PREP NOTEBOOK: PAC-6 track a meet of many storylines

May. 02, 2014 @ 08:27 PM

The PAC-6 4-A Track & Field Championships were supposed to take place Tuesday and Wednesday at Riverside High School until tornado warnings and other weather issues moved the meet — except for some field events — to Thursday at Hillside High School.

If you’re wondering why such a big meet that wasn’t held at a neutral venue such as Durham County Memorial Stadium, blame conference members East Chapel Hill and Roxboro Person.

Since they’re non-county teams, a fee would have been assessed to use DCMS. If the meet had only included Durham schools, the venue would have been available at no cost, Durham Public Schools athletics director Larry McDonald said.

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Jordan track coach Chris Starkey is hanging up his whistle to pursue opportunities as an assistant principal, which made winning the boys’ PAC-6 title in his final meet all that sweeter.

DPS does not allow its principals or assistant principals to coach because of the time demands, according to McDonald. That leaves Starkey, who teaches exceptional children at Jordan, sidelined.

Riverside football coach David Hackney led the Pirates to the state playoffs last season, but he turned in his playbook when he accepted a job as an assistant principal at Southern.

Starkey is going out in style. He has led Jordan’s track team for six years and has won regular-season titles the past four seasons, but the postseason conference championship kept running away from him until the Falcons caught up with it Thursday at Russell Blunt Memorial Stadium.

“I had a great coaching staff, and the kids really wanted to win,” Starkey said. “Combined with a coach that hates to lose and that equals championships.”

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Riverside sprinter Atlanta Woodall is the queen of the fast lanes in the PAC-6.

At the conference championships, Woodall came in first at 100, 200 and 400 meters. She did the same thing last year, and nobody in the PAC-6 has beaten her the past two seasons.

Woodall, a junior who also plays basketball, gets to do it, again, next season — unless the talented young sprinters from PAC-6 girls’ champion Hillside have something to say about it.

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PAC-6 basketball co-player of the year Ricky Council II has hops, which he displayed on the court for Northern.

But he can high jump, too, clearing 6 feet to become PAC-6 champ Thursday.

Hillside’s James McKinnon and Trenell Parker both cleared 6 feet, too, but Council did it in fewer attempts, earning the title.

Council (6-5, 190) is exploring his options for college basketball. The senior shooting guard shared the PAC-6 basketball player-of-the-year spot with his teammate, junior forward Kentrell Barkley.

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Council’s sister, Rhianna, a Northern guard, is one of 162 young women who have been invited to the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s Under-17 World Championship Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from May 22-26.

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Hillside senior Trevion Thompson walked into the PAC-6 meet chatting with the recruiting coordinator from Clemson, where he’ll play wide receiver in the fall.

But it was mostly about Thompson’s feet during the PAC-6 championships, where he ate up the track running the third leg for Hillside’s victorious 4x200-meter relay team.

“I use track to build up my speed,” said Thompson, a four-star prospect on the football field.

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A special shout-out to the Triangle Champions Track Club for using its manpower and machinery at a very minimal cost to keep track of what was happening on the track during the PAC-6 championships.

“Durham supports us, so we give back,” said Donnell Mitchell, one of the coaches for the Triangle Champions T.C.