North Carolina runners sparkled last weekend in two major high school indoor track and field invitationals.

The Eastern North Carolina Track Club, which is made up of New Bern High athletes, would have been the boys team champion in the Nike Indoors in Landover, Md., if the meet had been scored for team competition.

The New Bern runners won the 4x200 meters and sprint medley relay national titles and were second in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays. In addition, sophomore Fuquawn Greene won the 200 (21.98 seconds).

Eight New Bern High athletes won All-America honors in the meet.

Best-selling author Nicholas Sparks coaches the team and provided the school with a state- of-the-art track a few years ago.

What our kids accomplished at the nationals is unbelievable, Sparks said. I hoped that the track would give kids an opportunity, a good place to train and to be excited about track and field.

But this is a dream. For New Bern to produce this much talent is amazing.

New Bern repeated as sprint medley champ with Greene, Miles Sparks, Andrew Hendrix and Anthony Hendrix.

The Hendrix brothers, Banks Barnes and Rodney Stewart won the 4x800.

Greene, Daishaun Styron, Mike Price and Anthony Hendrix were second in the 4x200, and the Hendrix brothers, Green and Stewart were second in the 4x400.

Sparks said the team went to the nationals with hopes of winning four relays.

But a couple of other teams ran faster than we did that day, Sparks said. We ran extremely well. The other team ran faster, and they deserve the credit.

But three national titles and two seconds isn't bad.

North Carolina athletes won two other national titles at the Nike meet.

Southern Durham's Jacinda Evans won the girls long jump (18 feet, 11.75 inches).

Southeast Raleigh's Wayne Davis tied the national high school record while winning the 60 high hurdles in 7.62 seconds.

Garner's Booker Nunley was third in 7.78.

North Carolina's reputation as a high school hurdling hotbed was enhanced when Matthews Butler's Spencer Adams won the 60 highs at the National Scholastic Championships in New York.

He ran a 7.75.

Wakefield's T.J. Graham, an N.C. State football recruit, won the 200 in New York in 21.38.

SIMPSON PLAYS WITH PROS: Former Broughton High golfer Webb Simpson, currently a senior at Wake Forest University, played in the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week in Orlando, Fla., a PGA Tour event.

Simpson finished 31st in the professional event that was won by Tiger Woods with a 10-under-par 270 at Bay Hill.

Simpson had rounds of 71, 71, 70 and 68 and tied nine other golfers with an even-par 280.

The other nine received $31,513 in winnings. Simpson played as an amateur.

PACK COMMITMENT: N.C. State picked up a football commitment from junior Ricky Dowdy of High Point Central on Saturday.

Dowdy (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) had 13 sacks for Central during the 2007 season.

State's other known 2009 commitment is Ashburn (Va.) Stone Bridge defensive lineman Brian Slay. or (919) 829-8910