Ella Stoudenmire brings home the stick and the 2A title cup back to Lexington
(All photos by Daniel McCauley)
Interestingly, the 2A girl's state preview served as a motivator for public school Oglethorpe County who placed 2nd in 2019 to make a spirited challenge to Pace Academy for the state title. Though not my intention, the Patriots used it as bulletin board material, got fired up, and raised their games to a whole new level winning the girls 2A state championship! Oglethorpe County's girls were seasoned competitors having finished 2nd in 2019 and basically returned a young squad, that survived the COVID-19 dread that effectively ended the 2020 outdoor season. The Lady Pats' regrouped and put it all together this outdoor season and peaked hard at McEachern earning a hard-fought state title. Pace had the numbers, but Oglethorpe County had the talent and resolve. Ella Stoudenmire is the team leader and won the 2019 800m title back at Berry.
Oglethorpe County's winning 4x400 squad.
The Pats' scored exactly zero points in the field events, but the tide would turn soon enough. The sister duo of Katie and Lizzie Wadsworth was very solid, placing 2nd and 3rd on Thursday in the 1600m going 5:20.14 and 5:21.30 scoring 14 points. Ella Stoudenmire finished 2nd in the 400m at 57.86, and Jayda Jones added a pair of silver medals from the 100/200m dash. Oglethorpe added 22 more points in the 800m run with Stoudenmire taking the gold at 2:21.99, Katie Wadsworth 2nd going 2:22.94, and younger sister Lizzie placing 5th at 2:23.90. However, the Pats' did have some speed and placed 2nd in the 4x100 relay posting a nice time of 50.05. The Pats' added some icing to the cake by winning the 4x800 relay clocking a 9:34.
Pace Academy relay leg awaits the final baton in the 4x400 relay.
Pace had a 31 point lead going into finals on Saturday but was unable to keep pace with the buzzsaw of Oglethorpe County. Their top scorer was Laura Arenth who swept the distance events times of 5:14 and 11:20. Kate Jonas took 2nd in the 3200m going 11:25. The Knights were 2nd in both the 4x400 (4:07) and 4x800 (9:39)
Pace scored 12 points in the 800m run led by Laura Romig's 2:23.12
Jamelia Simmons of Towers holds off Oglethorpe's Stoudenmire to win the 400m dash.
Towers HS and KIPP Atlanta Collegiate ended up tied for 3rd with 46 points each, with Lovett 3 points back in 5th. Jamelia Simmons was the top scorer for Towers, winning the 400m in 57.53 and later the 200m dash at 25.88 Simmons also had a pair of 3rd's in the long jump and triple jump. Shakiera Woods of KIPP Atlanta scored big in the hurdles events, first taking 100h gold at 15.19 and later the 300h claiming 2nd place in 45.67. Kaniya Ross picked up 11 points in the same events. KIPP took 7th in the 4x400 tying them with Towers.
Edward Blaha leads his brother George in the 3200m run.
It wasn't as close on the boy's side of the meet, as Pace took control of the meet in the first 2 days scoring 46 points total in the distance events and out on the field. All they really needed was #1 2A ranked sprinter John Catherman to do his thing and they would be relatively safe. Catherman swept the 100m (10.78) and 200m (21.85). Pace was 2nd in the 4x800 behind Lovett, Edward Blaha won the 3200m at 9:24 with George Blaha third in 9:40. Edward had to settle for 2nd in the 1600m (4:20.15) as Simon Schaebort of Model cranked out a winning effort of 4:19.05. Pace closed out their scoring taking 3rd in the 4x400 at 3:27.21
The 2A boys 4x800 victory Podium included Lovett-1st, Banks-2nd, and Pace- 3rd
Simon Schabort of Model celebrates winning the 1600m run clocking a 4:19.05
Davion Benjamin of Glenn Hills pulled an upset in the 800m posting a 1:58.78 besting Schabort
Washington County had a good push during finals using their speed to jet into 2nd place as a team with 58 points. Leading the Tigers was Malyk Walker as he won the long jump with a mark of 23-7.25, took gold in the 400m in a time of 49.76, Jayden Kemp placed 2nd in the triple jump at 43-07, their 4x100 squad placed 2nd in 42.26 and later another 2nd in the 4x400. WACO also scored 14 points in the 100m behind Tylik Gimore's 10.90 and Dontavius Braswell's 10.92.
Towers won both shorter relays clocking a 42.24 in the 4x100 and closed out their scoring in the 4x400 at 3:23.36. Daeshaun Hogan took high jump gold with a bar of 6-08, Elijah Thompson placed 2nd in the long jump at 23-02, and Quandariuas Patrick won the 110h going 14.94
Model claimed the final team podium spot and was powered by the Schabort's as Daniel Schabort took 2nd in the pole vault clearing 13-0, while Simon Schabort won the 1600m and placed 2nd in the 800m run and Michael Swinger placed 3rd in the discus with a toss of 129-08 and was 5th in the shot, while Kaeden Freedom took 4th in the shot put.