Two students from Neuse Charter School advanced to state finals after competing in regional N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A Mid East Region Track and Field competition at Heide Trask High School in Rocky Point, N.C. on Saturday.
Alyssa Nichole Lynch, a freshman, advanced for wheelchair shot put with a distance throw of 13.5 feet.
This was Lynch’s first year competing in track and field. The rookie shot putter is usually found playing basketball for the Revolution Youth Wheelchair Basketball team out of Clayton, N.C.
Coach Gail Browning, athletic director and track coach for Neuse Charter encouraged the young woman to step out of her comfort zone and attempt track and field.
“I wanted to show everyone that just because I am handicapped doesn’t mean I can’t do things like everyone else,” said Lynch. In fact, to qualify for state a wheelchair shot putter need only throw a distance of eight feet. Lynch’s personal best this year was 14.5 feet.
Lynch was born with a severe deformity of her right leg. An amputation of the leg was done when she was around a week old and she was fitted with prosthesis a few months before her first birthday. This year in 1A competition she competed with two other students in shot put, both were male athletes with spina bifida.
Also advancing to state finals is Tylyia Triggs, a 9th grader at Neuse Charter School. Triggs took second place in 100-meter hurdles at regionals.
“This has really been the highlight of my school year,” said Lynch. “Coach Browning, and Neuse Charter as a whole, helped me achieve this goal.”
State finals will be held this Saturday, May 20, 2017 at North Carolina A&T.