Schustrom Takes Run at Records
Lexie Schustrom has already put together a memorable track season that includes breaking the Pinecrest girls' records in the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs.
Thursday afternoon at the John Williams Athletic Complex, the hard-working junior and her Patriot teammates had one last tune up for the looming conference, regional and state championship meets.
The Patriots boys picked up points in all but two of 14 individual events and finished first in front of Richmond Senior, Hoke County, Scotland County and Westover in the conference meet. Entered in just one race, Schustrom won the 1,600 as the Patriot girls finished second to the Scots.
"It was not my best, but I'm trying to save up for conference, regional and states coming up," she said of the 5:30 time that was far slower the 5:07.9 she posted at the Bojangles Apex Relays two weeks ago to set a new Pinecrest standard.
Earlier in the season, last fall's Mid-Southeastern Conference cross country champion broke the Patriot record in the 3,200 at the Raleigh Relays held at N.C. State with a time of 11:08. She also set a meet record in that event at the Phoenix High School Classic hosted by Elon.
Distance runners like Schustrom, and Scott Whitecar and Craig Baggett for the boys, are likely to become workhorses at the upcoming meets. Limiting their events during the regular season has allowed first year coach Dan Matthews to conserve some of their energy and provide opportunities for other athletes to perform. He estimates that up to 70 boys and 50 girls have gotten a chance to compete in at least one meet.
The conference championships will be held at Pinecrest on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"We're going to continue working hard right through the end of the season to try to get every bit of potential out of them that we can," the coach says. "I'm really blessed to have coaches that really know their trade and the kids are responding well."
Thursday's meet began with Madison Hart, Hailey Germain, Ashley Brock and Lauren McDowell combining to win the 3,200 meter relay for the Patriots. A short time later, a blistering final leg by Breanna Quick helped the Patriot 800 meter relay quartet that included Shaniqua Knight, Courtney Rainey and Candice Seagraves nip the Scots.
Quick and company came back later to take the Scots again by a fraction of a second in the 400 relay. Winners of other events for the Patriot girls included Quick (200 meters), Seagraves (triple jump), Ceci Weibert (pole vault), and Hart and Germain in a dead heat for first in the 800.
Whitecar and Baggett's day's work was limited to finishing 1-2 in the 3,200 and the 3,200 relay. Dalton Allen and Landon Sherwoon made it a sweep of the first four places in the 3,200 for the Pats. The well-balanced home team took firsts in four of the six field events led by Dylan Gaffney (shot put and discus), Bret Toomer (long jump) and Denton Wright (pole vault).
Both a vocal leader and one by example, Schustrom preceded teammates Brock, Jenna Woronoff and Katana Lemelin to the finish line in the Patriot sweep of the girls' 1,600.
Although Matthews calls the 3,200 her marquis event, he says that Schustrom's recent emphasis in practice has been on speed work, making her a force to be reckoned with in the shorter races as well. He regards her worth ethic as her biggest asset.
"Lexie never complains and she's one of the most polite and outstanding young ladies I've met as far as the people I've been able to work with," he says. "The kids love being around here and she lifts everybody's level because she works so hard.
After three years of competing against the best high school runners in the state, Schustrom pretty much knows who she will be up against when it comes to the regional and state competitions.
"It's kind of funny actually," she says. "We'll all be tense before the race, but then we're all friends on Facebook. "Someone will say, 'come up to Raleigh and do a run with me on Saturday'. So it's kind of cool."
Lofty personal milestones within Schustrom's reach are an under five-minute 1,600 and an under 11-minute 3,200.
"That's what I've been thinking too," she said when asked about it. "I'd love to be able to do that this year, but if it doesn't happen, I'm excited that I have another year to go after those goals."
Team results Boys Pinecrest 107, Richmond 100.5, Hoke 79, Scotland 57.5, Westover 27; Girls Scotland 132, Pinecrest 102, Richmond 52, Westover 34, Hoke 31.
Individual winners and Pinecrest placers Boys 100 1.Houston (R) (11.4), 3. Raphael Alston (P) (11.45), 5. Brandon Shaw (P) (11.47); 200 Love (R) (22.4), 400 Love (R) (48.6), 2. Aaron Shamberger (P) (52.1); 800 1. Taylor (H) (2:13), 3. Leigh Pember (P) (2:17); 1,600 1. Valiant (H) (4:54), 2. Rhyne Spencer (P) (4:46), 3. Derek Whitescarver (P) (5:00), Connor Kelly (P) (5:00); 3,200 1. Whitecar (P) (10:06), 2. Baggett (10:12), 3. Dalton Allen (10:40), 4. Sherwood (P) (11:13); 110 hurdles 1. Diggs (R) (14.75), 3. Harron Carson (P) (15.68); 300 hurdles 1. Diggs (R) (40.62), Carson (P) (40.68); 400 relay 1. Scotland (43.29); 800 relay 1. Richmond (1:29); 1,600 relay 1. Richmond (3:36); 3,200 relay 1. Hoke (8:44), 4. Pinecrest (9:14) (Dalton Allen, Baggett, Whitecar, Hawke); Shot put 1. Gaffney (P) (43-03.5); Discus 1. Gaffney (P) (119-01), 3. Daniel Keith (P) (107-06); High jump 1. Townsend (W) (6-5), 4. Maurice Ervin (P) (5-8); Long jump 1. Toomer (P) (20-04); Triple jump 1. Dixon (R) (41-11); Pole vault 1. Wright (P) (9-06), 2. Jeremy Brock (P) (8-08), 3. Ian Paran (P) (8-06), 4. Ryan Wynn (P) (8-06). Girls - 100 1. Gates (S) (12.69), 2. Quick (P) (12.86); 200 1. Quick (P) (27.03); 400 1. Niesha Sledge (R) (1:02.6); 800 1. Madison Hart (P), Hailey Germain (P) (2:41); 1,600 1. Schustrom (5:30), 2. Brock (6:08), 3. Woronoff (6:20), 4. Lemelin (6:27); 3,200 1. Morrow (S) (14:10); 100 hurdles 1. Gates (S) (16.06) 4. Weibert (P) (17.84); 300 hurdles 1. Gates (S) (48.2), 2. Weibert (P) (49.62); 400 relay - 1. Pinecrest (51.6) (Knight, Rainey, Seagraves, Quick); 800 relay 1. Pinecrest (1:49) (Knight, Rainey, Seagraves, Quick); 1,600 relay 1. Scotland 4:27, 2 Pinecrest (4:29) (Rainey, Quick, Abby Snyder, Weibert); 3,200 relay 1. Pinecrest (10:59) (Brock, Hart, Germain, McDowell); Shot put 1. Goins (W) (32-05); Discus 1. Odom (S) (97-07); High jump 1. Gates (S) (5-2); Long jump 1. Smith (S) (15-9), 4. Seagraves (P) (14-00); Triple jump 1. Seagraves (P) (31-03); Pole vault 1. Weibert (P) (7-00).
More like this story