WINSTON-SALEM — As two Mountain Valley Athletic Conference runners are set to square off in the 1A Indoor Track & Field State Championships at the JDL Indoor Fast Track in Winston-Salem, it should come as no surprise as to who they are.
East Wilkes’ Kyle Rhodes and Elkin’s Jacob Parker will compete side-by-side in the Boys 3200 Meter Run, and it’s fitting that it’s those two competing against one another yet again. Last November, it was Rhodes and Parker competing for a state championship in cross country, with Rhodes, the MVAC champion, coning away, not only ahead of Parker, but his entire competition, for the state title.
The two won’t have to battle the extreme elements of the pouring rain and wind which they endured at the cross country state championship, which undoubtedly evens the playing field for everyone.
Rhodes and Parker qualified 10th and 11th respectively for the event. Sure to be a tight race, the duo was separated by only 0.3 seconds with Rhodes clocking in at 10:20.90 and Parker 10:21.20. However, both will have their work cut out for them if they’re to defeat Brevard’s Noah Graham, who, with a 9:33.27, finished over 16 seconds ahead of his closest competitor.
Rest assured those two miles will be intense, and when it comes to the state championships, it’s anybody’s game. Rhodes and Parker will continue to work this week to try to make the game theirs.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.