Dynasties continue for Lady Vikings, Indians at county track meet
by Chris Goltermann
When Northgate’s turn comes around to host the 2014 Coweta County Track & Field Championships next year, their girls know they’ll expect quite the tussle from an up-and-coming East Coweta lineup.
On Thursday at Drake Stadium, however, Kemor Anderson and her Lady Vikings teammates weren’t about to give up their trophy anytime soon.
Led by Anderson’s victories in the long jump, a sweep of the 100 and 200 meters as well her anchor run on her team’s winning 1,600 relay to close this year’s meet, Northgate’s girls held on to their team trophy for the fourth consecutive year by holding off the Lady Indians by a 78-70 margin among team scores.
“Our trophy’s still at the school,” joked Lady Vikings track coach Marcellous Johnson to East Coweta colleague Trace Overton.
East Coweta, though, didn’t go away empty handed while keeping a trophy of its own.
The Indians picked up a pair of victories from Dartavyous Walker in the field and both Kevin Lashley and Satchel Horton on the track while outdistancing both Northgate and Newnan boys teams in a 14-point victory over their nearest competitor.
East Coweta’s boys finished with 66 points while also picking up an individual win along the way from Nigel Gay in the triple jump. Northgate was second in team scoring with 52 points, followed by host Newnan with 39, led by efforts from Josh Hill and Terrance Geter.
Walker swept the weights in impressive fashion by taking the discus with a final throw of 139 feet to outlast Northgate senior Josh Harrison (128-2 1/2). The Indian junior captured the shot put in the same fashion, with a third toss of 46-5 able to hold off Newnan junior Tonarius Portress just after the Cougar jumped ahead with his throw of 44-9 1/2.
Horton, who placed third in the high jump, led runners in both the 400 and 800. He outkicked Northgate’s Malik Wade in 52.85 in a tight finish where the top-3 runners were separated by 15 hundredths of a second.
The finish was just as tight for the Indian sophomore in the 800, though it came in a dominating race by the Indians. Horton’s winning mark of 2:10.49 was just ahead of teammate Nickolaus Bridges (2:10.81) and senior Josh Bruce (2:12.50).
Only the top four individual finishers scored in the county championships, as well as the top-two finishers among relays.
Anderson kicked her away around the track to close the 1,600 relay with an easy victory where the junior joined Quianna LeBlanc, Brenna Skalski and Ebonee Echols for an impressive time of 4:12.22 that had Northgate coaches astonished after obliterating its seed time by more than six seconds.
The same foursome took second in the 400 relay in 50.16 while finishing behind East Coweta’s winning girls relay of Candice Bass, Ayanna Reid, Cierra Swindle and Aliah Whisby.
Anderson held off Whisby, one of several young Lady Indian runners in both sprints, winning the 100 in 12.73 and the 200 in 26.05. Anderson also captured the long jump with a leap of 16-7 to finish ahead of East Coweta’s Swindle, a sophomore.
Northgate’s young faces equally rose to the occasion. Echols, a sophomore, added an individual victory of her own in the 400 in 1:01.84, while both sophomore Caitlin Bellora and freshman siblings Erica and Taylor Lee gave Northgate’s girls a boost in long-distance events.
Bellora won the 800 in 2:39.89 while Erica and Taylor placed first and second in the 3,200 as well as third and fourth in the 1,600. Kaia Kirk, another freshman for Northgate, added a win in the 300 hurdles while holding off East Coweta’s Cynthia Swindle.
Abby Pinaud and Andie Martin also won events in the field for Northgate’s girls, capturing respective triple jump and shot-put titles to pace the Lady Vikings’ effo2rt. Teammate Hannah Schaerer won the pole vault, held Wednesday at Northgate to give the team a 5-point lead heading into Thursday’s events.
Martin led a 1-2 finish for the Lady Vikings in the shot with a throw of 31-9. Emily Seiler was fourth in the high jump and Brenna Skalski took fourth in the triple jump.
East Coweta’s girls made its share of noise in the meet, though, with freshmen Reid and Whisby winning one event apiece to go with the win in the 400 relay.
In addition to her second-place efforts in the 100 and 200, Whisby held off two-time county high jump champion Toya Jantzen of Northgate, who was ailing, by clearing 5-2.
Reid added a victory in the 100 hurdles in 16.04 in a 1-2 finish with Swindle. She was also fourth in the 300 hurdles behind Swindle’s second-place finish.
Andrea Williams captured the 1,600 in 5:54.50, ahead of East Coweta teammate Darian Pugh. Williams also was second in the 800 while Anna Weatherly placed third in the 800 and 1,600.
East Coweta’s girls also received a victory in the field from freshman Mary Kleihauer in the discus with a toss of 97-6.
Newnan’s girls scored 16 points and received third-place finishes from Arden Jobe (discus), Bianca Bolton (shot put) and Kiara Brewer (long jump) in the field. Charity Burk was third in the both hurdle events.
Among boys teams, the Indians got a boost en route to a team victory from third-place finishes by freshman Davion Jackson in both sprint events. In addition to taking third in the 800, Bruce placed second in the 1,600 while Christian Scanlon finished behind Lashley’s win in the 110 hurdles.
Northgate’s boys gave itself a solid 8-point lead on East Coweta heading into Thursday by way of Alex Anderson’s county-record leap in the pole vault. The senior cleared 13-7 while Viking teammate Conner Bergh was second at 12-6.
Evan Vatave added a sweep by capturing the mile and two-mile events in tight finishes. Vatave outkicked East Coweta’s Bruce for a time of 4:58.56, with the pair separated by 31-hundredths of a second.
Vatave then led a 1-2-3 finish with teammates Josh Oller and Gabe Mendez while winning the 3,200 in 11:29.83.
Junior Benton Washington also gave Northgate a boost, winning the 200 in 22.70, placing second in the 100 and overtaking the lead on the final lap to help the Vikings capture the 1,600 relay with teammates Malik Wade, Logan Langner and Adrian Tolbert.
Newnan’s boys were led in the field by Hill’s 14 points while winning both the high jump (6-0) and the long jump (22-3 1/2) and placing second in the triple jump. Geter won the 100 in a photo finish while 2-hundredths of a second faster than Northgate’s Washington.