TIFTON — Two Tift County athletes are guaranteed a slot in the state track and field finals this week after qualifying at the Class 7A sectionals meet May 7.
Bailee Williams earned 3rd in the shot put and Ethan Jackson was 5th in discus. The sectional returned to TCHS for the first time since 2014.
Williams’ best throw was 35’7.5”, her second attempt in the second flight of competitors. While she threw the shot, Jackson was competing a few hundred feet away in discus. Jackson’s best heave was 143’3”. He missed four place by two feet.
State will be at McEachern in Powder Springs. Both will be in action on the first day, May 12. Jackson will go first in the discus at noon and Williams will throw the shot at 3 p.m.
Lowndes fared the best of Region 1-7A’s teams, with eight victories on the day, according to official results posted to MileSplit, and qualified 32 athletes for state in 19 events (11 for the Vikettes). Camden County won one event and has 10 individuals going to state.
Tift and Colquitt County each qualified for state in two events. For Colquitt, it’s by one person, Carlos Moore, who is going in the 110 hurdles and triple jump. He placed 6th in the former and 7th in the latter.
Lowndes’ Kaniya Johnson won both the 100- and 200-meter dashes, the former in 11.92 seconds and the latter in 23.97. Kaedron Thomas qualified in the same events for the VIkettes, in 4th and 8th place, respectively. Thomas additionally earned an individual 2nd in the 300 hurdles.
Like the Vikettes, the Vikings had speed where it mattered most. Tydreke Thomas joined Johnson in sweeping the 100 and 200. He won the 100 in the 10.76 seconds and the 200 in 21.80.
The Vikettes won three of four relay races at sectionals.
Thomas, Johnson, Kenyere Walden and Kaylan McConnehead combined to earn 1st in the 4x100 relay. The 4x200 also went their way, courtesy of Liberty Bell, Taleyah Belcher, Trinity Hunter and My’Asia Howard’s 1:42.81, being less than two-tenths faster than Marietta. Their 3:58 in the 4x400 was six seconds faster than Marietta. Hunter, Johnson, Howard and McConnehead were the combo in this event.
Thomas, Michael Eady, Jacarre’ Fleming and Keylan Hicks won the 4x100 in 41.58 seconds.
Camden’s victory was by Deonte Cole in long jump at 23’8”. Tai’anah Graham was 5th in the 100 hurdles for the Lady Wildcats.
Other Lady Devils individually competing for at sectionals were: Diamond Wallace (100), Makali Hall (400), Autumn Griner (800), Lily Bruce (100 hurdles and high jump), KaLiyah Barber (300 hurdles), Kayla Newton (pole vault), Trinity Long (shot put) and Williams (discus).
Had Hall been all of one second faster, she was would have made state in the 400. Bruce needed the same for a spot in the state meet in the 100 hurdles.
Hall, Tamyra Carter, Skye McCrae and Diamond Wallace teamed up for the 4x100. Carter, Daisy Robinson, McCrae and Hall ran in the 4x400.
Individual Blue Devils at sectionals were: Jalon Miller (400), Will Clark (1,600 and high jump), DeAvernette Matthews (300 hurdles), Bernard Tindall (triple jump), Liam Gray (shot put and discus) and Andrew Taylor and Trevor Gebhart vied in the pole vault.
Like Hall in the 400, Miller was one second removed from going to McEachern for the finals. He finished 10th. Tindall was a tad more than a foot shy of qualifying for the triple jump championship.
Antron Johnson, Tyler Parker, Donterrius Whitaker and Amarion Nelson ran in the 4x100. Jaylen Green, Nelson, Parker and Miller began the 4x200, but were unable to finish because of an injury to Parker. Miller, Gebhart, Clark and Whitaker were together for the 4x400 and Jabari Jones, Gebhart, Tindall and Clark competed in the 4x800.