Atlanta Games Invitational Preview
The 6th Annual Atlanta Games Invitational, hosted by Grady HS, returns to Lakewood Stadium on Saturday, March 10th, for what promises once again, to be one of the fastest, most efficiently ran and largest early season meets in the state. MileSplit GA will be onsite shooting photos to be posted nlt than Sunday evening, please be patient, as hundreds of meets in the USA are also going to be uploading...
With 33 schools slated to compete, including, traditional speed, hurdle and jumps powers, Westlake (boys and girls), SW DeKalb (boys), MLK (girls), Campbell (boys and girls), Cedar Grove (boys), as well as teams near the top of their classification rankings in the first quarter of the season, including Riverwood International (boys and girls), Griffin HS (boys) and Dutchtown HS (boys) in 5A and East Coweta (boys) in the 7A, competition. The track should be blazing, even as the temperature struggles to reach the mid 60s.
Keys to the meet
The Girls relays are shaping up as a Battle Royale, between Westlake and MLK . Both squads have broken 47 seconds in the 4x100 meter relay during the first few weeks of the 2018 campaign. And, both ladies relay squads have went sub 4:00 in the 4x400 meter relay in earlier meets.
On the Boys side of the 4x100 meter relay, Westlake appears to lead the pack, with a 41.80 seed time. Others in the mix, include Heritage, Griffin, New Manchester, Dutchtown, Campbell and Eagle's Landing Christian.
SW DeKalb's (3:20 seed time), whose 4x400, is entered at slower seed time than its season's best, appears headed to a "Clash of the Titans" with New Manchester (3:20.5 seed time), Cedar Grove (3:25.5 seed time) and Westlake (3:27 seed time).
Once again, the Atlanta Games 100 meters is shaping up to be quite swift. The final heats of the boys race pits nine athletes with sub-11 second PRs, with three athletes under 10.70, including: Maynard Jackson's Hassan Hall (10.65), Richmond Hill's L' Marquez Prather (10.60), and MLK's Jhivon Wilson (10.61). Cedar Grove's Israel Spivey has a PR of 10.76.
The Girls 100 meters, showcases three athletes with sub-12 second PRs, including MLK's Kayla Hunt (11.85), Westlake's Kennedy Price (11.98) and Riverwood's Kennedy Lewis (11.95).
The girls 200m, features three athletes under 25 seconds, including MLK's Kayla Hunt (24.80), Lovejoy's Alexis Williams (24.37) and MLK's Lauren Euler (24.66).
Richmond Hill's Prather and MLK's Wilson, are the only sub-22 second entries in the boys' race, with Wilson at 21.67 and Wilson at 21.88. Griffin's Jeremiah Lewis, the early season leader in class 5A at 22.09 and teammate Darryl Matthews at 22.18, as well as Cedar Grove's Spivey at 22.10, could play roles in the outcome as well.
The Boys 400 meters, has five sub-50 second entries, including: SW DeKalb's Justin Tomlin (48.48), Dutchtown's Ja'Shaun Poke (49.18), Lovejoy's Rodney Tookes (49.49), New Manchester's Darius Ragland at (49.50), defending Class AA state champion Phillip Jackson of South Atlanta (49.84) and Lithia Springs' William Jones (49.95), who leads the meet's long jump entries.
The Girls 400 meters, pits three athletes with PRs in the 55-56 second range. Leading the one lappers are: MLK's Euler at 55.90, Charles Drew's Shatara Johnson at 55.93, also the top entry in the girls long jump, and Drew teammate Danielle Chambers at 56.35.
Westlake's Cameron Murray, whose 2017 PR of 13.53 landed at him at No. 6 spot in the year-end Milesplit national rankings, appears to be the favorite in the 110 Hurrdles. Bragging rights. are also at stake for neighboring Rockdale and Henry counties. Henry entries feature Luella's Latrell Murray (14.19), the early season all-classification leader in the 300 hurdles at 38.00, clocked a week ago at Griffin's Coach Irwin Ross Invitational. Rockdale's challenger is Heritage's Jordan Young (14.21).
The Girls 100 meter hurdles has one sub 14-second entry, Stockbridge's Darci Khan at 13.79.
The Boys 300m Hurdles
The boys 300m Hurdles race is shaping up as a Border Battle, Part 2, between Rockdale and Henry counties, as Dutchtown's Kameron Jones (38.45) and Heritage's Young (38.64) are the only sub-40 second entries.
The Girls 300m Hurdles entrants, are led by MLK's Ayonna Dennis at 45.32, Campbell's duo of Raina Perry at 45.29 and Camille Trotman at 45.89 and Stockbridge's Faith McDowell at 45.88. Westlake's Arieaunna Terrell may have a say with an entry time of 46.11.
The Girls 800 may turn into a brisk-paced half mile with four athletes with times faster than 2:20. The quintet includes: Westlake's Tai Brown (2:16.80) Langston Hughes' Lauren Lewis (2:18), Campbell's Makylah Jones (2:18.34) and New Manchester's Alexia Allen (2:18.71).
East Coweta's Kyle Harkabuabus (1:57.35) is the lone sub-2:00 entry in the boys 800 meters. Lovejoy's Rodney Tookes (2:00.64), Richmond Hill's Sam Jones (2:00.78) and Eagle's Landing Christian's Andy Mayer (2:01.98) may break two minutes.
The Girls 1600 features five sub-5:30 runners, led by Dunwoody's Samantha Cameron (5:16.13). Athletes expected to push Cameron are Chamblee's Beining Xiao (5:19.05), Richmond Hill's Kayla Gholar (5:20.20), Langston Hughes' Lewis (5:24.31) and Dunwoody's Kelly May Sheehan (5:24.87).
East Coweta's Kyle Harkabus, leads of field of two sub-4:20, three sub-4:30 and six sub-4:40 1600 meter runners. This includes: Heritage's Jallah Galimah (4:19.33), Richmond Hill's duo of Jalen Murray (4:24.18) and Rakeem Littles (4:31.51), Grady's Isaiha Davis (4:36.74) and Dunwoody's Max Mowrer (4:36.86).
The Girls 3200m has two sub-12:00 DeKalb County entrants expected to separate from the pack to battle each other, Chamblee's Beining (11:16.55) and Dunwoody's Cameron (11:35.95).
Heritage's Galimah (9:35.39) leads a group of three sub-10:00 boys' 3200 runners, which also includes Richmond Hill teammates Rakeem Littles (9:46.10) and Jalen Murray (9:49.37).
Campbell's Rachel Robertson (38-9.25) leads a group three competitors with PRs of 36 feet or better. The others include: Grady's Mutnodjmet Debnam (37-0) and Chamblee's Khiara White (36-10).
The Boys Triple Jump, has three entrants just under 45 feet: Heritage's Jalen Giles (44-10), Cedar Grove's Kortney Cox (44-5) and Eagle's Landing Christian's Sean Queen (44-4.5).
Campbell's Roberston (5-6) also leads a group of high jumpers with PRs of 5-4 or better. The others include Luella's Jada Blanton (5-4), Cedar Grove's Mynaisha Mitchell (5-4) and Robertson's Campbell teammate, Camille Trotman (5-4).
With a late scratch of state leader Pache' Caldwell (6-10 PR) of Riverwood, East Coweta's Brayden Carey (6-6) has the leading mark in the boys high jump. Heritage's Devron Harper and Griffin's Amanuel McDowell have cleared 6-4. Five additional athletes have entry marks of 6-2.
Lithia Springs' William Jones (23-3), the Class 5A leader and Eagle's Landing Christian's Queen (23-2.25) look to lead a field of jumpers that includes 11 athletes with marks of 21 feet or better.
Charles Drew's Shatara Johnson, the state leader at 20-9, heads a group of six girls long jumpers with marks of 18 feet or better, including Griffin's Sade James (19-3.5).
Grady's Mutnodjmet Debnam, the defending Class 5A state champion, has the top mark in the girls pole vault, 9-6.
Three boys entrants in the pole vault have marks of 12 feet or higher, including Riverwood's Nick West (12-4), Maynard Jackson's Osazi Alkhaliq (12-0) and East Coweta's Jason Higgens (12-0).
Five athletes have marks over 100 feet in the girls discus. The group is lead by Campbell's Lailah Malone at 106-9.
Southwest DeKalb's Nicholas Edwards, with a PR of 166-0, leads a group that includes four competitors with throws exceeding 130-0, including East Coweta's Ethan Brown (144-11), Grady's Colby Williams (134-8) and Westlake's Brandon Simmons (133-0.5).
Heritage's Camille Saunders leads entrants in the girls' shot put with an entry mark of 37-4.5.
The Boys' Shot Put appears to be a showdown in the making between East Coweta's Joshua Render (52-5) and Southwest DeKalb's Nicholas Edwards (52-1.5).