Pattilo qualifies in both the 100 and 200

Eleven Havelock High track athletes are looking to improve on regional performances in a quest for state championships on Saturday.

For the Havelock boys, the 4-by-100, 4-by-200 and 4-by-400 meter relay teams all qualified for the state 3A championship meet.

Dominick Madden, Marcus Threat, Mahari Green and Tyrone Cozart make up the 400 and 800 teams, while the 1,600 team is Green, Cozart, Tyrelle Cozart and Caleb Passmore.

Threat also qualified for the state meet in the 200-meter dash.

“I’ve been running track for a lot of years now,” Tyrone Cozart said. “It takes a lot of practice. I run throughout the summer, pretty much all year long.”

He said the relay teams have focused on handoffs in preparation for the state meet, hoping to pick up just enough time to capture a state title, something he is already thinking about.

“I may be a little nervous,” he said of the state meet. “But, I am just going to focus on running and doing what I have to do.”

For the girls, Nyesha Patillo took second in the 100 and fourth in the 200 in last week’s regionals to qualify for Saturday’s state championships. Olivia Kinsey was third in the regionals in the 300 hurdles and Arianna Turner was fourth in the shot put, with both moving on to the state championship.

The 4-by-200 relay team of Patillo, Kinsey, Aleara Jackson and Michelle Prichard finished third in the regionals and is seeded third in the state championships, just more than a second behind top-seeded Northern Guilford.

Patillo has been battling a cold as she prepares for the state meet. She said she is working on coming out of the blocks faster, believing that just may be the key to winning a state championship.

“I think about it all the time,” she said of winning a state title. “I just want to give God the glory for everything. He allowed me the opportunity to run track, and if it’s His will to allow me to win or place, then I will be really grateful.”

In the 100, Patillo is seeded third with a time of 12.18 seconds, just .09 behind the top seed. She is seeded fifth for the 200, less than a second behind the top seed.

The state 3A track and field championship is Saturday at N.C. A&T in Greensboro.