2024 GHSA 4A Boys and Girls State Track & Field Meet Recap

Westminster girls showed up in a big way when it mattered most

GHSA 4A State Meet Recap

Girls: Westminster prevails in crazy tight finish

This thing was crazy. And it came down to the 4x4 with both teams who were still in contention in the race. Westminster carried a 5 point lead going into this race, even though Druid Hills had just gone 1-2-3 in the event just before the relay. But Druid hills was the favorite, which means they'd probably put up 10 points. So Westminster needed at least a 3rd place finish to secure the win by themselves, or at least 4th place to share the win assuming Druid Hills won the relay. And to further add drama to this saga, because of the weather earlier in the meet the 4x4 was run as a two heat final, with Westminster in the 1st heat, which was the slower heat based on sectionals results. So they had to run it all alone and then sit back and watch the 2nd heat and hope only 1 or 2 teams beat their time. It turns out Westminster ran a 7 second season PR and wound up with the 2nd fastest overall time to secure the team win by 3 points. Grace Smith was undoubtedly their star of the weekend. She scored in four individual events (which meant their relay teams couldn't use her) as she won the long jump, won the 300 hurdles, placed 2nd in the 100 hurdles, and placed 3rd in the 100. That's 34 points all by herself. But she was expected to do all of that. As was Madison Townsend who won the pole vault for them. The biggest boost they got was from Lucy Johnson who was expected to do well in the 800, but outdid herself by winning the race and also helping her 4x4 and 4x8 relay teams place 2nd overall. Without her herculean effort, they probably wouldn't have won. They also did well in the 4x1 and 4x2 by placing 4th and 3rd respectively. And Ryan McFadden, Alero Egbe, Cate Reames, and Lily Nastopoulos added points in the Long jump, Discus, 800, and 3200 to give them just enough to hold off the day 3 charge from Druid Hills.

Druid Hills was still sensational, even though they came up just short. As expected, Sanaa and Sole Frederick were the stars of the meet as they went 1-2 in both the 100 and 200 while also winning the 4x1 and 4x2 and motivating their 4x4 to the win as well. Jadyn Bolden won the 400 and Delali Setrana was 3rd and 5th in the 200 and 100. Harley Martz also put up points in the 1600 and 800 for them. Their stars did basically everything perfectly. It just wasn't quite enough for a Westminster squad who put together the perfect meet. Pace Academy took 3rd place almost entirely on the backs of their distance runners. Caroline Hood and Zahara Bernal took home a perfect 36 points in the 1600 and 3200 splitting the wins between the two of them. Harriett Blaha added a 4th and 5th place finishes in those events as well while Olivia Resnick was 3rd in the 800. Then their 4x800 relay team won it all to bring their distance points totals to 61 of their 64.5 points. Stockbridge also had a very strong meet taking home the final trophy. They were led by Daynejia Atkins who won both throwing events. Kirah Copeland and Quenteria Birts did well in the 400 and Copeland scored in the 200 while Birts scored in the 800. They also added two 5th place finishes in the 4x2 and 4x4 as they were able to beat out McDonough and Starr's Mill for the final trophy. 

Most of the top athletes have already been mentioned. But Mattison Rowell is the one who beat Smith in the 100 hurdles while Eyanna and Enycia Price finished 2-3 behind her in the 300 hurdles. Woodland was runner up in the 4x100 while McDonough was runner up in the 4x200 relay. Damaia Plair beat out Emalee Foreman on misses in the high jump, Bella Goode was the top triple jumper and Gabby Nguyen was runner up in the pole vault despite jumping 11-6.

Boys:  Westminster dominates as expected

Unlike the girls, this one was not a surprise. Westminster boys came in as the favorites, and left with a 32 point win. They got most of their points in the first two days as they were led by distance and field event athletes. Joseph Jacquot took home two wins in the 1600 and 3200 while Phillips Moore was runner up in both throwing events. Tyler Robinson was runner up in the 1600, Esfan Daya was 3rd in both the 1600 and 3200, Rohan Gazula was 3rd in the 800, Jacob Jacquot was 4th in the 3200, Jonathan Hunt was 2nd in the triple jump, and they won the 4x800 by 0.003 seconds. Simply put, everybody did their jobs and they coasted to the win. Also contributing points were Patrick Walsh in the pole vault, Ethan Mattingly in the 400, and their 4x400 team which placed 7th. 

It was also not a surprise to see Stephenson take 2nd place. 59 points is sometimes good enough for the win, but this year they had to settle for runner up. Their sprints and relays were on display as Collin Seals and Todd Burton were almost a dead heat in the 400, separated by 0.004 seconds. Jaelin Joseph also won the high jump on misses as three athletes all hit 6-4. Ca'Von Lucas was 3rd in the 200, Conner Cooper was 8th in the 100 hurdles, and their 4x1 and 4x4 relay teams took home the win. It was a great effort that just wasn't enough this year. Rounding out the podium were Miller Grove and Woodland who barely held off Starr's Mill. Miller Grove was led by sprints as Ali Dargan took the win in the 100 and 200 while Xavier Wilson was 4th in the triple jump and Bryson Craft was 6th in the 300 hurdles. They got the rest of their points in the relays by placing 4th in both the 4x1 and 4x2 while taking 8th in the 4x4. Woodland was led by Dominiq Northington who won the 110 hurdles and then placed 2nd in the 100 and 7th in the 200. They also had their 4x1 and 4x4 both placed 3rd.

Other top individuals include Justin Warner who won the 800 going away on the final straightaway and Jace Weaver who won the 300 hurdles and was runner up in the 110 hurdles. Benedictine Military won the 4x200 and placed 2nd in the 4x100m relays. Fayette County was runner up in the 4x400 and North Oconee just barely finished 2nd in the 4x800. William Zelnak won the triple jump, Carson Calhoun and Terrance Barimah were 2-3 in the high jump, and Owen Wilkinson was the top vaulter. Jared Moore was the top thrower all weekend as he won both the shot put and the discus.