At the conclusion of the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA boys state track and field championship Saturday, Columbia County was home to a state champion and a top-5 team.
Heading into the meet, local coaches were dead-on about what might happen.
“Overall, I feel we will compete well in the state meet and if everything goes well, who knows, we could bring back the first state champion to Grovetown High School,” wrote Grovetown head coach Rodney Tyson in an email.
Grovetown’s Darius Watkins won the boys 200 meter dash Saturday in 22.24, after finishing second in Friday’s preliminaries. Watkins also added a third-place finish in the 100 in 11.18, trailing Greenbrier’s Jeremy Harden (10.99) and Creekside’s Evan Berry (10.95).
Greenbrier coaches thought they had a good shot at winning the state championship and weren’t far off. McIntosh emerged as the champion with 40 points, Cedar Shoals was second with 38 points with the Wolfpack right behind them with 35 points. Grovetown was No. 15 with 16 points, Lakeside (12 points) was 24th and Evans (2) was 45th.
“We were very excited to have come in third overall,” wrote Greenbrier coach Kati Smallwood in an email, noting that the team didn’t qualify for a couple of events she thought they should have. “They did an excellent job of competing at a high level considering that it was raining the entire time and about 20 degrees colder than normal temp this time of year.”
Harden led the Wolfpack, also taking fourth in the 200 with a time of 22.19 and joined with Jamal Richard, Warren Coombs and Dontae Weaver to nab second in the 4x100 relay.
Coombs almost had the top spot in the 400 as well, finishing second in 49.08.
Field events got under
way Thursday and Greenbrier’s Dominique Brown took third in the high jump (6-04) while Michael Furman was 11th in pole vault (11-00). In the long jump, Evans’ Jababri Nelson jumped 20-11.05 and finished seventh.
Lakeside’s distance runners performed well during the three-day event. Thursday, Chase Fowers was fifth in the 1600 at 4:24.67 while teammate Christian Bowles (4:27.65) came in eighth. On Friday, Bowles placed third in the 3200 (two-mile) in 9:34.83 while Fowers (9:44.68) was eighth.
At the South Carolina Independent School Association AAA state meet, Augusta Christian brought home five individual state titles with the boys finishing fourth and the girls seventh.
Grant Newman was the boys’ top scorer, winning the triple jump and 400 hurdles, taking second in the long jump. Newman was fourth in the 110 hurdles behind teammate Bryson Ashmore who took first. Isaiah Brown and Domonique Miles finished fourth in the 400 and triple jump, respectively.
For the girls, Anna Motes won state titles in the long jump and triple jump and was fourth in the 400.
At the Georgia Independent School Association state meet, Augusta Prep’s girls finished eighth while the boys were 11th overall.
Josephine Beyer was the Lady Cavaliers high scorer, finishing third in the long jump (16-07), sixth in the 200 (28.53) and as a part of the seventh place 4x400 relay (4:26.52) and eighth place 4x100 relay (54.50). Jodie Holodak was seventh in the 800 meter (2:31.70) and eighth in the 1600 (5:47.05) while Margaret Cavanaugh was eighth in the 100 hurdles (18.35).
Ben Guthrie led the way for the boys team, taking fourth in the triple jump (39-09), fifth in the long jump (19-05.25) as part of the 4x400 relay (3:49.35) and 4x100 relay (47.02) who finished sixth and eighth, respectively. John Earwood finished eighth in the 1600 (4:51).