The Tiftarea Academy Lady Panthers won the GISA Region 3-AA track meet Wednesday in Shellman, claiming the region crown for at least the fourth consecutive year.

The Tiftarea Panthers boys team finished fourth at the meet. Both teams had first-, second- and third-place finishers. The top four finishers in each event will compete in the state meet starting Thursday at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany.

“We had a pretty good day,” said Tiftarea coach Chip Champion.

The coach said the win for the girls was not a surprise.

“You don’t ever expect to win, but we felt pretty good going in,” he said.

He said the girls’ hard work shows in competitions.

“They work hard, and they’re reaping the benefits of some hard work now,” Champion said.

The girls won the region meet with a 118 points, edging out Brookwood School, which had 103 points. Brookwood claimed the boys’ title while the Tiftarea boys scored 48 points to finish fourth.

For the Lady Panthers, Alexis Sumner won the pole vault with a vault of eight feet. Julie Teel won the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.94 seconds and won the 200-meter dash with a time of 27.13 seconds. Sam Koran triumphed in the 400-meter dash with a time of 65.97 seconds.

The girls four by 400 relay team of Koran, Allison Brown, Courtney Albritton and Lynley Grace Taylor also finished first with a time of four minutes, 36 seconds.

Taylor also finished second in the 3,200-meter dash. Heather Kelly placed second in the long jump. Teel placed second in the high jump.

The four by 100 relay team of Teel, Koran, Albritton and Kelly finished second. Sumner was the runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles, and Taylor was second in the 1,600-meter dash.

Albritton placed second in the 400-meter hurdles. Sumner was second in the 300-meter hurdles. Brittney Bradley finished second in the 800-meter hurdles.

Brown placed third in the triple jump. Sam Jones finished third in the shot put contest and placed third in the discus competition. Brown was third in the mile run.

Champion said the boys performed well at the meet considering the small number of boys from the school that compete in track. Many of the athletes also play other spring sports which has limited their track practicing.

“With limited practice time, I thought they did well,” Champion said.

One of the Panthers first-place finishes was in the high jump where a pair of Tiftarea students — Thomas Ganas and Matthew Souter — tied for first with a jump of five feet, 10 inches. Will Fender also won the discuss competition with a throw of 120 feet, three inches.

Fender also placed third in the shot put. The boys four by 100 relay team of Ganas, Souter, Chandler Hammond and Cody Johnson also placed third.

Evan Ray was third in the 400-meter dash, and Hammond was third in the 200-meter dash.

“We have some kids that I feel will do well at the state meet next week,” Champion said.

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