With 16 Athletes having qualifying times of 4:34 or better, the boys 1600 looks to be an exciting one to watch in AAAAA. There are some definite favorites to be seen by what times have been posted so far this year. Brad Hort has had an incredible Senior season. He has a State Championship in Cross Country, Foot Locker qualifier, and a sub-4:20 in the 1600 at his Region meet. Patrick Fleming also boasts a 4:18 1600 this season. From the other sectional, Josiah Jenkins of Cedar Shoals has shown he is a force to be reckoned with as he ran a very impressive 4:23. I will never forget watching the brotherly love he showed in the 3200 two years ago. But his brother is not going to be in this race. Beyond these guys is a close knit field of incredible talent that will be lying in the waits to claim a medal or perhaps an upset. The 800m will once again feature Fleming who cranked out a 1:57.07 just besting NS Columbus athlete Abraham Perez by .7 (Perez beat his seed time by :07..Richmond Hill's Corey Jones comes into Jefferson with the top 5A time at 1:55.37 and Lakeside DeKalb's Jedrek Higgins has a pr of 1:57.44 Others in the mix if the Q' to Finals could be Rahiim Aponte of Miller Grove, Taylor Huntley of McIntosh, Rafael Salis of North ATL.... The 3200m has at least 11 runners who have went sub 10: The lead pack should include Minnesota native Sidney Spier (9:32) Brandon Cromer of Union Grove (9:39), Jenkins of Cedar Shoals (9:46), Christian Bowles of Lakeside-Evans (9:40) and Chase Fowers (9:42). The question is will someone take it out hard and try to hang on or will the pace be steady, with everyone in a pack becoming a kicker's race?
Points will be at a premium as Grovetown's Darius Watkins has the potential to double in the 100/200m at (10.59/21.58) along with Lithia Springs' Derrick White 200/400m races with pr's of 21.66/48.60 A few other burners will have ops as well including Creekside's Evan Berry in the 100/200m (10.54/21.81), Marquett Simmons of Mt.Zion-Jonesboro (10.79/21.88), Jeremy Harden of Greenbrier (10.61/21.70) The 400m race will be quite a battle with White of Lithia Springs contending with Darius Statham of Mays (47.99), Devante Rochelle of Arabia Mountain (48.54), Ventavius Sears of NS Columbus (48.83) among others a step behind including Warren Coombs of Greenbrier, Justin Wimberely of Ola and Matthew Rather of Dunwoody.
The 110 hurdles will feature Myles Hunter of Heritage Conyers as he boats the fastest time this Spring in 14.47 followed by NS Columbus' Ja'Tarius Moore who will be racing for much needed team points w/ a pr of 14.69 Other contenders to medal may include Jordan Jackson of Kell, the Starrs Mill duo of Daniel Roberts and Taylor Brunskole, Kevondre Hunt of NS Warner Robins and Craig Sheffield of Windsor Forest who pr'd at Sections by almost a second at 14.84 One minute mistake could make the difference of who takes home the Gold in the 300 hurdles race as .24 separates the top 4 athletes beginning with Daron Mittchell of Miller Grove in 38.77, SW DeKalb's Christopher Morris at 38.87, Myles Hunter at 38.88, Kevondre Hunt at 38.91 and Hardaway's Rick Barry 39.01
The relay races will be HUGE for team scoring and on the track MLK had the fastest 4x100m squad in 41.64 followed by Cedar Shoals in 41.70, Creekside in 41.72, Sprayberry in 42.03 and Grovetown in 42.06 If it all comes down to the 4x400m relay Saturday. Miller Grove burned down a 3:18 at Region, and Cedar Shoals who perennially has strong 4x400m squads clocked a 3:22.08 Other speedy schools are Mt.Zion-Jonesboro at 3:20.87, Northgate 3:21.51 and Dunwoody at 3:21.38
Beginning with the throws North Paulding will get on the board Thursday thanks to Josh Whitener who is a clear favorite in the Shot w/ a pr of 56-01 along with (brother?) Seth Whitener at 51-0.25 Josh could get a much vaunted Thrower's double as he's tossed the Discus 147-8. Both are products of Throw1deep's guru Mike Judge. Josh Laughlin of Loganville is the top 4A Discus man with a pr of 156-07 and Quintis Maddox of Salem has a pr toss of 152-04. Blake Jones of Harris County won his Sectional with a mark of 149-06
Let's begin with the Vault as 5A is the cream of the crop by Class and a not miss event this Thursday. Featuring the only athlete to clear 16-0 this season (pr of 16-4.75) is Tray Oates from Allatoona HS. Tray is the favorite to win the Best Performance Award in this event and voiced his opinion earlier today on some recent vault hot topics, lol..Jeff Jernigan of Lakeside-DeKalb recently cleared 15-01 at Region and there are a trio of vaulters in the 14' club competing including Cambridge's Hawk Hammer (what a name!) at 14-06, Allatoona's Hunter Arnold at 14-01 and Richard Berthold from Starr's Mill who pr'd at Sectionals for the home crowd at 14-0. In the HJ Tyjon Williams of Effingham County has cleared 6-10 this season (went out at Sectionals at 6-0 for 7th), Qua Stocks of Woodland-Stockbridge soared to new heights at Sectionals at 6-08, Demetrius Simon of Hiram also went 'vertical' at Sections clearing 6-06. Others sure to be in the hunt are Dominique Brown of Greenbrier, Michael Callaway of Warner Robins and a swarm at 6-04.
The LJ competition at Sectionals was intense as winner Christian Walker of Mays flirted with the 23' mark hitting 22-11 along with Hardaway's Justin Crawford. Marquett Simmons of Mt.Zion has a pr this Spring .50 behind them and also looking to challenge 4" back is Denzel Harper from Stephenson. Ventavius Sears of NS Columbus won his Sectional at 47-00 in the TJ besting #1 jumper Joseph Spann from Ola whose pr coming in is 48-06. Kevondre Hunt of NS Robins squeaked thru at 5A East in 8th though he's pr'd at 46-05...