Coaches Invitational Preview
It's going to be quite interesting to watch what frontrunners emerge in this four lap race! This year's field of distance girls will be a premiere race to watch. The 2014 Coaches Invitational will enter five girls under the 5:15 mark. Leading this competitive field is Alex Cameron of Dunwoody High School who was a February signee with Miami University of Ohio. Cameron is coming off of a stellar 2013 junior season becoming the defending AAAAA 1600 state champion and the 2013 GHSA State AAAAA XC runner-up. She will be pushed closely behind by Morgan Ilse, a junior from Marist. Ilse is coming off claiming the meet record in the 1600 at 5:08 at the Milton Showcase, and collecting an individual state title at the 2013 GHSA State AAAA XC Championship. A few other standouts to watch are Jenna Gearing of White County High School, UGA commitment Ann Gandolfo of Blessed Trinity and Shannon Fair of Aquinas who have run 5:10 in the 1600.
100 Meter Dash
The girls’ 100 meter dash competition will be fast and furious. There are 40 competitors running to be first and crowned champion in this year’s Coaches Invitational meet hosted by Pope HS. The top 11 girls entered in this year’s competition all have run under 12.5 seconds in previous meets. The top seeded young lady is Remel Williams of Alexander HS who has a seeded time of 11.98 seconds. Remel will be closely challenged by Maya Marshall of Sprayberry HS, who enters the race with a seeded time of 12.03 seconds. The remaining top sprinters in the field vying for top honors are Tee’ asiah Vance, Caitlin Tate, Justice Reeves, Kia Carson, Kahliyah Smith, Kevia Gonzales, China Amey, T’aja Cameron, and Alexis Adams .
Numerous quality athletes will compete this year in the 100 hurdles. Last year’s Coaches Invitational Runner-up and 6A State Champion, Shanel Burr (North Cobb) comes in as the meets top seed. There are several other ladies who could in the likes of Athena Carpenter (Pope) 2013 4th 5A , Chinyere Njoku (Fayette Count)y2013 4A State Runner Up, Kayla Stenson(Westlake) and Kelsey Heyward and Kyra Atkins of JL Mann.
In this year’s long jump event, we should see some great competition. There will be at least 30 competitors via for the top spot. There are 20 jumpers who are coming into the event with a mark of 16 feet or better. The top ten girls in this event all have jumped 17 feet or better. The top two jumpers, Shanel Burr of North Cobb HS and Mia Phillips of West Lake HS have both eclipsed the 18 foot mark in their careers. Shanel and Mia will be challenged by the following girls: Jakayla Hand, Jessica Watkins, Kyra Atkins, Bola Hambolu, Courtney Keaton, Atianza Smith, Camille Bentley, and Breonna Lockhart.
The triple jump should be an exciting event in this year’s Coaches Invitational hosted by Pope HS. We will have at least 30 competitors via for the top honors. There are at least 14 jumpers, who are entering the event with a jump of 35 feet or better. The top eight girls in this event all have triple jump marks of 35 feet or better. The top two jumpers in this year’s event are Kayla Stinson of Westlake HS and Jakayla Hand of Opelika HS. They both have triple jumped over 38 feet. Kayla and Jakayla will be challenged by the following girls: Camille franks, Alonie Sutton, Priscilla Wombie, Zion Lewis, Angel Nesbitt, and Gerodyn Jenkins
Another great field of jumpers this year to make it very competitive. Leading the field is defending champion Bailey Weiland of Marist who has jumped at this meet the previous three seasons and will get to continue jumping on this surface as she will be jumping for Georgia Tech. She has a PR of 5-8 and is also the defending 4A State Champion. Bailey will be challenged by Mary Terry, a junior from North Oconee, who jumped 5-7 indoors a few months ago and was second at the 3A State meet last year and Kristin Moroz of Chestatee who has jumped 5-4 and was eighth in the 4A State meet last year. Others that should make some noise are Kyra Atkins of J.L. Mann, Maya Marshall of Sprayberry, Anriel Howard of Westlake, and Elizabeth Tenoschok of Blessed Trinity.
4 x 1600
The girls 4 x 1600 is going to be another incredible race between several teams with depth and strength from their 2013 XC seasons! Peachtree Ridge ( 6A XC State Champions) and Lakeside Evans (2nd in 5A XC State Championships) will be leading the charge to put down some blistering times. Also in the hunt for the win will be Brookwood (2nd in 6A XC State Championships) and Walton (4th in 6A XC State Championships). All these teams have had solid track and field performances this season so far. It should make for an exciting race to watch.
4X!00 and 4X400
The sprint relays will be sizzling this year with some incredible talent. Westlake should lead the way after their stellar 2013 campaign where they went 1-2 in the 4X100 at the State meet in 6A and 2nd (3:47) in the 4X400. They could be challenged by several other schools in the likes of Smith’s Stations who currently leads Alabama in the 4X400, Other schools that have been competitive early season include JL Mann, Auburn and Grayson.
The 2014 Coaches Invitational will be welcoming top-seeded and UGA signee Daniel Navarro of Marist who already has blistered the track turning in an impressive 4:18 mile at the UK High School Invite. Navarro is proven he can handle big stages while running his way to an individual 2013 AAAA GHSA 1600 and 3200 meter state championship. We can't forget about Senior Kevin Mills of Peachtree Ridge High School. Mills is coming off of a personal best in the 3200 at the Jerry Arnold Georgia Challenge in 9:21. This is the same athlete who led his team XC team to a state runner-up at the 2013 GHSA AAAAAA State XC Championship while earning an individual title at 16:03. Bryan Kamau of Shiloh High School will be on the heels of Mills, and has also turned in an impressive 4:23. A few other standouts in this race to watch that can claim a medal are: Logan Hughes of Greenbrier High School, Christian Bowles of Lakeside High School, Reilly Friedman from the Galloway School, and a duo from Auburn High School in Alabama, Dylan Ogburn and Adam Ruggles.
This event will be one of the most competitive events of the meet having 14 boys under 11.0. Top seed times have been turned in by Ryan Clark, (Banneker), Jeffrey Uzzell (Eagles Landing Christian), Trent Terrell (Carrollton), and Josh Poole (Westlake). Don’t blink at this start of this race or you could miss it!!!!
Jeremy Duffy (Shiloh) comes in as the 110 hurdles top seed and is currently ranked 2nd is Georgia. He will have his hands full with the likes of Justin Pizarro (Peachtree Ridge), Daniel Roberts (Luella) and Orlando McKinley (Westlake) who have all been running well early this season.
Alex Richemond, the top seeded triple jumper this year comes from Centennial HS. Last season Alex was the 6A State Runner Up in the long jump with a jump of 22’10.25”
We also have Kartez Hall from Grayson, who went 22’6.5” in his first meet of the year in February, and 2 time state qualifier, Preston Williams from Lovejoy, who took 5th last year at the state meet. Preston is entered into the meet with a mark of 22’5”.
These you men will make for some high flying entertainment and good competition.
In this year’s Coaches Invitational hosted by Pope HS, the boys’ triple jump should be fun to watch. There are at least 30 competitors from various southeastern states competing for the top honors. There are at least 7 young men who are coming into the competition with marks of 45 feet or better. The top seeded performer is Jeremy McDuffie of Shiloh HS. He enters the competition with a seeded triple jump of 48-2.5’. Preston Williams of Lovejoy HS is the next top seeded triple jumper with a mark of 47-9’. The remaining top seeded triple jumpers are Marquis Barnes, Devante Kershaw, DeAngelo Cammons, Dj Ezell, Daniel Roberts, and DeVonte Jackson, all have marks of 45 feet or better. Good luck to all the competitors.
This year’s Coaches Invitation at Georgia Tech will feature most of the State of Georgia’s best Pole Vaulters for 2013. The competition for the girls and the boys is an excellent preview of this year’s State Championship Track Meet and the top marks for the Girls event is 12’-0” and for the Boys is 14’-1”. Come out to see and support the strongest pole vault competition of the year. Mitt Conerly 2013 State Runner-up 3A (Central HS) is the top seed but will be challenged by Hayden Williams(Auburn) and John Rudd (North Atlanta). On the ladies side State of Georgia leading vaulter Carson Dingler (First Presbyterian). Rachel Sherril (Dacula) ranked 4th in Georgia, Emma Batch 2013 5A 5th place (Allatoona) and Elizabeth Locklier (Auburn) all have been impressive through the early part of the season.
The boy’s high jump should be as exciting as last year’s 6A State Championship as we have last year’s champion along with fourth and sixth place finishers. Joseph Woodbury of Westlake comes in with a state leading 6-10 and is the defending 6A State champion. Bailey Vitatoe of Brookwood is a 6-8 jumper and finished fourth at 6A last year. He jumped at the Coach’s Invitational his freshman and sophomore years but missed last year and it will be great to see him back. John Paul Harvey of North Gwinnett is another 6-8 jumper who finished sixth at 6A last year. Other jumpers that will make this a very competitive event are Josh Foxx of Coahulla Creek and teammates Malik Sheppard and DeAntoinoe Cammons of Carrollton.
The boys 4 x 1600 should be a huge battle with 6 teams posting times sub 18:30. Brookwood, Auburn, Walton, Peachtree Ridge and Mill Creek are all distance powerhouses who will not disappoint on the track. Brookwood and Peachtree Ridge finished 1st and 2nd respectively in the 2013 6A State XC Championships. Auburn is coming off a 2013 6A Alabama State Championship win! This could to be a record setting race!
4X100 and 4X400
Auburn returns to the Coaches Invitational after a stellar performance in 2013. They are the top seed in the 4X100 and 4X400 however Westlake will be up for a challenge after winning the 6A State Championship in 2013. Other sprint dominant schools that could challenge include Greenbrier, 2013 5A State Runner up 4X100, Grayson 2013 6A State Runner up 4X100, and Banneker 4A 4th 4X400 , North Gwinnett and Shiloh.