Tifton Gazette

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February 26, 2014

Tift High track season begins Saturday

TIFTON — Not long after the sun rises Saturday morning, there will be a group of people gathered at Tift County High. There will be buses in the parking lot, coaches checking lists, athletes limbering and a group of supporters wiping the remaining dew off metal bleachers.

When 9 a.m. rolls around, track season will start with the Blue Devil Invitational and Alonzo Hampton will get his first real chance to evaluate his roster.

"We're excited to see where we're at," he said. "The kids have been working hard." Hampton leads the boys while Mike Collier is in charge of the girls.

Earlier this week, Hampton said 10 teams had signed up for the meet, but there were spots for a couple more. Outside of the host, those schools were Brookstone, Camden County, Coffee, Colquitt County, Fitzgerald, Randolph-Clay, Thomasville, Valdosta, Warner Robins and Westover.

Hampton said he was returning several athletes from last year.

Among them are Danny Patterson, who runs the 110 and 300 hurdles, Devarious Butler, Gary Stevenson, Philip Rodriguez and Chris Davis, who he labeled as "probably our top sprinter."

There will be some new blood as well. "We have some younger guys, too," he said.

After the Invitational, they have several meets lined up. March 8 will find them at the Bainbridge Invitational. Later in the month, they have back-to-back Saturdays at the Monroe and Lowndes Invitational. They will make a return trip April 11 to Albany for the Westover Relays.

Region, scheduled for April 17, and sectionals on April 26 are both scheduled to be held in Tifton. The sectional tournament will involve regions 1, 2, 7 and 8.

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