It did not take long for the first Field Event marks to fall as LB Joel of Westminster destroyed the AA class mark improving in each set ending with a 177-09 volley which got the Wildcats rolling on their way to 36 day 1 points. Then monster Davis Fraker must have been offended as each time he unleashed the discus the crowd would respond with his bombs as he ended the competition besting AA Joel's mark for the Best in Class Award with a mark of 181-01 and setting a new State record in AAAA. Fraker also won the 4A Shot in 61-05.75.
In the AA High Jump Maalik Reynolds of Westminster set a new class record with a clearance of 6-11 adding to the dominant Cats efforts. Riverwood's Darius King also joined the 7-0 club winning the 3A High Jump. Although, a 5A class record was not set, Lovejoy's DJ Smith just missed at 7-04 after successfully clearing 7-02 to win the title after a classic duel with Douglass star Braylon Williams who also cleared 7-00! On a side note, it was very refreshing to watch DJ compete as he radiated a love for his event and enthusiasm that I have never seen, not to mention the unique personal relationship he and his very positive father share and all of us around the pit engaged with their rappore. However, Raymond Higgs of Athens Christian after winning 2 events in the horizontal jumps felt refreshed an hour out of the Triple Jump and came in the competition at 6-08 and on his 3rd attempt cleared 7-02.25 to set the A State record and win the Best in Class trophy.
But, the horizontal jumpers wanted their due respect and man will they get it for years to come. Higgs of ACS made things definitely the most nail-biting as Schley County's Carmetrick Ross led him by 3" going into the final jump. ACS's fans clung next to the fence, stood and clapped in unison and Higgs who is used to this kind of enthusiasm in the Bahamas for Track and Field responded to the energy and busted out a jump of 24-03 to win the title and set a new class record in the process. MLK's Demar Forbes has been on the National Club scene and we got to view a plethora of his marks during Indoor season and he did not disapoint at Jeffeson as set a new 5A class mark of 24-06.50. But, oh goodness, I heard him shout out in joy and watched him dance at the far pit, though most of us at Memorial were unaware that Stephen Hill of Miller Grove had hit a big one, a really big one of 25-08.75! That is an All-Class State record and the #1 jump of ALL TIME in Ga HS Track and Field HIstory!
Some other athletes having stellar performances were Jefferson's Tyler Porter as he cleared 15-0 to win the AA Vault after a nice challenge by David Yates of Westminster who set a Wildcat school record at 14-0 and snapped a pole completely in half attempting 14-06. Porter had 3 good attempts athe AA record though. Damien Johnson of Burke County doubled in the 3A horizontal jumps with marks of 24-01.50 in the LJ and a very impressive 49-05.75 in the TJ. Flowery Branch strongman Daniel Drummond won both Throws events with winning marks of 169-06 and 57-06.50. Nabil Mubarak of Grayson doubled in the 5A Throws with marks of 162-01 and 60-03.50. Paul Malquist of Gainesville HS had the premier Vault of the day clearing 15-06 to capture the Best in Class Award.
Jake Lethbridge took control of the race along with bro Matt after lap 1 and he cruised to his 4th consecutive 1600 meter title with Matt taking 2nd again!Connor Chesser held off a determined Brandon Banks of East Jackson in an attempt to double in the 1600 and 800. (Mr Harrison of Lovett-please excuse me announcing you as Kyle James, sorry)Nolan Clarke pushed the pace from the start in this race. Sparks led for about a lap, then Will Ficklen powered past him with around 250m left and took the 1600m title.This race was a mild upset by AJ Meyer of NW Whitfield as he ran down Vince Brown of McIntosh for the victory in 4:27 in a very slow tactical race. Kirubel Erassa went out fast and held on without a serious challenge down the stretch taking 1st with a time of 4:17.36. Brian Detweiler took 2nd and Alec Clifford of North Cobb was 3rd.(For all races see the Video footage for more detail)