High School Track & Field
Lady Cougars, Indians top local finishers at 3-AAAAAA meet
FAIRBURN — Westlake teams ran away with Region 3-AAAAAA track championships on Saturday, but the final day of the meet brought unfinished business for both East Coweta and Newnan lineups.
In what became as much a repeat of a tight race from this year’s County Championships, local programs combined to qualify for next week’s state sectionals in 15 boys and girls events during Saturday’s running finals at Langston Hughes High School.
The top-four finishers in each event advanced to the Class AAAAAA sectionals at McEachern High.
The region meet didn’t lack drama locally between county rivals — each of which left with a share of bragging rights.
Newnan’s girls responded on the final day to leapfrog over East Coweta into third overall with 88 points.
The Lady Cougars remained steady by scoring in all but one event, with a pair of athletes — Elizabeth Westerfield and Charity Burk — advancing to the sectionals.
Burk took third in the 100 hurdles in 17.68 while Westerfield was third in the 1,600 in 5:42.92.
Anna Haydon, who advanced to sectionals on Wednesday in the 3,200 for Newnan, also scored in the mile, placing fifth in 5:53.72 on a day where she was among several performances from the Lady Cougars that just missed advancing to state.
They included Westerfield’s effort in the 800, where she placed fifth in 2:45.01 behind East Coweta’s Andrea Williams and ahead of Newnan teammate Mary Douglas Hallman.
K’Marra Stinson was fifth in the 100 in 12.79.
The Lady Indians, who began day two in second place well behind Westlake’s girls, earned four qualifying times for sectionals — all with fourth-place efforts — to wrap up the meet in fourth with a two-day total of 79 points.
East Coweta’s girls qualified for state in both relay events with Alona Glenn leading off both lineups. Glenn — who just missed qualifying individually while placing fifth in the 400 to give the Lady Indians four points — joined Brielle Horton, Quintina Mitchell and Cierra Swindle for a fourth-place time of 50.08 in the 400.
In the 1,600 relay, Glenn, Lindsay Warren, Aliah Whisby and Adrianna Williams qualified for sectionals with a time of 4:07.92, also taking fourth.
Andrea Williams and Whisby qualified individually for the Lady Indians. Williams was fourth in the 800 at 2:33.14 while Whisby held off Westlake’s Alexandria Johnson by 12-hundredths of a second to advance in the 200 in 25.74.
Westlake’s girls, however, were Saturday’s big winners, leading all teams with an impressive 212-point effort after posting multiple-scorers in eight of nine running finals while sweeping both the 400 and 1,600-meter relays.
Langston Hughes made a strong surge on the final day to move from fifth to second place while finishing with 114 points, all but 18 of which came on Saturday.
The boys meet also featured a dominating performance from Westlake, which won seven of Saturday’s nine events en route to a 195-point finish, 53 ahead of runner-up Langston Hughes. East Coweta’s boys held on for third place with 81 points, just one ahead of Newnan in a fierce battle behind the pair of 3-AAAAAA frontrunners. Douglas County was fifth with 72 points and Tri-Cities placed sixth with 41.
The Indians were led by Kevin Lashley’s pair of state-qualifying times in both hurdles events among three Indians that advanced in Saturday’s running finals.
A junior, Lashley joined East Coweta Christian Scanlon while placing among the top-four in the 300 inter- mediate event. Lashley placed second in 39.02 while Scanlon was fourth in 41.10.
Lashley and Nick Bridges advanced to sectionals for the Indians with respective third-place finishes in the 110-high hurdles and the 800. East Coweta is also sending Dartavyous Walker (discus, shot) and Noah Rutherford (discus) to sectionals.
Lashley finished the 110 hurdles 14.96 while within six-tenths of a second behind Westlake hurdlers Orlando McKinley and Wesley Watkins. Scanlon placed fifth.
Bridges, meanwhile, held off Trevion Williams of Langston Hughes in 2:02.84 to place third in the 800, an event won by Westlake’s Mike Smith in 2:00.41.
Indians Satchel Horton and Bobby Martin added fifth-place efforts to score points, but were denied a chance to advance to sectionals.
Horton took fifth with a mark of 50.75 in the 400 behind Hughes senior Bingo Morton. He also placed eighth in the 200 to score for the Indians.
Martin was unable to catch Hughes runner Brian Flournory in the 3,200, finishing in 11:22.99. Sam Sipple also scored in the event, placing eighth.
Newnan’s boys turned five qualifying efforts on Saturday including a pair in the 100 to finish strong.
The Cougars opened the region meet with a strong effort in field events with state qualifiers in the triple jump (J.K. Britt), long jump (Stephon Brownlee, Josh Hill) and high jump (Hill).
They then quickly added a qualifying relay to start Saturday’s running finals. A team of Ian Alce, Terrence Geter, Marquis Hill and Brandon Tennie placed fourth in 43.08 while improving on Wednesday’s qualifying time.
It was one of three state qualifying times from Geter, a senior, on Saturday.
Geter and Alce followed by bettering their previous marks in the 100 en route to placing third and fourth.
In the 100, Geter put together an impressive time of 11.09 behind only Westlake teammates Rashaad Pollard (10.66) and Josh Poole (10.92) — both of whom would have bettered last year’s Class AAAAAA champion Kirvonte Benson of Marietta with their respective marks on Saturday.
Benson won last year’s 100 title in 11.03, with Hillgrove’s Demetrius Duggans finishing runner-up in 11.16.
Alce took fourth in the 100 on Saturday in 11.20.
Geter later took third in the 200 in 22.25, again while on the heels of Pollard (21.51) and Poole (22.21). Alce also scored for the Cougars, finishing seventh.
Newnan long-distance runner Matthew Miller also qualified for the sectionals in the 3,200 with a third-place effort. Miller crossed in 11:06.42.
The Cougars also scored in the 1,600 relay, with a team of Britt, Geter, Josh Hunter and Frankie Williams finishing sixth.