Just like with the boys, for this week's poll I've narrowed the vote down to the top five athletes that truly did amazing things over the weekend. Take a look at the descriptions for reasons each was included and then vote below for who you think was the best of the best from state, polls close on Friday at midnight. Make sure you vote in both the boys and girls polls!
Boys Voting Poll for Performer of the week
State meet Coverage
(Coverage continues to be updated!)
The first athlete who is up for performer of the week put up not one, but FOUR performances that were good enough to make the all time top ten lists. Adaejah Hodge is a four time state champion after winning the Long Jump on Thursday and then following it up with wins in the newly possible sprint triple which put up 40 big points that helped propel Alexander to a dominant win in the 6A girls team race. Hodge's Long Jump of 20-4.25 makes her the 8th best all time and by itself would be enough to put her in contention for nomination for best performer of the weekend since she cracked the top. Of course Kayla Pinkard, Leia Williams, and Kenzie Henderson would take issue as they also cracked the top ten all time in their field events this season. Pinkard's triple jump of 41-3 ranks 7th all time, Williams' Discus throw of 157-6 ranks 5th all time, and Henderson's High Jump of 5-10 ranks 10th all time. And while all three are also state champions, Hodge was able to hit the mark at the state meet when it counts the most. And even though only one was a PR, she ran 3 performances that would have been good enough to make the top ten lists - 11.33 to win the 100 (her PR of 10.29 ranks 3rd), 23.40 to win the 200 (her PR of 23.25 ranks 6th), and 53.26 which now ranks her 7th all time in the 400m. So yeah, four performances that were good enough for top ten all time in the history of Georgia gets her the nod.
Ok, let's just be honest here. Georgia girls just went off this year in the 100m. And Kaniya Johnson saved the best for last running an 11.26 to win the 7A state meet which is the 2nd fastest 100 by a Georgia High School girl. So for that reason by itself she's worthy of performer of the week. But she also won the 200m in 23.20 which is 5th all time, was also on their winning 4x100m relay that just missed top 10 all time, and ran on their winning 4x400m relay team that ran the 4th fastest ever in Georgia. It's no wonder the Lowndes girls won the team title handily in 7A. But let's also not overlook what Hodge, Yahnari Lyons, Tamiia Fuller, Victoria Teasley, Colleen Branch, McKenzie Calloway, Nia Wilson, Sanaa Frederick, and Taylor Gullatte did this year. Hodge, Lyons, and Fuller ran the 3rd, 5th, and 6th fastest times ever this year. That means four of the six fastest Georgia girls in state history competed this spring. Teasley and Branch ran times that would have put them top ten if not for the aforementioned ladies. And Galloway, Wilson, Frederick, and Gullatte were all less than a tenth of a second away from being top ten all time. That is simply ridiculous to have 10 girls that fast in the same season.
The next athlete up for this award might have pulled off the upset of the weekend. Lyric Olson ran two monster PR's at the state meet. She started off her weekend like most distance kids in the 4x800 relay where her team placed 3rd. She then ran the 1600 on Friday and got an 11 second PR to run a 5:06 and take 4th place. But her best race by far was on Saturday in the 800m final. Not only did she run 2:11 which is just off the top ten all time list, she was able to beat Isis Symone Grant who is one of the best Georgia girl 800m runners of all time after running a 2:10 last year and a 2:07 this indoor season. That is an incredible upset of a phenomenal runner. But it's also just one example of the great things that are being done recently at Savannah Arts Academy. In cross country, they finished state runner up to the always strong Westminster Girls in what was a much closer battle than more probably expected. Before that in 2020 they placed 7th in class 3A. Before that in 2019 they placed 5th in 3A, 10th in 2018, and 14th in 2016-2017. This is clearly a team that has come along. And Lyric wasn't their only distance champion. Margaret Wade pulled off a slight upset to win the 3200 and almost got one in the 1600 as well running a 4:55, the second fastest girls 1600m time from both the season and the state meet. So hats off to the 3A ladies who had 3 fantastic distance races, but Lyric had the most impressive performance of all.
Not that I wanted to, but there was no way to keep Westlake from making this list at all. They're just too good. And shining brightest for them both this season and this weekend is 100m hurdler Jasmine Harmon. Harmon started off the season with her teammates by breaking the 4x200m relay record. Shortly after that they tied the even tougher 4x100m relay record. And she was also undefeated in the 100m hurdles all year long. But she saved her fastest for the very end. She had been knocking on the door of the all time list, but finally ran 13.38 to go #4 all time in Georgia in the event and earn herself yet another place in history, this time as an individual instead of a relay member.
And finally, Samantha McGarity just keeps saving her best for the state meet. In cross country she was considered a contender for the win, but then just showed up and blew everybody away. This year in track the Harrison sophomore was more of a favorite, but the way she dominated showed us there was never any reason to doubt her, if anybody was thinking somebody might pull off an upset. Her most impressive performance was actually as part of the Harrison girls 4x800m relay team that ran the 4th fastest time in Georgia history to win the 7A race with a 9:19. But McGarity wasn't done there. She then put away the field in the 3200 running a 10:46 which is the 2nd fastest time this year in Georgia and finished it off by breaking 5 for the 3rd time this year with her new PR of 4:57. It was just an incredibly strong showing from a girl who seems to be at her best when she's racing at state.