Don't tell Candace Hill that she is only just a freshmen. The Rockdale County (Conyers, GA) ninth grader is proving with her times this spring in the sprints that she belongs in the discussion among the nation's best regardless of grade level. She was the top story coming out of the Georgia State Championship meet for girls this past weekend as she recorded a US #1 wind-legal time in the 200 meter dash with a 23.31 clocking in the 6A finals, while rolling to a US #2 wind-legal time of 11.44 in the 100 meter dash finals.
Images from the Finals of the GHSA Girls State Championships
Friday Prelims and Distance Finals
Various pics from Phil Fowler
Helen Williams of AIS is becoming a real star on Georgia HS distance scene as she swept the 1600/3200 races with amazing times of 5:00 and 10:40 defeating some stern competition along the way.
After a big miscue Friday evening, in which Westlake's great 4x400m 'A' squad was DQ'd for a few steps inside the lane 1 line, the Lions hung tough Saturday defending their 6A title passing a hard charging Marietta squad with 2 events left. Westlake did not win an event, but had the athletes to make the most of their scoring opportunities as a team and capitalized on them which was key. Cover pics coming Sunday!
How competitive is 6-AAA? The race for the 3A Girls team title came down to a battle of Region foes and was not over until the conclusion of the 4x400m relay. Woodward needed to only get the baton around the Track legally unless St.Pius X placed 2nd or better. Woodward one-upped that, placing 4th clinching the team title with 61 points as St.Pius closed with 56. Blessed Trinity secured 3rd overall taking the Gold in the final event while Maynard Jackson hung tough in 4th with 47 points.
This class is going to be very tight if things hold up on paper (which they rarely do, and why we run the races) A big miscue, False Start, DQ could cost the 5A team title. The players are Pope, which is strong all around. Miller Grove who has incredible speed and trackstar Tiffany Flynn. North Springs whose real scoring ops will be the sprints, hurdles and relays. New Manchester will rely on their speed, relays, hurdles and horizontal hops. Northside WR has Cassondra Hall whose the favorite to take the 100/200, and strong relays. Forest Park's strengths are on the Field and Hurdles.
ELCA was sitting pretty going into Finals and ran to their potential, winning their 1st Girls state title in school history. Landmark Christian profitted off their hurdles and relays strength to take 2nd position on the Podium. Athens Christian fought valiantly as a true team, without stars, placing 3rd while Pace Academy corralled the final Podium spot in 4th with OLM challenging thru the 4x400m relay.
Wow, how close could this one possibly get? Everything was on the line in the final event of the 5A meet and it came down to Pope not qualifying for finals in the 4x400 (1 spot out) and Miller Grove doing what they absolutely had to do, which was comfortably placing 5th, scoring 4 GIANT points, securing the 5A Girls state title. Of course, there was much more involved in how it led up to 4x400m relay. Northside Warner Robins did everything possible Saturday to make it a horse race as their best athletes and relay squads won 5 events putting a scare into Miller Grove and Pope.
There will be no prelims for Class A, which means just Finals...1 shot and done and their journey to a state title begins Thursday evening with the 3200 Meter finals. There are at least 6 teams with an opportunity to either win the title or make the Podium club. Eagles Landing Christian (ELCA), Landmark, ACS, Pace, OLM and Holy Innocents. Every point will matter, every step, every toss and leap.
Coverage central for the Georgia State Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which will be held Thursday thru Saturday at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany, Georgia. MileSplit will be on-site with coverage from our MileSplit GA affiliate.
The A Public girls, like A Private, basically had prelims at the Sectionals. There were no 1600/3200 meter events contested so those athletes should be rested and ready to pr in relatively cool weather for Albany in May. There are 4 schools with a legit shot at becoming team champs including Gordon Lee, Commerce and Georgia Military Prep (GMAC) who have squared off the past 2 weekends and feisty Marion County of Area 1. On a Power ranking calculated a few minutes ago, Gordon Lee and Commerce are in a dead heat.
Frosh Serena Tripodi of Lovett became yet another in a long line of freshman girls to win their first State title at the GHSA Girls state meet in the distance events.
Avery Bussjager of Walton pulled away the final 1600 meters taking the 6A 3200 meter title.
Super Frosh Candace Hill from Rockdale County HS set the already hot mondo on fire in both the short sprints putting the nation on notice that she's the real thing Saturday afternoon at the GHSA Girls State Championships. First with a 11.44 in the 100 meters and then going 23.21 in the 200 meters taking over the #1 time in the MileSplit National Rankings (wind legal) as I just verified with the Timer. Her 11.44 in the 100 meters puts her with the 3rd best wind legal time currently.
Its shaping up to be a 'redo' between Region 6 foes Blessed Trinity, Pius and Woodward Academy. The difference maker is going to be who got out of Sectionals in good shape for these teams. North Oconee has their strongest team in years and could be in the hunt for a Podium spot. Maynard Jackson, Franklin County, Decatur and SE Bulloch should all be players for a top 4 team finish
Marist closed the door actually winning the meet Friday with 74 points. Hometown favorite Monroe-Albany fought very hard on Saturday capitalizing on every scoring opportunity, but fell short ending up a strong 2nd with 67 points. Redan aslo had a good Saturday, closing out with 62 points taking 3rd overall. Fayette County took the final team Podium spot placing 4th largely due to Chinyere Njoku's hurdles double.
It all comes down to Westlake and McEachern for the 6A state title and Westlake has the upper hand in both relays with multiple teams. We should have a glimpse of how things are shaping up by watching the prelims. Only the top athletes will be able to back down and coast before the finish line ..
4A will get a full day's rest between prelims and Finals, which could be fortuitous to local schools Monroe and Westover. Points out on the Field will be at a premium and all but the National Elite athletes will have to go full bore in the Track prelims just to Q' for 'Finals Saturday' This classification is clearly the 2nd strongest All-Class and it's a drag we will never see the same power squads compete against each other again.
Awesome races in the A Private Girls 3200, 5A 1600m and 6A 1600m. The weather did not hurt distance times a bit. Hold on to your umbrellas Friday! Dramatic finishes in both the 5A & 6A 1600 brought the crowd to their feet. Distance races are not suppose to be that exciting, but Alex Cameron, (5A, Dunwoody) and Mary Jeanne Assinzo, (6A, Marietta) demonstrated the quality of Georgia distance athletes.
Lindsay Billings got some payback easily winning the 5A Girls 3200 meters.
Morgan Ilse ran the 1600 meters with complete economy of motion earler friday wowing coaches, judges, officials and myself. Ilse wa flawless, and if not for a slow start probably would have taken the best performance award.
Lovett has really improved from 2013 and as the season ground away took over the top spot in the 2A Team Power Rankings and haven't looked back. But, they suffered a big loss when Victoria Powell (got injured?) and was unable to compete at Sectionals costing Lovett up to 20-25 points at State. This brings perennial AA powers Wesleyan and Westminster right back into the chase. Thomasville has the potential to be a Podium squad as does Greater Atlanta Christian, Laney (who has speed) Monticello who boasts the triple threat Tiarra Whitlock, and Jefferson. Taylor DeLoach of St.Vincent's is another great athlete who could score up to 30 points by herself.
Woodward leads after Day 1 with 30 points followed by podium contender North oconee with 27 and Southeast Bulloch 27. Blessed Trinity had a successful day in Prelims possibly setting them up to win the title Saturday
Cavana Epps from Central Talbotton completed her sweep of the A Public distance races leaving the field behind very early.
Marist brought the power on Day 1 racking up 56 points doubling up host Monroe-Albany and is likely to add 18 more after the 1600 finals.
Jenna Gearing of White County may train at some of the higher altitudes in Georgia and it paid off as she again bested Anna Gandolfo of Blessed Trinity down the stretch taking the 3A Girls 1600 meter title.
Lovett was the best AA team at Hugh Mills stadium on Thursday, It rained, then rained more as the meet ran behind an hour and a half.
Here are the Performance Lists for each Class for the GHSA Girls State Championships.
Enclosed within are the Meet Programs for each class at the GHSA Girls State Championship
Here are the most updated 'Entry Lists' for every class at the GHSA Girls State Championships beginning this Thursday down in Albany. The weather forecast is for cooler than what we normally get to experience with some Showers Thursday and Friday. Also attached is the Schedule of Events.
What teams, after all the blood, sweat and tears, will emege as GHSA Girls State Champs at the conclusion of the 4x400 Relay? Its going to be a typical hot day in ALB on Saturday after all the cool, rainy stuff and expect state records to fall in many events, ESPECIALLY in the Sprints and Relays. And did I mention, Candace Hill of Rockdale County is just a 9th grader?
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