High School Track & Field
Lady Indians, Cougars lead local teams
FAIRBURN - East Coweta's girls track team made enough noise during Wednesday's opening day of the Region 3-AAAAAA meet to find itself trailing only heavy favorite Westlake heading into Saturday's running finals at Langston Hughes High School.
Westlake's girls led all teams following field events and running qualifiers with 73 points heading into the final day of the meet. The girls 3,200 and boys 1,600 meter finals were also held on Wednesday.
The top-four finishers in each event advance to next week's Class AAAAAA State Sectionals.
The Lady Indians finished day one in second place with 45 points, led by field-event wins by Aliah Whisby in the high jump (5-2) and Mary Kleihauer in the discus (106 1 ½).
Kleihauer also reached sectionals in the shot put, finishing fourth, while teammate Quinita Mitchell took fourth behind her in the discus to give East Coweta two qualifiers in the event.
Scorers for the Lady Indians on Wednesday also included Alona Glenn, who qualified for sectionals with a fourth-place finish in the high jump. Glenn was also a member of two qualifying relay teams while also reaching the finals of the 400 set for Saturday.
Douglas County's girls were third with 40 points followed by Newnan (33).
Whisby also qualified for Saturday's finals in the 100 and 200 while Kleihauer also qualified for the state sectionals in the shot put by placing fourth in 29-7 ½.
The Lady Cougars were led Wednesday by Anna Haydon's victory of 12:42.10 in the 3,200. Lamirra Henderson also qualified for Newnan's girls in both the high jump, placing second at 5-0, and the long jump with a fourth-place effort of 16-7.
Joining them was Lady Cougar triple-jumper Katrice Jackson, who took fourth with a leap of 31-3, as well as Lesley Davis, who placed second in the discus with a throw of 99-9.
Newnan's boys, meanwhile, led county entries on day one with 43 points in fourth place behind Westlake (62), Langston Hughes (59) and Douglas County (45). The Cougars picked up 10 points on senior Josh Hill's victory of 6-8 in the high jump.
Hill accounted for 15 of Newnan's 43-point total while also qualifying in the long jump behind Cougars teammate Stephon Brownlee.
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Brownlee's leap of 20-9 placed third while Hill took fourth with a mark of 21-1 ½. Junior J.K. Britt also qualified for next week's sectionals in the triple jump, placing third with a leap of 40-11, while Hill was sixth with a best of 39-11.
East Coweta's boys, which picked up a sweep in the shot put and discus from Dartavyous Walker, scored 36 points on Wednesday to stay in the mix, well ahead of sixth-place Tri-Cities (15).
Walker and Indians teammate Noah Rutherford led a one-two finish in the discus led by Walker's winning throw of 141-06. Rutherford held off Westlake's Elijah Holifield for second with a top mark of 119-8.
Both will move on to the state sectionals.
Jovan Rembert also scored in field events for East Coweta's boys, placing sixth in the long jump (19-6) while Kevin Lashley was eighth overall.
In the only running final held on Wednesday, Nick Bridges scored for the Indians with a sixth-place effort of 4:55.39 in the 1,600, and senior teammate Josh Bruce was eighth in 5:04.19. Bridges also qualified for Saturday's finals in the 800.
Among boys running qualifiers, Lashley has a chance to reach the sectionals in the hurdles after earning the No. 2 seed for Saturday in both the 110 high and 300 intermediate events. Indians teammate Christian Scanlon also qualified for finals in both hurdles after placing third in the 300 and fifth in the 110 event in Wednesday's preliminaries.
Satchell Horton also qualified for finals in two individual events for East Coweta's boys in the 200 and 400.
The Cougars also received scoring efforts on Wednesday from Matthew Miller, woh placed fifth in the 1,600. Qualifiers for Saturday's running finals included Terrence Geter (100, 200), Ian Alce (100, 200), Christopher Florence (400), Xavier Collins (110 hurdles) and Tavone Gould (300 hurdles).
Newnan's boys will have two entries in the 400 relay final and one in the 1,600 relay. East Coweta qualified one relay in both events.
Lady Indians scorers on Wednesday also included Cierra Swindle and Aja Manning, who added points in the long jump and triple jump, placing fifth and sixth, respectively. Lindsay Warren was eighth in the long jump. Teammates Anna Weatherly and Jessica Gerekaris placed seventh and eighth in the 1,600.
Those also reaching Saturday's running qualifiers for East Coweta's girls include Adrianna Williams (200), Andrea Williams (800) and Aja Manning (300 hurdles).
Also scoring for Newnan's girls on Wednesday was Maya Sherman with a fifthplace effort in the 3,200. Lady Cougars who have qualified for finals on Saturday include K'Marra Stinson (100, 200), Ashley Houston (100, 200), Elizabeth Westerfield (800), Mary Douglass Hallman (800) and Charity Burk (300 hurdles).
Both East Coweta and Newnan's girls each qualified teams for the 400 and 1,600 relay finals.