State champ Reid reflects on career at Prep

State champ Reid  reflects on  career at Prep
June 04
00:00 2015

In photo above: Winston-Salem Prep’s Deonica Reid is an eight-time state champion. (Photo by Craig T. Greenlee)

There’s no denying that Deonica Reid of Winston-Salem Prep has had a stand-out high school track career. Over the past four years, Reid, who will graduate from Winston-Salem Prep on Sunday (June 7), has won eight state titles in the short sprints, long jump and two sprint relay events (indoors and outdoors).

At the Class 1-A State Outdoor Track and Field Championships three weeks ago, Reid closed out her career in grand style with an impressive sweep in the 100 and 200 to go with her sizzling anchor leg on Prep’s title-winning 4×200 relay.

Aside from the three gold medals, she was the state runner-up in the long jump. Even though Reid didn’t win that event, her leap of 18-feet, 4 inches was still the best jump in Class 1-A for 2015.

“I’m so grateful that I got to run in the state championships all four years of my high school career,” said Reid, who ended the year as No. 1 in the NC Runners Class 1-A state rankings in her three individual events and the relay. “There are a lot of athletes who don’t get that opportunity. Looking back on everything, I’d say that I had a pretty good high school career.”

Reid’s output was a key element in the Phoenix quest to secure its first team title since bagging back-to-back championships in 2008 and 2009. Prep tallied 64 points to win by eight points over second-place Community School of Davidson County. Reid delivered 38 points with her finishes, which accounted for 59 percent of the team total.

“Being the 1-A team champion is a great way to finish a career,” she said. “Even if we hadn’t won, my feelings wouldn’t have changed any. I’d still be happy regardless of the outcome. That’s because I know I did my part, and I know my teammates did their part. We all had a good day and that’s all you can really ask for.”

First-year coach David Lindsay has developed a deep appreciation for Reid’s ability to motivate and inspire by example. At this year’s state meet, Lindsay had to carry Reid to the trainer’s tent when she collapsed after crossing the finish line in the 200-meter dash.

“Deonica pretty much passed out (right after the 200),” said Lindsay. “Even before the race started, she knew she was going to pass out. But she also knew that we needed the points to help us win the team championship. So, she just went out and won the race that helped her team to win. Deonica has so much heart and she’s always done everything that we’ve asked her to do.”    

In the weeks leading up to the regional championships, which is the state qualifier, Reid personally contacted every team member and shared her expectations. Reid’s willingness to get vocal, Lindsay explained, set a tone in practices that put everyone in the right frame of mind to compete to the best of their ability.

“I didn’t even have to talk to the team (before regionals),” said Lindsay. “She took care of it herself. Everybody understood what they needed to do. We went out with a bang and she had a lot to do with that. Deonica is a natural-born leader.”

Reid, who has a 3.5 grade-point average, has signed with Campbell University. She’s excited about competing at the next level in the sprints and the long jump.

“We have new coaches in the sprints and jumps, so I’m really looking forward to the next couple of years,” said Reid, who plans to have a double major in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice. “My senior season of high school was the first time that I began to get better with technique.

“I’ve learned how to build up my speed coming down the runway, how to approach the board, and how to jump and get height and distance. There’s a lot of work for me to do, but I feel like I’ll get there with the coaches I’ll have in college.”

As Reid gets ready to begin a new chapter in her athletic career, she has fond memories from her four years with the Phoenix. What will she miss the most?

“My teammates,” Reid answered. “No matter what, we were always there for each other. As team leader, I learned that it’s always helpful to have someone to tell you that things are going to be all right, that you can make it, that you can succeed. There’s nothing wrong with giving people encouragement.”

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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