Alpharetta Boys, Walton Girls Win 7A Titles in Final Event

Will Sumner of Woodstock goes 'Chariots of Fire' winning the 400m title in 47.26

(all photos by Daniel McCauley)

7A Boys

What a race in 800m as Harrison's Parker Buchheit and 'Sully' score 18 points for the Hoyas'

Before we start getting into the boy's recap, it has to be stated that I can't recall in the past 15 years when both the boys and girls meet in the largest classification came down to the 4x400 relay. It's also very cool that these athletes and coaches can get back home and watch the races they competed in just hours earlier. The 7A boys meet had to be the most closely contested meet in many years as only 10 points separated 4 loaded squads when all was said and done. And, the final event of the meet determined the team champion, as squads left it all out on track in pursuit of a state team title or to just be the 7A 4x400 champs.  

Alpharetta brings home the bacon in the 4x400 seizing the 7A boys title!

Alpharetta stole the team title away on the final event of the meet by winning the 4x400 relay. It was an incredible race and the video of it a must-watch. The Raiders got the job done in the field events scoring 23 points led by Mark Morozov's 2nd place leap in the triple jump at 46-05. Kylen Crosby placed 2nd in the 400m at 48.26, Matteo Carriere was 4th in the 100m, then CJ McFerrin gave the Raiders a huge boost winning the 300h clocking a 38.21. Riding this momentum, they ran the race of their lives posting a 3:14.69, passing McEachern, Harrison, and Marietta.

Kamari Miller of Marietta leads Sully Shelton. 

Marietta scored well in the field events led by Max Herman's win in the discus with a throw of 169-02, and Boubacar Ndome's 3rd in the triple jump of 45-11.25  Kamari Miller added a pair of 2nd's in the 1600/3200m while Jared Fortenberry also pitched in with 7 points.

Sully Shelton shushes the naysayers going 8:50 in the 3200m on Thursday evening.

Harrison tore it up in the distance events behind Sully Shelton's wins in the record-shattering 8:50 in the 3200m and 4:15.90 win in the 1600m. The Hoyas also raced to 2nd in the 4x800 clocking a 7:47.20. Then Harrison struck for 18 points sweeping the top 2 spots in the 800m behind Parke Buchheit's 1:53.95 and Shelton's 1:54.24 ending their opportunities to score. McEachern scored 25 points during field events and was in a good position to make a run at the title beginning Saturday. They struck quickly winning the 4x100 title in a time of 41.88 in front of a raucous fan base. Ryan Longmire placed 4th in the 800m, and Tyler Tremble took 2nd in the 300h at 38.35  and finished their scoring placing 6th in the long jump.

Denmark's Karthick Kochuparambil sprints to the finish in the 4x800

Denmarks's winning 4x800 squad posted a time of 7:44.21

7A Girls

Anchor legs await the final pass of the stick in the 4x400

Sarah Burwell of Walton battles for position against Ashley Thompson of Gainesville

The 7A girls team battle was similar to the boys. Three schools were going head to head in the 4x400 relay to decide who would be the 2021 team champion. Walton basically had to finish no worse than 6th to clinch the title despite what any of the other teams did with Peachtree Ridge and Campbell within striking distance. Walton had 2 girls score big round in the field events including a win by Tomisin Adenupe at 5-06 and Rachel Valentine placing 2nd in the vault with a bar of 12-0. Walton picked up 4 points in the 4x800, and Sarah Burwell picked up 10 points in the 1600-3rd, and 3200-5th. The Raiders got off to a solid start on Saturday taking 4th place in the 4x100 relay. Then, Amari Onyeukwu powered to 2nd in the 400m at 56.54 and later placed 4th in the 200m dash. Heading into the 4x400, all Walton needed to do was no worse than 7th, which would at the least guarantee a tie for first. They rose to the challenge and raced to 4th posting a 3:56.06 clinching the 7A state title.

Tamia Fuller of Peachtree Ridge has great top-end speed.

Peachtree Ridge- The Lions began Saturday finals with zero points on the scoreboard, but having superior speed often makes up for other things (in any athletic sport) They roared off the starting line in the 4x100 and rang up their first points posting a 46.69. Tamia Miller destroyed the 100m field with a time of 11.76 (ca-ching, 10 more points) They picked up 9 more points in the 100h and 800m run. Then Fuller struck again, this time in the 200m dash in equal fashion clocking a 23.81 They ended the day like they started it, this time winning the 4x400 in 3:49.51, but fell 4 points short of Walton. 

Mekenze Kelley of Campbell wins another 400m state title.

Campbell- The 2019 7A champs were not going down without a fight, and fight they did. The Spartans were led by veteran Mekenze Kelley and Zionn Rice, and finished a point behind 2nd place Peachtree Ridge. Campbell also began Saturday with no points, but that wouldn't last long as they raced to 3rd in the 4x100 at 47.47, then Kelley worked her magic taking first in the 400m at 55.37  Elite hurdler, Zionn Rice punched the clock and went to work, taking the gold in the 100h race at 14.50 and later would take 2nd in the 300h at 45.23  Kelley pulled off a 2nd behind Fuller in the 200m dash in 24.39. They gave Peachtree Ridge all they could handle in the 4x400 finishing a couple of strides back in 3:50.39  

Hillgrove- It seems the Hillgrove girls track (and cross country programs) grows stronger each season. They had a 4th place finish at McEachern earning the final team Podium spot in super-tough 7A. The Hawks began their campaign scoring 10 points in the long jump and took 3rd in the 4x800 in 9:36. Hillgrove's xc runners went to work scoring 15 points in the distance events including a silver medal performance by Lizzy Smith going 10:59 in the 3200m followed by Ava Brooks in 11:02. The Hawks suffered an unfortunate DQ during the 4x100 finals after qualifying 4th out of prelims. Anisa Williams placed 4th in the 100m dash, and later 3rd in the 200m at 24.88, and Elizabeth Ellis had a nice race in the 800m placing third at 2:17.95  

Riley Perlakowski of Harrison threw down a 2:08.11 in the 800m finals

Janae Profit of Dunwoody dominated the throws and broke the state record in the Shot!

Awards presentation at McEachern