all Images by Bruce Taylor ga.milesplit.com
Brookwood did what many other teams have done before and survived Saturday finals thanks to Kisean Smith's 2nd place finish in the 800 meters. The Broncos rode their strength in the Field and distance events the first 2 days and had to sit back and watch things unfold Saturday and they heaved a giant breath of relief at the end of the 4x400 as Luella's baton was knocked loose 2 strides from the finish, it appeared by Westlake perhaps. Coffee was a surprising 2nd overall due to Tyreek Hill's explosiveness at 34 points. Mill Creek and Wheeler drew at 33 points with unfortunate Luella in 5th at 32....
Other teams/individuals grabbing wins were Luella as they walked away with the 4x100 relay win led by Tadashi Pinder clocking a 41.54 Martez Hester of North Cobb turned in the best time of 2012 and he did not let up in the Finals posting a 47.26 for the gold medal. After Hill drove the crowd wild in the 100 meter dash and Moore of MLK dominated the 110 hurdles it was time for the 800...Westlake's Thomas Miller was not playing as jetting around the first turn taking an early lead and held it for almost 600 meters as Yoonis and Kisean Smith stalked him. In the homestretch Yoonis made his move and took the lead holding form hlding off both to the best 800m performance of the day in 1:52.06 Alan Frye of Campbell came out on top in the 300 hurdles clocking a 37.46 winning by nearly 1.4 seconds. McEachern passed both Luella and Westlake before the foul ocurred earning a well deserved comeback victory in the 4x400 relay to cap off the Georgia Olympics.
Kell capitalized on their 2 stars, who both have female siblings that also are great athletes led by Devon Williams and Jordan Chambers. Williams sealed the title in the 300 hurdles by holding form over the final 2 flights (hurdles) as this event had several casulties in each class. Cedar Shoals was in contention until Jamario Calhoun tripped on the next to last hurdle in the 300h and devastated walked off the track failing to finish. In the 4x400 Cedar compounded their woes picking up an 'unsportsmanlike conduct dq' in the 4x400 relay tossing a baton at the finish line. Sprayberry took advantage anchored by Michael Newton's talent as he swooshed to a resounding victory in the 4x400. Newton tracked down May's anchor taking the baton nearly 15 meters behind. Creekside rode the strength of their sheer speed winning the 4x100 in 41.23, followed by Evan Berry and Sidney Buchanon adding 9 points in the 200 meters. Devon Williams and Jamario Calhoun were 2 flights of hurdles away from the line as Calhoun hit a hurdle and tumbled taking him out of it giving Williams (37.45) a huge win for Kell clinching the team title
Newton just torched everyone in the 400 meters flying around the oval earning the best performance award easily clocking a 46.62 setting a new class record. The 100 meters was blazin' as Clarke Central's Quenshaun Watson won in a loaded race in 10.55 followed by Alex Phillips of Fayette in 10.66 and Evan Berry of Creekside in 10.67. Devon Williams' win the 110h was huge for Kell teamwise in 14.18 followed by Jonesboro's Taurean Ferguson in 14.32 Brandon Coombs of Greenbrier was not going to be denied a victory in the 800 as he hung strong taking the lead on the last lap with a surge and held off Salem's Dontavious Wright down the stretch in a hotly contested battle recording a 1:52.88
As mentioned above the 4x400 relay was a train wreck the final 100+ meters as 4 teams were Dq'd for violations ranging from 2-throw batons, unsportsmanlike conduct and 'shortening the course' None of which affected Sprayberry or Mays as they were out of range from the infractions and focused on running.
Carrollton was loaded coming into Saturday and may have even overachieved surpassing Westover after the 200m and poured it on the final 2 events scoring a total of 58 points. Charles Drew lost the services of their top sprinter due to an injury in prelims abd it showed when Monroe Area took advantage clocking the best time of the day so far, winning the 4x100m relay in 41.86 with Carrollton beginning their run for the gold placing 2nd in 41.93. The 400m featured a nice duel between Tamaric Johnson of Stone Mountain and Drew's DeAndre McBride as both went sub 48 but Johnson was stronger on this day holding his form placing 1st in 47.54. With Drew's Jadarius West out of contention in the 100 (although he still took up a lane and trotted down the Track to score) the race was up for grabs and DeVon Lewis of Sandy Creek seized the opportunity racing to a 10.79 winning the gold with Chestatee's speedy Brandon Thompson taking 2nd in 10.89.
Jonathan Jones then flat out smoked everyone in the 110h as he took the lead from the gun and after 4 flights had a 1 flight lead over the field pulling away looking very smooth, energizing the fans clocking a 13.69 pushing Carrollton closer to Westover...
Zane Coburn of Grady had already earned the top performance of the meet in the 1600m and sporting a pr of 1:53 was the man to beat in the 800m. Coburn ran flawlessly taking an inside route after the break seizing the lead and with great turnover creating 10 meters of separation by the bell maintaining his lead throughout winning in 1:52.87. Adam Jones put his patented closing speed to use again placing 2nd again to Coburn in 1:54.58.
It was the same old song and dance in the 200m just like the 400m a couple hours earlier as Johnson and McBride dueled again with Tamaric Johnson of Stone Mountain winning in 21.38. Jones of Carrollton was pushed in the 300h race by Ian Cadger of Woodward Academy but with a team title at stake he held off a game Cadger putting the Trojans on top for good clinching another Boys state title for Coach Craig Musselwhite. Stone Mountain was untouchable in the 4x400m as they established an early lead never looking back establishing a new all-class record in 3:15.28
Filling out the team Podium was Westover thanks to their field events barrage Thursday with 45 points, Woodward with a balanced team performance at 37 and Charles Drew at 34 even though severely hampered by losing West to injury in the prelims..
In true fashion the team title came down to the last event with 2 squads having a chance to earn a championshiop including Westminster and Putnam County. Oglethorpe County also had much riding on this race to determine their place on the Podium. North Oconee fought their way to a surprising lead before Finals began with 27 points. Putnam had plenty of quality firepower available and struck quickly placing 2nd in the 4x100m relay narrowly besting Elbert County bolstered by Crawford and Carl Buckner clocking a 42.40 behind winner Lamar County as they sped to gold in 42.40. Then the best athlete in class AA took over as Jabrelle Crawford ran like a man among boys taking an early lead and powered smoothly away giving Putnam 10 big points surging the War Hawks closer to the top of the leaderboard in 47.23 winning over 2.6 seconds..
Battling a headwind of 2.1 meters per second, the AA Boys 100m times were definitely affected and favored the stronger man with Swainsboro's Rico Johnson coming out of the fray winning the gold in 11.05, though Elbert Co. scored 8 points thanks to Marquice Dye as he drove to an 11.06. Dye did not disapoint in the 110 hurdles as he won a hard fought battle in 14.55 just edging out Calhoun's Andrew Slaton in 14.58. The Patriots of Oglethorpe picked up 5 points with a 4th place finish by Kendrick Presley.
Some had to wonder going into the 800m final if Putnam's Crawford would be tired after his sterling 400m win but he put any doubters to rest running his race doing exactly what he needed to do by just winning, holding off a cadre of frustrated chasers making sure no one got too close using his strength and speed down the stretch putting Putnam ahead after his 1:56.76. Sy of Decatur, Whitman of Oglethorpe, Williams of Albany and freshman TJ Witherspoon of Thomasville (who is also a 4.0 student) fought it out for medals down the homestretch with Sy .001 ahead of Whitman placing 2nd in 1:58.38. Chris Jones of Brooks County wasn't going to go home to Quitman without a gold as won the 200m race in 22.07 topping Johnson of Swainsboro and Maurice Edwards added 6 points for Oglethorpe placing 3rd.
Westminster and Elbert County had big points at stake in the 300h and after winner Kevin Johnson from Appling crossed the line the Cats pounced with Scott Peters sailing to 2nd in 38.72. Tevin Fleming scored Elbert's final points of the day placing 5th giving the Blue Demons 44 points who could only sit and watch the 4x400. Putnam just had too many horses in the 400m led by thoroughbred Crawford as he took the baton with a very comfortable lead (for him) and ran away from Therrell and Oglethorpe pushing the War Eagles to a well deserved team championship!
ACS had done all it could do going into Finals with 1 scoring chance available in the 800m race with Will Hayes and could only enjoy the competition hoping Darlington/Wesleyan would come up short..and boy did they have to sweat it out until everyone crossed the finish line in the 4x400m relay.
The charge to catch Athens Christian began with the 4x100m relay with Eagles Landing Christian (ELCA) striking first winning the gold besting Bowdon and Hancock Central with a time of 42.39. Wesleyan began to make their move in the 400m race as their sprints ace Cole Warren came up big crossing the line in 49.02 for the gold with ELCA's Seth Moore hot on his heels at 49.23 Maricio Askew of Bowdon then got on his marks and obliterated a very old class A state meet record setting a new standard in 10.55. Jalen Myrick of Savannah Christian placed 2nd followed by OLM's Jordan Sartor who later would take the 200 meter gold...Jabari Wilson from Warren County blistered the competition in the 110 high's timing a 14.38 Darlington picked up a few points with Cameron Gibson's 4th place effort.
The 800 meters was an incredible race to watch and could have been even better if Henry Dwyer of Athens Academy had not fallen extremely ill. His absence at the starting line was evident as many of the fans looked puzzled by his absence, lane empty....Will Hayes took the lead out early at the bell lap as group of 5 runners were within a few strides of each other continuing to fight all the way to the finish line. Then as if summoned to respond on cue the Darlington duo surged hard the final 50 meters led by Cameron Collins as he crossed first in 1:57.21 flanked by teamate Alex Cox in 1:57.38 resulting in a triumphant celebration on the Track by the two knowing the Tigers now had a real chance to catch ACS, although Will Hayes had a tremendous effort falling out in exhaustion after crossing the line for 4th in 1:58.07
As mentioned in the 100m race before, Jordan Sartor made mince meat of his competitors in the 200 meters taking the gold in 21.65 though Wesleyan succeeded in racing to 2nd place by 400m champ Cole Warren in 22.36. Kenny Selmon of Pace Academy bested Warren County's Wilson in the 300h clocking a 39.03 . Zander Yost of Wesleyan placed 3rd and Darlington's Gibson 5th to pull the Tigers to within 8 of ACS with a final chance to pull out a miracle in the 4x400 relay. But Pace and ELCA just had too much speed out on the Track racing to a photo finish with Pace making the final noise in A at 3:23.78 to ELCA's 3:23.93 Wesleyan kept up for 3rd and Darlington surged at the line for 5th...making the Athens Christian Eagles repeat champions.