2018 GHSA Track and Field Championship Preview

Courtesy of DeKalb Co. Schools

The GHSA track and field championships begin Thursday in Albany, Rome and Carrollton and run through Saturday. First-time state champions dominated last year’s track and field state championships. The girls track teams for Buford, Mays, Chapel Hill, Jeff Davis and Telfair County all brought home titles for the first time, while the boys team from Allatoona, Vidalia and Eagle’s Landing Christian did the same. Out of all the winners from the 2017 state meet, only three teams were able to achieve consecutive titles. Athens Academy and Greater Atlanta Christian’s girls teams both are looking for three in a row. Cedar Grove’s boys, however, will be looking to take home their fourth-consecutive title.

Returning to run in the 100-meter dash is Kai Williams, a runner to keep an eye on. The senior from Class A-Private Mt. Pisgah had a time of 10.48 in sectionals, the fastest among all participants. Last year’s Class A-Private meet ended with Williams placing second behind ELCA’s Jeffrey Uzzell, now a sprinter at the University of Tennessee. Uzzell’s winning time was 10.66, so Williams’ sectionals performance shows promise that the senior can end his high school career on a high note.

Last year’s Class AAAAA girls 100 meters featured some of the fastest runners in the state. Buford’s Alexa Rossum, a decorated sprinter, claimed first place with a time of 11.72, besting second-place Faith Lindsey by 0.27. However, Lindsey’s graduation has opened up the door for North Springs’ Saran Kouyeth. The senior placed third behind Lindsey last year, but her 2017 finals time of 12.01 can’t compare to her time of 11.77 during sectionals.

In the boys 4×100 meter relay, Class AAAAA has tight competition. In last year’s race, Cedar Shoals won with a time of 40.74. Right behind were Southwest DeKalb (41.27) and Arabia Mountain (41.30). Cedar Shoals’ sectional time came in at 41.41, best in the classification but lower than last year’s winning time.

The shot put will feature returning Class A-Private champ LenNeth Whitehead from Athens Academy. He dominated the competition last year within his class, outscoring second-place Ahmir Lee 58-09.00 to 50-02.00. Whitehead has only gotten better since then, throwing a whopping 63-09.75 during sectionals. A closer match may be found in the Class AAAAA finals, with a potential between last year’s, champ Soteria Russell, and runner-up Morgan Johnson. Russell’s 41-05.50 bested Johnson’s 41-05.00 by .5. Since then, the two have not taken their foot off the gas. During sectionals the defending champ scored a 44-07.50, the only competitor to score higher than 44. Johnson was right behind her, scoring 43-03.00.

The Cedar Grove boys are looking to keep their title streak alive with a fourth-straight trophy. They placed first during Class AAA sectionals in the 100- and 200-meter dash, the 4×400 meter relay, and the triple jump with second-place finishes in the 110-meter hurdle, 300-meter hurdle and the 4×100 meter relay. Returning to the track is Israel Spivey, who placed second in the 100-meter dash last year. The returning sprinter sat at the top of Class AAA sectionals with a 10.86 time in his featured event. After placing sixth in last year’s triple jump, Kortney Cox placed second behind fellow teammate Keshun Byrd in the sectionals to ensure a strong chance to claim the event for Cedar Grove. Deanthony Moore, Dimitri Cooper and Terrence Lewin are all returning to participate in the 4×400 race. Alongside new runner Justin Lane, Eric Davis and Oral Ashe, the squad placed first at sectionals.

Here is the location breakdown for all classifications:

Hugh Mills Stadium, Albany (A-Public, 2A & 3A)
Berry College, Berry (A-Private, 4A & 7A)
Grisham Stadium, Carrollton (5A, 6A & Wheelchair)

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