Published Thursday, March 07, 2013

Prep Track: Trinity Christian teams off and running

By CHRIS GOLTERMANN

cgoltermann@newnan.com

Trinity Christian's first varsity track and field team in the GISA is (excuse the pun) off and running.

Last Saturday’s inaugural Lion Relays were an overwhelming success in the eyes of head coach J.P. Weaver, who watched Trinity Christian's teams sweep four boys and girls relay events at Riley Field in Peachtree City among eight schools in competition.

“As a coaching staff we’re definitely thrill about what our kids did,” said Weaver. “There’s been a strong buzz in the air. There’s a lot of excitement going on with the program.”

Trinity Christian will follow up last week’s meet with its host Lion Invitational, which will add field events this Saturday among a field of 10 schools.

So far young lineups have made an immediate impact. A varsity roster of 20 includes a single senior - Mark Collier — and four juniors, but has made remarkable strides in its first year according to Weaver, whose staff treated last Friday much like a football pregame walkthrough for a majority of athletes competing in their first varsity track meet.

Along with Collier, Trinity Christian's junior class includes Rodney Neely among boys and Sirena Eller, Tori Haldeman and Andrea Campbell for the Lady Lions. Campbell helped lead individual efforts by winning the 100 in 14.25 while Eller was fifth.

Campbell and Eller were on a winning 800 sprint relay with Ashley Caldwell and Ruth Colburn. Campbell and Haldeman also helped capture a victory in the 1,600 sprint medley for the Lady Lions with Andrea Campbell and freshman Nicole Zaubi, who added strong performances individually in the 800 (2nd, 2:57) and the 1,600 (4th, 6:25).

Neely was among the Lions 400 and 800 sprint medley relay lineups with Trinity finishing first in both with respective times of 49.10 and 1:50. The 800 relay, which consisted of two 100 meter legs followed by a 200 and a 400, also included Caleb Nixon, Aaron George and sophomore Joey Armistead, who also won the 200 in 25.19 in a 1-2 finish with George for the Lions.

Neely placed fourth in the 100 and sixth in the 200.

“A lot of coaches approached us and told us they really liked the additional relays because it’s different and you don’t see that in GISA,” Weaver said. “A lot of them said it brought out teamwork. We’ve tried to instill here that track is not an individual sport, it’s a team sport.”

Armistead was also a member of a winning 1,600 relay team with Michael Troyer, Caleb Nixon and Robby Blanchard. Troyer and Blanchard helped add a victory for Trinity’s boys in the 1,600 Sprint relay among a lineup also including George and Ben Peacock.

Individually, Peacock took third in the 1,600 and fourth in the 800.

Trinity Christian's middle school teams also performed well while sweeping both 800 Sprint Medley events as well as the boys and girls 1,600 relay.

Individually, Alec Collins captured the 100 in 13.22 and Cody Totten won the 200 in 13.22. Sawyer Stevens and Hans Troyer finished third and fourth, respectively, in the 800 for the Lions.

Taylor Sullivan helped lead the middle school Lady Lions by winning the 1,600. Sullivan and Trinity teammate Claire Geerlings crossed second and third in the 800 a second apart in 3:28.

Katherine Marinello also took second in the 200.

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