2024 GHSA 6A Boys And Girls State Track & Field Meet Preview

Langston Hughes is ready to roll this weekend. Carsyn Baker will try to help them win a title

Wow. I can't believe it's already the state meet week. The regular season kind of comes in a few different phases and all of them seem like a whirlwind in different ways. We start off with the indoor season which already has plenty of question marks as you never know who is going all in on indoor and who is saving it for outdoor. So each elite performance seems like a fun surprise. Then we move on to the regular outdoor season where you never know what you're gonna get in terms of weather but it seems like everybody is just competing all of the time. Results are pouring in and elite performances are found all over the place. But then championship season brings with it a whole new vibe as teams try to get as many athletes as they possibly can through the rounds and to the state meet. Region and Sectionals always have their casualties as this sport is built on multiple rounds of qualification, and managing those rounds is a part of it at all levels. It's not who can run the fastest, jump the highest, or throw/jump the farthest in one effort, championship season is about managing those rounds and being able to perform consistently so that you can show the best of yourself at the state meet.

After the meets this weekend, the 6A Virtual meets are updated to reflect the sectional results. So now that we know who all is competing at the GHSA 6A State Championships, let's focus on what we're going to see at these meets. Don't forget to check the meet hub all week as it gets updater through the end of the weekend with our full coverage!

State Meet Hub

Boys Team Race

Man we've got some heavy hitters in boys 6A this year. Is this is best classification for track and field? It feels like at least 2-3 of these teams could win in multiple classifications, and yet I think it's possible that all of them are a little low when it comes to their projected team scores, which is crazy to think. Leave some points for everybody else! Sheesh! It's no secret that Langston Hughes is really freaking good. But as I've said before, when you're relying that much on superstar athletes, especially in the sprints, all it takes is one weird step to derail everything. There's no reason to think that will happen as this team has been lights out all season long. But state is still state and all that matters is what happens this weekend. And let's not ignore just how good Alpharetta and Marist are too. And what's fun about the top 3 teams here in this meet is that they each specialize in things in their own way. Langston is big on sprints and relays while Alpharetta is a hurdle super power and Marist has crazy distance strength and depth. No wonder there's not too many points left for others. And let's not discount Gainesville and Shiloh too who are projected to score quite a bit. Shiloh is more well balanced while Gainesville is another distance heavy team. After that it's very tough to predict. The top 5 teams might pull away with a pretty big gap from 5th to 6th and then the rest of the teams kind of bunch up in the teens and 20's in terms of points.

Boys Top Athletes to Watch

Where to start...where to start...? Oh, how about with the state record holder? Maurice Gleaton is back and I assume hungry to prove himself after coming up just short of a state title last year. He has been very smart with his buildup this year it seems and didn't come flying out of the gates like some sprinters (and all athletes) make the mistake of doing. Instead it's been a very measured season as he was slowly building and then he ran his season PR at the sectional meet in both the 100 and the 200. He looks every bit the part of a future state champion. And he probably has four events to do on Saturday, but I"m sure avenging his loss in the 100 will be his top priority. Putting up a total of 40 points (or 25 if you're a stickler for dividing up relay points) for his team will be the main goal of his this weekend. If he can break his own state record? Well, none of us would be upset about seeing that! Behind Gelaton we really do have a good group of sprinters who are ready to roll. Zachary Morgan Jaylen Scott, and Mehkai Williams would be getting so much more love in any other class this year as they're all fantastic sprinters in their own right. In the 400 we have more of Langston Hughes with Kani Smith and Torey Arnold, but Matthew Strickland is also there to mix things up and potentially keep it from being and Langston sweep of all of the sprints.

On the distance side of things we have yet another superstar who wants to help his team do a sweeping of the events. Tommy Latham is also a state record holder and will almost certainly sweep the 1600 and 3200. But what else happens in the distance events? Conner Proffitt is trying to do something epic. He's trying to do the distance quadruple and then come back and win the 800 in what would likely be his 5th race of the weekend if you count the 4x800. If he can somehow pull that off, he would actually outscore Latham over the course of the weekend, assuming he's runner up in the 1600 and 3200. So there's quite a bit of intrigue on the distance side of things. But who else is in it? The 800...is just LOADED with talent. Proffitt is technically the favorite, but if he's not 100% you could see any number of guys win it including Jonathan Ayeni, Cayden Guidry, and Liam Hanemann. This one truly could come down to whoever is not tired from the 4x800 relay earlier in the day. It really is a shame those events are on the same day, otherwise the 6A 800 would be stuff that legends were made of. And maybe it still will be, fingers crossed. In the 1600 you've got Hanemann, Profit, and Dermot Maloney in the mix while in the 3200 you've got Maloney and Proffitt ready to challenge when they're fresh. 

Phew. That was a lot. Ok, we get a break in the hurdles races right? Nothing exciting going on here? Oh dang it. This will be every bit as intense as the sprints and distance. There won't be any down time at this meet. Get ready for intense race after intense race. The 110 hurdles is AT LEAST a four person race. Blake Williams is trying to start the meet off strong as the top hurdler of the year. But Vincent Nnanna is basically even with him. Add in the fact that you've got Joseph Williams in there trying to get some pretty big team points, and this thing just got exciting. It feels like I'm forgetting somebody...*checks notes* oh yeah! Nicolas Crosswhite is also in this thing. He's possibly the best athlete in the entire meet and once he scores as many points as he possibly can in the field events, he will attempt to win his only running event too. This thing is wild. And it's mostly the same in the 300 hurdles - Williams, Williams, Nnanna battling it out for the win. Might be the same order as the 110, might be a completely different order. I have literally no idea because they're all just that close.

Ok so field events... aka the Nicholas Crosswhite show. He may not be the favorite in any of them, but he's projected to get 2nd in the Long Jump, High Jump. and Triple Jump. And the guys seeded ahead of him are some serious studs. Give this guy some credit regardless of what happens. In the high jump he's seeded just behind Malachi Yehudah. In the Long and Triple Jump, Luke Stradley is projected to take him down. But if you think I believe he will walk away from Rome with zero state titles, you're crazy. He's going to win at least one of them, maybe all of them. And it's going to be very exciting for us to watch. The pole vault was one of the best parts of the entire meet last year. This year it will probably be a little less dramatic, but Grayson Venezia is still pursuing his state title and Finley Link is in his way. Should be a good one. And finally in the throws Brad Chosewood and Tahir Hines will go Mano a Mano in both events in what will be a very close affair. I predict they each win one state title, but I have no idea who will win each event.

I don't even know if I have the energy to preview the relays at this point. This meet is already exhausting with how exciting it will be. Good thing the relays are easier. Langston Hughes is dominating the 4x1 probably, Alpharetta is probably taking the 4x2 and 4x4 assuming they can fight back Langston. And the 4x8...well come on. We all know Marist has that one in the bag. Although if they're sitting anybody it could get interesting...

Girls Team Race

In the girls team race I'm again left wondering how so many teams are projected to score so many points. This is the have's and the have not's. If 11 points really does gets you 17th place as a team, that kind of explains things. Early on in the season I was just flat out amazed at the talent level that Woodward had and thought they'd be putting up well over 100 points at the state meet. Then everybody else showed up this season and it turns out that Woodward is still the favorite, but not the dominant one I was expecting. Woodward is really good at sprints, hurdles, and relays as the big events, but they're truly a nice balanced track and field team. Who can catch them? Several teams, it turns out! That's crazy to think. And while I do still think Woodward is not beatable if they're on their game, little mistakes can add up in this sport, and there are others ready to pounce. Etowah and Alexander are probably the closest. Etowah had a monster sectional meet and put themselves in great position. They are also very balanced, but jumps, sprints, and relays are their best events. Alexander is REALLY strong in the jumps and will do a bunch of damage on the first day in jumps and throws. But they're also good at distance. Behind them you've got teams like Pope, Lakeside, Langston Hughes, Dunwoody, Grovetown, Marist, and Alpharetta. After the top 3 I would think the final podium spot goes to one of those teams. But it will just depend on who shows up and performs at their best this weekend.

Girls Top Athletes to Watch

Oh come on. How am I supposed to figure out a favorite for the 100m title if you two are going to tie at sectionals, a season PR for both of you? Well...who's going to win the 100? Because I have no idea. Ewomazino Edet and Taylor Gullatte are both seeded in the same time coming into this meet. Let's just run the race and see who wins. Oh, but the way there are 8 girls in the meet all within 0.16 seconds of each other so...this could be a crazy close finish.The 200 isn't much easier except that Madison Brister has done us all a favor and run faster than anybody else this year to at least establish a favorite. Kiley Mitchell, Madison Gardner, Chelsea Williams, and Sarah Head are all in the mix too. In the 400, Gardner has a big enough lead to be considered the favorite, but Brister, Head, and Mitchell are all within striking distance.

Ok, 6A girls distance. It's thrown me a few curveballs this season. Not in the 800 though. That thing is going to be yet another epic battle between Oluwatosin Awoleye and Kenyah Conner. And it looks like this time Conner will take a different approach and go all in on the 800 instead of trying to maximize team points like last year. As a result, we should all be treated to something special. Don't be surprised if these two both go sub 2:05 on Saturday. I can't wait to see it. Aislynn Dunn, Ella Stone, and Cortney Adams appear to be the girls fighting for 3rd place in this one. In the 1600 though, who is the favorite? I can't decide between Claire Shelton and Claire Petersen. The "Claire Bowl" if you will. I won't rule some of the other contenders out like Stone, Stella Chambless, and Josie Hutchinson. But this one feels like a two horse race for both the 1600 and 3200. This is assuming both girls can handle 3 miles of intense racing. If not, don't be surprised to see Hutchinson, Maeve Waddell, or Audrey Hotard sneak in there and contend for the win in the 3200.

The hurdles look like they'll probably go as projected. In the 100 you have Kennedy Myers as the heavy favorite followed by Sole Bailey and Sydney Glee. In the 300 you have Glee favored followed by Sarah Head and Myers. This is probably the most cut and dry event in the 6A state meet, which means...something crazy is going to happen and I have no clue what that is. Stay safe ladies and give us a good race.

For the field event you gotta start with Alexander in the triple jump. Seriously, two girls over 40 feet on the same team? Wow. Alisa Gordon and Aseye Srigboh are both amazing and whoever wins is just as amazing as whoever finishes runner up. 18 points for their team won't hurt either. They're also favored to go 2-6 in the long jump behind favorite Rikki Carver. The pole vault has 5 girls over 11 feet led by Ansley Cho and Julia Acker and finally the throws will see a tight battle between Lexie Durban, Kyndal McKinney, and Kaz Mcloughlin while the shot put will see a great competition between Durban, Bailee Williams, and Jasmine Baxter.

The relays are very important in the girls team title pursuit as well. Woodward doesn't need to win them all, but they need to do well so they can live up to expectations. They're favored in the 4x1 over Lakeside and Alpharetta while Langston is favored in the 4x2 over Etowah and Jonesboro. Woodward might have to win the 4x4 to win the team title, and if they do they'll find Langston in their way. And as for the 4x8, the annual mystery race as almost nobody runs an A squad until the state meet, I see Blessed Trinity as the slight favorite over XC powerhouses Marist and St. Pius X.