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Parkland runners college-bound

Parkland runners college-bound
November 26
00:00 2014
(pictured above:  Ebony Williams (front, from left) with Katlin Sherman, Erin Morrison (backrow) Miaysha Bryant, Ila Mumford and Nateja Hale.)

Parkland’s girls have a serious sisterhood in track and field. This year’s team has six seniors who have known each other for 10 years. Prior to their arrival at Parkland, this group competed with or against one another during the summer track seasons of the past.

The college dreams of these athletes came full circle recently, when they signed with their respective schools.

Katlin Sherman (North Carolina): The premier high school sprinter in North Carolina. Sherman pulled off an impressive double in winning 100 and 200 at the Class 4-A state outdoor championships last year. Sherman finished fourth in the 200 at the nationals, and anchored championship sprint relays, including the 4×200 national champs from last summer.

Aside from UNC, Sherman was recruited by East Carolina, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas A&M.

“With this being my last year of high school, I want to leave as much as I can to our underclassmen,” said Sherman, who wants to pursue a career as a sports medicine doctor or physician’s assistant. “They need to understand what it takes to compete and succeed at the highest level. Hopefully, we can win two more team championships this year.”

Ebony Williams (Clemson): The heavily-recruited Williams admits that up until three weeks ago, she had very little “me” time. That’s because the prized sprinter/hurdler was always on the phone talking to college coaches about her track future. Prior to choosing Clemson, she looked at Virginia Tech, Tennessee, N.C. State and South Carolina.

Last season, Williams has consistently ranked among the top two in the state in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles (indoors and outdoors). She’s also an integral part of the championship-winning relay teams in the 4×200 and 4×400.

“The phone rang constantly and sometimes, it was frustrating,” said Williams. “During my freshman and sophomore years, I didn’t think I’d get a full scholarship from a big school to run track. It was only last year that I realized it could really happen. I was so happy to finally make the decision.”

Erin Morrison (Hampton): Parkland’s fastest quarter-miler who was fourth in the 500 at the state indoor championships and runner-up in the 400 at the state outdoor meet last season. Morrison runs on the 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams.

It didn’t take long for Morrison to confirm her college of choice. When she made her campus visit, her mind was settled on where she would go. Morrison, who wants to be a pediatrician, will major in biology.

“As soon as I stepped on the Hampton campus, I knew it was the right place for me,” she said. “It’s like a family atmosphere. As for track, I’ve come a long way in my journey to learn how to run properly. Without the help of Coach Hughes and Coach (Jarrell) Elliott, there’s no way that I would’ve developed like I have.”

Miaysha Bryant (N.C. Central): All-purpose sprinter and key member in the 4×100 and 4×200. At the New Balance Outdoor Nationals last summer, she ran the fastest leg for the Mustangs 4×200 relay that won the national title.

“The (200) split I ran at the national championships was so amazing because nobody expected it, and it gave us the edge we needed,” said Bryant. “I’m so excited about having new plans and setting new goals for the future. It’s such a good feeling to know that there’s a school that’s waiting for me to come.”

Ila Mumford (Appalachian State): Proven commodity in the long jump and triple jump. Posted top-four finishes in both events at last year’s Class 4-A state championships indoors (second in the triple jump, fourth in the long jump) and outdoors (second in triple jump, third in the long jump). Mumford runs the lead-off leg on the 4×100 relay.

“Looking back on my time at Parkland, it’s been very humbling,” said Mumford, who considered signing with UNC Charlotte. “All of us have worked so hard to get to where we are now. I’m so glad that I have the opportunity to take my track career to the next level.”

Nateja Hale (UNC Asheville): Hale came to Parkland as a 200/400 sprinter. During her high school career, she’s developed as a key contributor in both hurdles events, along with the long jump and triple jump. At this juncture, she could be Parkland’s most versatile performer. During the summer seasons, she has competed at the state, regional and national level in the heptathlon.

“I’m proud of my accomplishments,” said Hale. “Not only did I meet the goals that I set for myself, but I surpassed them. With a lot of help from Coach Hughes, I have evolved as a multi-event athlete.”

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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