2023 GHSA 3A Boys and Girls State Track & Field Meet Recap

Amelia Johnson of Hart County tied her PR of 13-0 which makes her the6th best pole vaulter in state history

GHSA 3A State Meet Recap


No matter which location you were in last weekend, be it Columbus, Rome, Powder Springs, or Albany, track and field was the winner as we saw Georgia athletes perform perhaps like in no other year before. The 3A meet was no exception as fantastic performances abounded. From a team competition perspective, it was more impressive than exciting, as the Sandy Creek Patriots left no doubt that they were the class of the field in 3A. Sandy Creek's goal to capture the school's first girls' track and field state championship kicked off with some great field event performances on Thursday. Senior Ryan Lewis took home the victory in the triple jump by more than two feet. Fellow senior Sky White finished fourth in the long jump, and sophomore Ariyana Johnson continued her incredible rise towards the end of the season with a second-place finish in the discus. However, the Patriots' domination really took off in the sprinting events. Junior Bobbi Olive and the aforementioned Lewis went 1-2 in both the 100 and the 200, clearly establishing themselves as the top two sprinters in 3A. Not to be outdone, senior Isis Symone Grant had no trouble besting the field in the 400 and 800 for 20 points. Grant's 2:10.09 in the 800 wasn't even a season best for the state record holder, but she still won the event by eight seconds. Junior Kaitlin Hunter and sophomore Noelle Boyd picked up a combined seven points in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles. Sandy Creek also ran a GA #9 47.03 in the 4x100, and they closed out the meet with a second-place finish in the 4x400 to finish with 104 points.

Wesleyan had a great state meet to finish in second place, albeit 45.5 points behind Sandy Creek. The Wolves had their work cut out for them as they were only able to score 0.5 points in field events (Holland Ragsdale in the pole vault), though they did handily win the 4x800 to kick off their scoring. In fact, Wesleyan collected 58 of their 58.5 points from just four events: the 4x800, 800, 1600, and 3200. Junior Anne McSweeney had a fantastic state meet with big PRs in the 800 and 1600. She finished first in the 1600 in 5:15.71 and second in the 800. Julie Anne Bush also contributed 14 points across the 1600 and 3200, finishing just three seconds for second place behind McSweeney in the 1600. Sophomore Eva Murphy finished second in the 3200 and fourth in the 1600. Finally, Kyra Brubaker finished sixth in the 800 for Wesleyan's final points. 

The battle of Monroe was the story of the third-place battle, with Monroe Comprehensive topping Monroe Area by three points for third. The schools have no relationship with each other and are in completely different parts of the state, but they share a name, classification, and a great track program! Monroe Comprehensive was led by sophomore Marianna Wright, who is completely rewriting the record books in the 300m hurdles. She set a new state record of 40.81 in the prelims before winning the finals by 2.5 seconds. Wright's time not only ranks #1 all-time in GA, but it's also the #3 time in the US this year. She also finished fourth in the 200. Teammate Kaitlyn Williams, also a sophomore, set a huge PR in the 400 for a runner-up finish. With those two leading the charge, the Golden Tornadoes won the 4x200 and 4x400. 

Monroe Area also had a standout hurdler as junior Kiyami Zimmerman finished second in the 100mH and fourth in the 300mH, as well as fourth in the triple jump. Morgan Graham leapt 18' 1.5" for second in the long jump, and the relay squads came through with top-four finishes in the 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400. Rounding out the top eight teams were Bremen (5th), Oconee County (6th), White County (7th) and Hebron Christian (8th). 

Many of the individual champions were not on one of the top four teams. In the 3200, Oconee County's Emma Champer closed out her high school career with a victory, after finishing 11th and 14th in her two previous state attempts at that distance. In the 110m hurdles, Brooke Jordan of Cross Creek won relatively convincingly, and she also finished second in the 300m hurdles. Bremen's Marley Derringer won the high jump with a 5' 8" performance, completing an undefeated season for her in that event. In the long jump, Savannah Christian junior Jadyn Singleton topped the field for another undefeated season. We have a new all-time top-10 GA performance in the pole vault from Amelia Johnson, a junior at Hart County. She vaulted 13' to win, and she needed it as Bremen's Noelle Hambrick vaulted 12' 6". In the discus throw, Kayla Lane of Hebron Christian slung the discus the farthest. Finally, in the shot put, White County senior Kendra Dye hurdled the shot 43' 9" to win, posting the #6 mark in GA this year to boot.


In the 3A boys' state meet, we saw quite a clash of philosophies with the top two teams, Sandy Creek and Oconee County. Sandy Creek's boys were quite strong in the hurdles and jumps, while Oconee County's boys scored most of their points in distance events. In the end, Sandy Creek held on to their large early lead, finishing with 86 points for a relatively comfortable victory. The Patriots scored 14 points in the high jump with John Hopson (second) and Blake Davis (third), and then they scored 16 more in the triple jump. Blake Davis again finished third, and Dalen Penson won the event with a 45' 10" hop-skip-jump. Sandy Creek managed three scorers in the 110m hurdles, led by Penson in second and followed by Gandor Bah in fourth and Kyshon Kenney in sixth. Kenney and Bah both scored again in the 300m hurdles, combining for 10 points. Geimere Latimer's fourth-place finish in the 400 and Zavion Green's sixth-place in the 200 rounded out Sandy Creek's individual scoring. The Patriots used their depth to win the 4x200 and finish a narrow second in the 4x400. 

Oconee County made the most of their scoring opportunities. Junior Cooper Timberman, coming off a great XC season, won the 800 and 1600 with a pair of PRs, and he also finished thid in the 3200. Freshman Aaron Brodrick capped a stellar freshman campaign with a victory in the 3200 and a fourth-place finish in the 1600. Patterson Graham scored six points between the 3200 and 1600 as well. Judah Hobbs brought some scoring balance to the Warriors with ten points between the 110m and 300m hurdles. Oconee County's 4x800 team also finished first by 11 seconds. 

George Washington Carver HS in Columbus had a great meet for third place, scoring 54 points. Mohamed Diaby, dominant in the 110m hurdles all season long, ran a 13.81 to win, securing a GA #4 time. He also finished fourth in the 300m hurdles. Kelton Smith was a surprise runner-up in the shot put with a throw of 52' 4". Seniors Skyler Mitchell and Brandon Webb Jr. scored in the triple jump and long jump, respectively. Senior Isaiah Jenkins added four more points in the 400. These athletes and others keyed a victorious 4x100 team that out-leaned Johnson-Savannah by 0.02 seconds. The 4x200 and 4x400 teams also finished in the top five. 

Monroe Comprehensive edged out Monroe Area on the boys' side as well as the girls' side. Junior Justin Burns won the high jump with a 6' 6" hop. The relays really brought Monroe Comp around, scoring 24 points across the 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400. The 4x400 squad won the event with a very solid time of 3:20.30. Monroe Area got off to a very strong start with 16 points in the discus, including a victory by junior Rickey Robbins, the GA #6 discus thrower. Jakyri Jones finished fourth in the long jump for Monroe Area. C.J. Wilburn sprinted to a second-place finish in the 200 and fourth in the 100. The rest of the podium teams were White County (34 points), Savannah Christian (32), and Johnson-Savannah (29).

A few other individuals had noteworthy performances. Samari Dowdy of Savannah Johnson HS won the 100. Jamari McIvory of Savannah Christian won the 200 in 21.65, and he dashed by the competition in the 400 for 20 individual points. Morgan County's Josh Jones focused on the 300m hurdles at state, and that paid off with his third career individual state title in the hurdles. Sean Hughes of White County barely outjumped LaFayette's Tristen Toss for the long jump state title. In the pole vault, Owen Anderson of Hebron Christian cleared 15' 1" to cap an undefeated season (discounting sectionals), and he'll be back next year. Cedar Grove's Solomon Hall ended the season very strong to take the shot put title with a PR throw of 53' 9".