2021 GHSA 3A State Championship Preview

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Gabriella Grissom of Sandy Creek

3A Girls- The 3A Sectional meets were like night and day, as different as one could not have foreseen. The Lakewood sectional was an all-out rehearsal for the state meet. Greater Atlanta Christian, Sandy Creek, and Westminster would do well in any of the larger classes, even 6A & 7A... as these girls rang up over 30 MileSplit 2nd team National Elite performances, compared to 6 in the East sectional meet at East Jackson.

GAC 4x100 squad
GAC is very strong in the short sprints, relays, hurdles, pole vault, and both throws events. Sandy Creek is also sprint and relay strong, but could sweep the top 2 spots in the 400m dash and 800m (which is now basically a long sprint on the Elite level) They also might sweep the top spot in both hurdles events as well. What may give the Lady Pats' an advantage going into finals on Saturday is they have the talent to sweep the jumps events (excluding the vault)

Grace Smith of Westminster

Westminster, as usual, has a very balanced squad, but with a kicker... as talented frosh Grace Smith has sprint speed and hurdles skills for the Cats'. Expect Westminster to dominate the 1600, 3200, 4x800 relay and compete in the shorter relays. They should also pick up points out on the field that will keep them within hailing distance of GAC and Sandy Creek. It's wide open for a few squads to fight their way to the final team podium spot including Pike County, Oconee County, and North Hall.
Top Athletes to Watch
Trinity Rossum  GAC - 11.68
Nia Wilson  GAC - 11.78
Grace Smith  Westminster - 11.89
Trinity Rossum  GAC - 24.37
Nia Wilson  GAC - 24.37
Timika Scarlett  GAC - 25.07
Gabriella Grissom  Sandy Creek - 54.63
Isis Symone Grant  Sandy Creek - 56.20
Jasmine Scruggs  GAC - 59.11
Gabriella Grissom  Sandy Creek - 2:11.49
Morgan Collins  GAC - 2:15.66
Cate Stevens  Westminster - 2:16.18
Palmer Walstad  Westminster - 5:09.12
Cate Stevens  Westminster - 5:12.93
Morgan Collins  GAC - 5:17.78
Palmer Walstad  Westminster - 11:10.05
Phoebe Brodrick  Oconee County - 11:34.23
Cate Stevens  Westminster  - 11:37.76
Grace Smith  Westminster - 14.55
Jania Hodges  Sandy Creek - 14.72
Danielle Jones  GAC - 14.88
Jania Hodges  Sandy Creek - 42.66
Grace Smith  Westminster - 44.14
Danielle Jones  GAC - 45.24
GAC-  45.95
Sandy Creek - 47.00
Appling County - 49.54
Sandy Creek - 3:47.47
GAC - 3:58.31
Westminster - 4:11.45
North Hall - 10:17.18
GAC - 10:30.17
Westminster - 10:32.14
Leia Williams  Liberty County - 149-06
Autumn Clark  GAC - 123-06
Alana Thomas  GAC - 116-05
Shot Put:
Samara Walker  Stephens County - 39-05
Leia Williams  Liberty County - 39-2.50
Alana Thomas  GAC - 39-0
High Jump:
Amori Daniels  Peach County - 5-06
Jania Hodges  Sandy Creek - 5-06
Taylor McCormick  Gilmer - 5-06
Long Jump:
Grace Smith  Westminster - 19-10
Tayla Moreland  Pike County - 19-08
Chelsea Davis  Sandy Creek - 19-03
Triple Jump:
Kelsey Chambers  Westminster - 38-04
Ryan Lewis  Sandy Creek - 38-1.50
Taylor Hampton  Pike County - 37-8.50
Pole Vault:
 Nyla Thompson  GAC - 11-6
Amelia Johnson  Hart County - 11-2
Ella Blair  White County - 9-6

3A Boys

Matthew Fernando of Westminster

It's hard to believe after their dominance in smaller school GHSA cross country, but it's been 12 years since the last time Westminster won a Track state title. They have been very close a few other times though.  If the Cats bring their 'A' game it will be difficult for any of the podium contenders to really push them. Their top 2 scores are Matthew Fernando in the 800/1600, Phillips Moore (freshman) is a threat to sweep the throws and they have a strong possibility of winning both the  4x400 and 4x800 relays. 

Liberty County is blessed with speed having the talented Meon McLeod who will sweep the 100/200m barring a dq. They also are very deep, winning both shorter relays, the 400m dash and the Triple Jump at the East Sectional. Hart County and Morgan County are in the best position to score team Podium spots after getting out of Sectionals at East Jackson. Cedar Grove, SE Bulloch, Oconee County, and North Hall are on the outside looking in.

Boys Distance Races Thursday/Friday

Andrew Jones of North Hall (photo by Daniel McCauley)

Justin Wachtel of Mary Persons and Andrew Jones from North Hall are fast friends. Both guys will be teammates at UVA this coming Fall. Both also have gone sub 9:00 in the 3200m run in a documented video a year ago when COVID-19 basically shut the country down. But don't discount Matthew Fernando of Westminster who ran the fastest times in 3A this season in the 800/1600m

Justin Wachtel (photo Daniel McCauley)

Meon McLeod  Liberty County - 10.44
Gamarion Carter  Stephens County - 10.55
D'Ante Tidwell  North Murray - 10.90
Jeremiah Holmes  Appling County - 21.91
Meon McLeod  Liberty County - 22.06
Eric Joran  Cedar Grove - 22.13
Jaylin Ferrell  Liberty County - 49.46
Deandre Buchannon  Carver, Atlanta - 50.01
Ryan Githuku  Westminster - 50.34
Matthew Fernando  Westminster - 1:54.10
Justin Wachtel  Mary Persons - 1:54.56
Jack Ramsey  Westminster - 1:58.44
Matthew Fernando  Westminster - 4:15.89
Justin Wachtel  Mary Persons - 4:16.64
Andrew Jones  North Hall - 4:16.70
Andrew Jones  North Hall - 9:08.46
Avery Jaynes  SE Bulloch - 9:30.18
Lane Hollis  Coahulla Creek - 9:44.57
Gabriel Elmore  Ringgold - 15.10
Joseph Williams  Johnson/Savannah - 15.24
Diego Santiago  Harlem - 15.54
Joshua Jones  Morgan County - 40.90
Griffin Roberds  Oconee County - 41.08
Jaquez White  Pierce County - 41.45
Cedar Grove - 42.20
Liberty County - 42.06
Sandy Creek - 42.26
Cedar Grove - 3:22.51
Westminster - 3:26.62
Sandy Creek - 3:27.73
Westminster - 8:15.61
Oconee County - 8:15.82
Dawson County - 8:20.91
Phillips Moore  Westminster - 150-07
Chance Reid  Moran County - 146-09
Jacere Cooper  Morgan County - 144-01
Shot Put:
Phillips Moore  Westminster - 51-01
Jay Merritt  Hart County - 49-05
Jacere Cooper  Morgan County - 48-2.50
High Jump:
Jaylen Green  Appling County - 6-06
Zae Plummer  Pierce County - 6-06
Jeremiah Telander  North Hall - 6-04
Long Jump:
JC Curry  Hart County - 22-07.50
William Jeffries  Morgan County - 22-4.50
Gamarion Carter  Stephens County - 22-2.25
Triple Jump:
Maleek Chandel  Pierce County - 45-11.50
Kenneth Foxworth  Liberty County - 45-05
Mehiji Floyd  Rockmart - 43-5.50
Pole Vault:
AJ Johnson  Hart County - 16-0.25
Simon Seid  North Hall - 15-0
James Hodges  SE Bulloch - 14-06