On March 27th, the Deerfield-Windsor Rhodes Relays return to Hugh Mills Stadium, home of the GHSA 1A, 2A, and 3A track and field championships. This second annual event is named after longtime Deerfield-Windsor head track and field coach Craig Rhodes. With over 20 teams registered, the event is one the largest in southwest Georgia and will feature a number of GHSA and GISA teams. Colder than average temperatures put a chill on the last meet held at Hugh Mills on March 16th, but with slightly higher temperatures forecast for Wednesday, the meet should provide an opportunity for some personal bests.
In the throwing ring, Deerfield-Windsor's John Collier Logan has the field's best mark in the shot put at 49-1.5 and will attempt to challenge the school record of 50-4. He'll be pushed by Pelham's Malik Mango(47-7) and Westover's Jamie Pettway(46-7), a Missouri football signee. In the discus, Bainbridge's Roman Harrison, Dougherty's Caleb Vance, and Logan will all look to throw over 150 feet. In the horizontal jumps, Schley County's Jackson Fulks has already recorded marks of over 23 feet in the long jump and 43 feet in the triple, but West Laurens' Daniel Dorsey should push him in the latter. In the pole vault, Lee County's Tye Smith is in the midst of a break-out season. Smith leads all other performers by a foot with a season best of 14-0 and should secure 10 points for the Trojans.
The recently resurfaced oval at Hugh Mills should do well to produce some fast times in the sprints so long as the temperature doesn't dip too low. In the 100m dash, Dougherty's Rodney Walker(11.23) and Keandres Johnson(11.23) are the fastest on paper, but Lee County's Jeremiah Engram(11.35) and Daveon Sanders(11.39) will be out to prove that they play more than football in Leesburg. In the 200m, Schley's Fulks and West Laurens' Keith Edwards have both run 22 low. Westover's Myles McCoy(15.06/43.12) has established himself as southwest Georgia's top hurdler and will be the man to beat in the high and intermediate hurdles. In the longer events, Deerfield-Windsor's distance squad will be charged with racking up team points after a weekend of personal bests at the Florida State Relays. Porter Hill(2:05/4:34) and Ford Bennett(2:04/4:45) will look to push the pace in the 1600m and 800m in addition to running on the Knights' 4x800m relay. Westover's Henry Plowden, Dougherty's Daniel Stewart and Antonio Knighton, and an emergent Gavin Livingston of Lee County are racers and should factor into the distance events as well.
In the field, Lee County transfer Javen Wimberly is favored to double in the long and triple jumps, but she'll have to outleap Westover's Janaya Singleton(34-6.5), Bainbridge's Destiny Turner(33-9.5), and Schley's Tamia Kelley(16-11). Turner in particular will look to garner points for the purple and gold Bearcats, as she also leads the high jump with a mark of 5-2. In the pole vault, three girls have cleared 9 feet, including Deerfield's Deena Willcox(9-6), Westover's Chelsea Bass(9-0), and Santaria Watts(9-0) of West Laurens. The girls' discus is similarly competitive, with a handful of approaching 100 feet, including Raven Williams of Bainbridge, Karlie Jones of Camilla's Westwood School, and LaQueene Pittman of West Laurens. Meanwhile, in the shot, Pelham is favored to pick up 18 points from Kanjanai Brown(36-9) and Krystian Jones(34-2).
Once the action moves to the track, Jordyn Perkins of Lee County(12.41/25.64) is favored in the short sprints, but Westover's Aijalon Wilson(12.68/26.69) and the Schley County duo of Tamia Kelley(12.82) and Dasani Miller(27.03) will hope to challenge her. Westover's Chastity Pickett(14.54/43.70) ran a fast 43.70 last week at the Harmon's Invitational in Valdosta and should win the 100m and 300m hurdles comfortably. The distance races, on the other hand, lack anything resembling a clear favorite. The ladies' 800m should be a test of strength vs. speed when Deerfield-Windsor's Charlotte Augenstein(2:21/5:28) and Westover's Shamia Jones(58.30/2:19) settle who is faster over two laps. The girls' 1600m should also provide some excitement, as Augenstein and Bainbridge's Viviana Schulyer(5:27/11:54) have personal bests that are separated by less than a second.