Day 1 GHSA track and field championships roundup

Courtesy of GHSA

The 2018 GHSA Track and Field Championships kicked off today in Albany, Rome and Carrollton. At Albany, the boys Class A-Public, AA and AAA competitors took to the field events early in the morning. The Class A-Private, AAAA and AAAAAAA runners hit the track preliminary events to determine who moves on to the finals. At noon, all Class AAAAA and AAAAAA athletes competed in field events, along with the 1600-meter run.

Class AA defending discus champ C.J. Wright scored a whopping 159-01, putting him in first by leaps and bounds ahead of second-place Jackson Ramey of Banks County, who scored a 140-03. Westminster’s Paris Howland improved on his fourth-place finish in last year’s long jump in AAA by jumping a solid 23-06.75, putting him in first place ahead of Jackson’s Namiyum Smith and Pike County’s C’Bo Flemister, who jumped 23-00.50 and 22-08.5 respectively. Perhaps the greatest improvement from last year’s championships came from Pierce County’s Tyler Foreman. The pole vaulter failed to place in the top 10 during the 2017 meet but skyrocketed to first place in AAA with a mark of 13-06.00. After seven field events were scored, the Westminster boys led all of AAA with 52 points. Second-place Pierce County had 25, while third-place Pike County had 20.5. The Bleckley County boys led AA with 27 points, followed by Banks County (21) and Elbert County (20). Gordon Lee led A-Public with 37 points, followed by Commerce (33) and Montgomery County (32).

In the Clas AAAAAAA 4×100 meter relay preliminaries, the McEachern girls team, composed of Nilaja Florence, Tamiya Roberts, Jayda Parsons and Sequoya Hunter, qualified easily with a top score of 46.15 to continue their quest for consecutive golds in the event. After failing to qualify for the finals in last years AAAA 100-meter dash, Cross Creek’s JaTravious Stewart placed third in the preliminaries with a time of 10.81. Walton’s Tia Jones led the AAAAAAA girls 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.03. Behind her were Trinity Williams (14.31) of Westlake and Rayna Whyte (14.41) of McEachern, who both placed in the top four in last year’s finals. Returning AAAAAAA 100-meter dash champ Terell Smith of South Gwinnett had a time of 10.59 to best all other runners in the prelims. Wheeler’s Javaughn Moore ran a 21.39 in the AA 200-meter dash to place first in the preliminaries. After failing to qualify in the same race last year, Hillgrove’s Garrett Shedrick placed fourth in the prelims with a time of 21.48 to advance. Colquitt County’s Elizabeth Funderburk backed up her first-place finish in last year’s AAAAAAA 3200-meter run by claiming first place again, scoring a time of 10:28.77. The Parkview 4×400 meter relay team, composed of Marquis Lynch, Brandon Harvey, Matthew Chavers and Justin Long, placed first with a time of 3:16.27 in the preliminaries. Last year’s first-place finisher, Shiloh, placed third with a time of 3:17.64.

Southwest Dekalb’s Nicholas Edwards denied Jeremiah Pierce of Carrollton a chance at back-to-back titles in the boys AAAAA discus throw, besting the previous champ with a score of 175-03 to 174-04. Riverwood’s Pache’ Caldwell defended his spot at the top, winning gold in the boys AAAAA high jump with a mark of 6-10.00. Payton Phillips of Carrollton became the new leader of the girls AAAAA pole vault, scoring a solid 11-05.00. Last year’s winner, Mutnodjmet Debnam of Grady, placed third with a vault of 10-00.00. Pope’s Denise Issah placed second in last year’s girls AAAAAA triple jump. This meet, Issah took first place with a 39-08.25. In the boys Class 1 wheelchair shot put, last year’s second-place finisher O’lando Hicks of Houston County scored a 20-05.50 and took the event. Madison Watts, also of Houston County, scored an 11-00.00 in the girls Class 1 shot put for the title. Lithia Springs’ William Jones placed first in the boys AAAAA long jump after failing to place top-five last year, jumping a solid 23-11.25. During last year’s AAAAA triple jump, Fayette County’s Na’ilah Moore feel just short of first place. This year, she claimed first place with a score of 39-02.25. Alexander’s Brenda Ayuk placed first in the girls AAAAAA 1600-meter run finals with a time of 5:04.62. Placing second was Kira Stanley (5:08.27) with Riley Perlakowski (5:13.31) placing third. Starr’s Mill owned the boys AAAAA 1600-meter run. Harrison Fultz (4:19.56) and Nick Nyman (4:20.15) placed first and second, respectively.

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