West Forsyth’s track and field senior profiles

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 25, 2020

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West Forsyth’s track-and-field program had 17 seniors in 2020.  Here’s a close-up look at eight of them. The other nine will be featured next week.

Skyela Amsberry

Personal bests: pole vault, 11-6; long jump, 13-11; triple jump, 34-9; 300 dash, 47.37; 55 dash, 8.34; 100 dash, 13.84; 200 dash, 28-94.

Coach Nate Newsome said: “Skyela has been a tremendous contributor to our team for the past four years. A triple jumper, sprinter and one of the best pole vaulters in the state. She was a very hard worker and helpful with the younger vaulters. She will leave a legacy of helping make West Forsyth one of the top pole vault programs in the state. Best of luck to her vaulting at Gardner-Webb next season. We will miss you.”

Will Atkins

Will is the son of Chris and Robin Atkins. He has competed in track and field for six years, four of which were at West .

Personal bests: 1600 meters, 4:20; 800 meters, 1:51; 400 meters, 0:49.

Post-graduation plans: Attend Duke University, where he will be a member of the track and field team.

Favorite memory: Winning the state championship in the 1000-meter indoors and celebrating with the whole team.

Atkins: “Track and field has been a sport that has created many bonds with people that will never be broken. This sport has a way of bringing out the best and worst in people while allowing you to grow closer together through the trials.”

Newsome: “Will is one of the most talented runners ever to come through West. He possesses a unique ability to perform at his highest level under pressure and was an inspirational teammate. We are definitely going to miss him.”

Leanna Bernish

She is the daughter of Brian and Tiffany Bernish. She has competed in track and field for four years at West and also ran in middle school.

Personal bests: 1600 meters, 6:43; 1000 meters, 3:48; 800 meters, 2:53.

Post-graduation plans: Attend Wake Forest University as a Stamps Scholar with plans to major in psychology.

Favorite memory: Golden hour in the middle of the trails with the girls and stopping because, “Guys, look how gorgeous the light is.”

Favorite workout: Fartleks and repeat 400s.

Bernish: “West track and field has been my family for the past four years. The grueling speed workouts were the chores; the constant support and cheering was the love and happiness. Track means group hugs, team cheers, ecstatic soreness and a place where I knew I was loved and pushed to always be better.”

Newsome: “Leanna was a great teammate and leaves a strong legacy of kindness and dedication behind. We as a team are going to miss her.”

Tanya Davis

Personal bests: long jump, 15-9; 100 dash, 13.44; 200 dash, 28.94; 55 dash, 7.96; 300 dash, 48.87; 300 hurdles, 55.05.

Newsome: “Tanya is an all-around athlete that can sprint, long jump and run relays. She helped build and contribute to our team’s tremendous success over the past four years. She was a supportive teammate that helped others often and will be missed by all.”

Greg Edwards

Personal bests: 100 dash, 11.74; 200 dash, 24.84; long jump, 15-0; 55 dash, 7.05; 300 dash, 40.47; 500 dash, 1:23.55.

Coach Lewis: “Greg is the type of athlete who makes coaching a wonderful experience. No matter the weather, workout or time of day, Greg always brought his best effort with a smile. There was never a dull moment when he was around and his sense of humor will be missed.”

Mason Ellis

He is the son of Susan Lane and Robert Ellis. He has competed in track and field for seven years, including four years at West.

Personal bests: shot put, 62-4; discus, 172-10.

Post-graduation plans: Attend Wake Forest, where he will compete in track and field.

Ellis: “Track and field has saved me. It has given me a path to success and ultimately given me the ability to give glory to my Lord and Savior.”

Newsome: “Mason is literally the best high school shot-putter ever in North Carolina, and he earned it through hard work. His level of dedication is rare. He was also a very supportive and kind teammate who will be missed next year.”

James Gordon

Personal bests: high jump, 5-10; long jump, 21-7; triple jump, 39-9; 100 dash, 12.04.

Coach Brown: “James had natural talent as a jumper and was a valuable member of our team during the seasons we had him. The ability to transition between so many events at once is not something everyone has, but James made it look easy while being a leader in the conference in his events. His talent and joyful nature will be missed.”

Sarah Lancaster

She is the daughter of Michael and Robin Lancaster. She has competed in track and field for three years at West.

Personal bests: discus, 87-5; shot put, 23-11.

Post-graduation plans: Major in psychology at Virginia Tech in the Corps of Cadets Marine Corps option under the NROTC Scholarship.

Favorite memory: The first time coach Newsome said he was proud of her. “I love track. I love hanging out with the friends I have made through track as well as pushing myself and challenging myself in the weight-room workouts.”

Newsome: “Sarah was a dedicated team member who wanted to do all she could for her team by getting better and supporting others. She set a great example of work ethic and will be greatly missed.”