Danville's Napier, Brand taking over Admirals' sprints

May 02, 2004|JILL ERWIN

Krystal Napier and Kayla Brand are four years apart, but on the track they're much, much closer.

Napier, a junior, and seventh-grader Brand have combined to form a lethal 1-2 punch in the sprints for the Danville girls' track team, and the 46 points the two combined to score helped Danville to a 40-point victory in the inaugural All "A" Classic Saturday at Admiral Stadium.

"They're the dynamic duo," Danville coach Sadie Gambrel said. "Every time I look up, they're always coming in one and two. They're the strongest sprinters I have on the team."

Danvill scored 138 points to Covington Holy Cross' 98 in the Classic Saturday. Each girl scored 23 points as Napier won the 100 and finished second in the 200, and Brand won the 200 and finished second in the 100. The two then teamed to form half of the 400 and 1600 relays.


The two have formed a competitive friendship.

"We always push each other," Brand said. "We make each other run faster and we make each other better."

"It's a good relationship. We're like sisters," Napier said. "When one's down, we help the other up. We support each other. We don't care who gets first and second, as long as we get one and two."

Napier won the 100, but Brand won the 200

They did that in spades Saturday. Napier won the 100 dash with a time of 12.66 seconds, just ahead of Brand at 12.89. Brand turned the tables in the 200, claiming first in 25.94 to Napier's 26.13.

In the 400 relay, Brand ran the leadoff leg and Napier the anchor on a team that won in 52.51 seconds, a full 1.4 seconds ahead of second-place Bardstown. In the final event of the day, Brand and Napier ran the final two slot on a winning mile relay team that finished in 4:17.94, almost 16 seconds ahead of Lexington Christian.

It's the first year Brand has run the 1600 relay after running the 800 relay last year. She said Gambrel thought it would be a good move for her.

"She thought that it would help our time go down, and it would help me in the 100 and 200," Brand said.

"Her determination has come a long way," Gambrel said. "Each year she matures just a little bit more and a little bit more. She gets down on herself, but then I just tell her, 'It's not about you. It's all about Him. You've got a gift, use your gift, and just keep on going.'"

The two have formed a bond, despite their age difference. Their competitive natures lead them to push each other, but also support each other.

Brand said the one word that describes Napier would be competition. But off the track? "She's my buddy."

Napier said Brand can be the life of the party.

"She's energetic," Napier said. "She's talkative sometimes and goofy. She can make you laugh and smile when you're down. She can be your best friend."

Napier and Brand are fine with battling each other for bragging rights.

"They do push each other," Gambrel said. "You're teammates, but when you step on the track, even your teammate's your enemy. You're trying to do your best and everybody wants to win. When you're finished, you congratulate your teammate because you're on the same team. It's all for the betterment of the team."

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