As seen in Chapel Hill News, May, 21, 2014. Article By W.E. Warnock & Tom Shanahan. Photo by Steven Worthy.

— Kacia Vines was the Comeback Kid in the N.C. High School Athletics Association 3A state track and field championships last weekend.

Competing Friday at Belt Track on the North Carolina A&T campus, Vines collected two medals – needing late surges to place in both events. She barely qualified for the finals of the long jump after a so-so mark in the prelims, but then leapt 17 feet, 10 inches to beat the runnerup by more than 2 inches. In the 400, she surged from fifth place in the final 100 meters to place second with a personal best of 57.53 seconds, close behind winner Nikolette Hurrinus of Cuthbertson (56.98).

Her long jump performance disappointed Vines; she considers it her best event. The 400 was a different matter. She was surprised with how much strength she had left in her kick in the 400, having previously run in the 100 and 200.

“I ran the 400 for the first time last year for the Durham Striders, and I thought, ‘This might be my race,’ ” said Vines. “I decided to try the 400 this year in my high school season.”

In the long jump, her personal record is 18 feet, 6.5 inches, so her first two preliminary jumps were pedestrian – for her – leaps in the 16-foot range, which would have left her short of advancement. But she made it to the finals with a leap of 17-5. She again struggled in the finals before her winning mark on her third and final jump.

“My legs were cramping up on me,” Vines said. “I was a little sore from last week.”

Vines had the best showing of any Big Eight Conference athlete, but others scored in the state championship meet.


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