The Greenbrier High School girls track and field team sent a message during Saturday's Greenbrier Invitational: Second place won't suffice this season.
Behind three individual wins from Lindsey Sutherland, the Lady Wolfpack outclassed their opponents - including three Region 3-AAAA challengers - at the Brierpatch.
"We've finished second in the region twice, and we don't want to have that happen again," Greenbrier coach Kati Smallwood said. "Winning the region is definitely our goal with the girls. They realize what a good shot they have."
Last spring Greenbrier's girls narrowly missed winning the Region 3-AAAA championship. Heading into the final event, the Lady Pack was positioned to earn their first region track title, but Thomson surged ahead after nipping Greenbrier by a fraction of a second in the 4x400 meter relay.
The Lady Pack delivered some pay-back Saturday. In addition to the convincing performance overall, Greenbrier (139 points) was well ahead of region foes Burke County (91), Thomson (51) and Statesboro (41).
"Anything athletic is never easy. We've just been working hard," Smallwood said. "We still have some improving to do, but I think we're at a really good point to start the season."
It was a different story for the boys. Washington-Wilkes took the team title with 110 points, Thomson was second at 108, and Evans posted 72 points to place third. Greenbrier finished a distant fourth, with 49.
Evans senior Roy Cheney continued to dominate hurdling events, with victories in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles. Greenbrier distance runners Boston Blake and Miguel Mota each managed wins. Mota won the 3,200-meter run, while Blake took the 1,600.
Greenbrier Invitational results
Girls: 1. Greenbrier 139. 2; Clarke Central 105.5; 3. Burke County 91; 4. Thomson 51; 5. Statesboro 41; 6. Jones County 37; 7. Greene County 18; 8. Washington-Wilkes 8.5.
Boys: 1. Washington-Wilkes 110; 2. Thomson 108; 3. Evans 72; 4. Greenbrier 49; 5. Clarke Central 45; 6. Richmond Academy 30 - Jones County 30; 8. Burke County 25; 9. Greene County 18; 10. Statesboro 9.
Columbia County individual winners
Girls: Shot put - Lindsey Sutherland (Greenbrier) 38'6. Discus - Tesha Thurmond (Greenbrier) 98'1 1/2. 3,200 meter - Blaire Peters (Greenbrier) 14:01. 1,600 meter - Samantha Hardy (Greenbrier) 6:14.8. 100 hurdles - Sutherland 16.24. 300 hurdles - Sutherland 48.14. 200 meter - Ashley Hollingsworth (Greenbrier) 27.10.
Boys: 3,200 meter - Miguel Mota (Greenbrier) 10:44.13. 1,600 meter - Boston Blake (Greenbrier) 4:55.28. 100 hurdles - Roy Cheney (Evans) 14.53. 300 hurdles - Cheney 38.37.
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