Eastern Region Meet Coverage: Morrison breaks LoJo\'s record! Clears 17-6.50 in PV!

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Morrison Photo Gallery - 92 images to capture the historic moment.
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NEWPORT NEWS, VA -- History was made at the 2006 Eastern Region Meet in a chase and dream that has been running through the mind of Great Bridge senior Mike Morrison all spring in breaking the school, regional, and state record held by former Great Bridge star and Olympian Lawrence Johnson. Morrison\'s dream was achieved on Saturday at the regional meet held at Todd Stadium in Newport News as he cleared a height of 17\'6.50\" on his first attempt to break the old mark. The US #1 clearance also put him just outside of the US top ten all-time as the tenth best mark stands at 17\'7\". Morrison nearly made his way into the top ten list as his last two attempts at 18 and a half put him over the bar, before knocking it over.

Morrison also helped Great Bridge (51 pts) to the team title by a slight two point margin over Bayside (49 ps). However, Unlike at last year\'s AAA State Meet where Morrison scored 40 points individually placing in multiple events, Morrison only picked up ten points individually with the pole vault win as the only other individual event he competed in was the discus throw to prepare him for the multi-event competition int he future. Therefore, the remaining 41 points came from Great Bridge athletes not named Michael Morrison to showcase that the team is a lot more than their star athlete.

Great Bridge racked up considerable points in the throwing events as they had the top two finishers in Friday\'s discus throw with regional champion Jon Lockhart (158-5) and regional runner-up Austin Lester (154-9). On Saturday, Lester finished third in the shot put with a throw of 53-9.50.

With Quentin Moore of Deep Creek, who posted the fastest time in Friday\'s 400 meter dash prelims at 48.55 scratching from the meet on Saturday, Great Bridge senior Ryan Sykes took the win with a 49.66 clocking. Sykes also finished fifth in the 200 meter dash at 21.73.

The Bayside duo of Charles Clark and Oliver Alexander made the team race interesting on their own in the sprints. In the 100 meter dash, Clark ran the state\'s fastest time with a legal wind at 10.53. Right behind him was his Legion of Doom mohawk brother Oliver Alexander in second at 10.69. Quite an accomplishment to have the top two finishers from the same school in an loaded sprint event in the state\'s best sprint region.

Clark and Alexander would then be featured on their 4x100 meter relay as they ran as third (Alexander) and fourth (Clark) legs to bring Bayside back for the win in a 42.30 clocking.

While times benefited from a 3.5 wind aid, Clark and Alexander smoked the 200 meter dash with another 1-2 finish as Clark posted a swift 20.91 for his second regional title and Alexander took the next spot in second at 21.24. 46 points from the two of them over the two individual events and relays, a duplicate performance on the same track at Todd Stadium at next week\'s state meet could put Bayside in the team title hunt.

Cox finished third as a team with 47 points as Eddie Judge\'s two wins in the distance events helped the Falcons secure the top three spot. Judge faced off with Bethel\'s Daniel Cummings in a close resemblance of their Eastern Region Indoor Meet battle, which saw Judge as the winner. Judge took the regional title one again in the event outdoors with a final time of 4:26.56 and Cummings in second at 4:31.25. The 3200 meter run saw Landstown senior Jonathan Bunker setting a hard early pace to distance himself from the rest of the field and Judge, but Judge and the rest of the field would track Bunker down as Judge pulled away with his second title in 10:02.30.

Phoebus scored 40 points and 35 of those points came from one individual in Corey Vinston. Vinston started things off on Friday with a 23-10 win in the long jump. Vinston\'s top performance came in the 300 meter hurdles as he aded to his already two state bests he owned in the long jump and triple jump as he won in a 37.97 photo finish with previous state leader Jahmal Potter as Potter crashed to the track for a 37.99 time in second.

Vinston did not have the performances he exactly wanted in other events, but certainly racked up plenty of points placing in all the events he competed. Vinston finished seventh in a competitive high jump competion, which had nine competitors over 6-4. Lake Taylor\'s Henry Vaughn had the upset win in the event at 6-6 as he not only defeated Vinston but indoor state and national champion Marlon Woods (2nd, 6-6) of Booker T. Washington.

Woods took the triple jump with a jump of 46-6 on Saturday as future Norfolk State University teammate Vinston finished roughly a foot behind him at 45-6.50 for second. On the track, Vinston finished fourth in the 110 meter hurdles at 14.74, while finishing fourth in his final event of the meet with the 200 meter dash at 21.60 clocking. Vinston certainly has the potential to win the state meet by himself on a good day.

Oscar Smith sophomore Frede Spellman won a stacked shot put competition as the indoor state runner-up threw for a winning mark of 55-6.75 as he was able to outdo co-state leader Ryan Gordon of Woodside (55-2). The event featured nine throwers hitting marks over 50 feet at the regional meet.

Granby senior Chris Bell completed his last step to achieving quite a rare feat in winning the state title in an event all four years of high school as Bell looks to win his fourth consecutive state title in the 110 meter hurdles after winning the event at the Eastern Region Meet with a 14.33 clocking.

Heritage\'s Kieth Brown won his first regional title as he pulled away in a tight packed 800 meter race down the final stretch for a 1:59.17 victory as Menchville\'s Matthew Cody finished a close second at 1;59.33.

The Great Bridge girls joined their male counterparts as regional team champions as they finished 11 points ahead of Deep Creek (75 pts) with a team total of 86 points. Janet Brown\'s incredible four regional titles in the field events and Kristy Tobin\'s distance double gave the Great Bridge squad considerable points. Brown posted outstanding marks to win the long jump (19-1.75), triple jump (38-6), shot put (40-2), and discus throw (112-10). Her mark in the long jump was a personal best jump for Brown.

Meanwhile, Tobin controlled the race throughout in the 1600 meter run and cruised to a 5:12.38 win. However, her 800 meter race was a big surprise as she raced against a fresh Kenya Jones of Western Branch. Jones pushed a hard pace and looked to be on her way to her second consecutive Eastern Region title in the event, but Tobin unleashed a powerful kick down the homestretch to come away with the win in 2:14.99. Jones finished second in 2:16.41.

Additional points were gained in the distance events for Great Bridge in the 4x800 meter relay as they finished second in the 4x800 meter relay on Friday night in 9:39.69. Western Branch, featuring Jones and Callen Powers, won the relay event in a time of 9:32.39.

In a third face off between Great Bridge and Western Branch distance runners in the 3200 meter run, Powers reversed the result from the 800 meter run with a Great Bridge runner dethroning an Eastern Region defending champion as she pulled away from 2005 Eastern Region champ Kat Telfeyan for a 11:23.08 win. Telfeyan finished second in 11:26.39 in a competitive and exciting race as the two runners battled it out all eight laps.

Deep Creek finished as regional team runners-up with one lone regional champion in Ashley Gatling in the high jump as she and teammate Jonee Artis both cleared 5-8 along with Booker T. Washington\'s DeShana Briggs, but Gatling was given the victory on a tiebreaker. Artis and Briggs both set personal bests with their 5-8 clearances. Other top finishes for Deep Creek included ChantilY Harvey in the long jump (3rd, 18-8.75), Shawanda Weston in the triple jump (3rd, 37-0.25), Tiphanie Harris in the shot put (4th, 37-1.75), Chantal Luedeke in the 100 meter hurdles (5th, 15.07), and Myesha Barr in the 400 meter dash (4th, 58.36). Deep Creek also had strong performances in the sprint relays by finishing second in the 4x100 meter relay (47.75) and third in the 4x400 meter relay (4:01.33).

Despite their anchor leg pulling up with injury near the finish, the Salem girls were still able to win the 4x100 meter relay in an unusual winning finish at 47.75.

The Bethel girls showed great resiliency in the 4x400 meter relay as they had suffered their second major loss on day one of the meet with Crystal Carrington going down as Francena McCorory had already been out with a hamstring injury. The Bethel girls won the relay event with a sub four clocking in 3:57.96.

Despite the injuries racking up for Bethel, the bright spot was having both 4x400 meter relays take first place finishes at the regional meet as the Bethel boys also were winners at a 3:20.99 clocking.

Hampton girls finished fourth in the team scoring with 51 points as Tierra Brown looked tough in two hurdle victories. Brown took a victory over Menchville\'s Kali Watkins (14.48) in the 100 meter hurdles with a 14.12 clocking, while simply running away from the field in the 300 meter hurdles with a personal best time of 42.87 clocking. She was followed to the line by two teammates in Allyssa Pickett (2nd, 44.72) and Kristina Chapman (3rd, 45.06) for a Hampton 1-2-3 sweep.

With Francena McCorory absent due to injury, Woodside sophomore Dominique Jordan took over the role as the region\'s most dominant sprinter as she broke the meet record in the 400 meter dash by a mere one hundredth of a second at 54.53. The record she broke was held by Francena McCorory and set in 2004. Coming off her state leading time in the 400 meter dash, Jordan followed up with another quick time of 24.29 in the 200 meter dash. In both races, Jordan took two big victories over one of the nation\'s top ranked 300 and 400 meter hurdlers in Nicole Saunders of Menchville, who had a noteworthy double herself at 55.73 in the 400 and 24.44 in the 200 meter dashes.

Could the Eastern Region take both the boys and girls state title in the pole vault? If Heritage senior Carolyn Lewis can duplicate her performance on the same runway at next week\'s AAA State Meet, it could happen after clearing a personal best height of 11-6 to break the meet record. Indoor state champion Nicole Kazuba of Chantilly also cleared 11-6 at the Northern Region Meet as the two athletes will share the top seed next week.