four years in the distance events and in cross country and should shine in her final high school meet. One of her top competitors is sister Rosa Marie.
Michelle Lussier, Bishop England. She has the endurance to run in the 800 meters and powerful enough to compete in track’s most challenging event: the 400-meter hurdles. But where she shines is in the 4x800-meter relay. The Bishops enter the meet with the fastest time in the state, regardless of classification.
Deandre Daniels, Goose Creek. Berkeley County has some of fastest athletes in the state, and Daniels might be at the top of the list. He has the fastest time in the state in the 400-meter dash and one of the best times in the nation: 48.38. Remember this name. He is only a sophomore.
Derrick Kinloch, West Ashley. The school has been open for a little over a decade, yet has a reputation for producing outstanding jumpers. He has a state best of 47 feet, 51/2 inches in the triple jump.
Antonio Davis, Garrett Tech. Like Raven Saunders at Burke, Davis doesn’t get the attention because he’s not at a big school. But his times are big time. He won the 100 and 400 at last week’s Class AA Lower State meet, but failed to sweep the dashes because of Bishop England’s DeAngelo Stephenson. Stephenson is the perfect choice for the 11th local athlete to keep an eye on.