Northgate girls lead local efforts at Patriot Invitational
by Staff Reports
The Coweta County Track & Field Championships may be just over a week away, but varsity teams at Northgate and East Coweta have already ramped up the competition accordingly.
Respective girls and boys lineups went head-to-head during last weekend’s annual Patriot Invitational at Sandy Creek. Led by the Lady Vikings’ championship effort of 83 points, Northgate finished second among 16 schools with a combined score of 141.83.
East Coweta finished fourth overall with 93 points just behind host Sandy Creek.
Woodward Academy’s combined score of 171.83 points led the meet.
Northgate's girls, however, outran the field while scoring in 14 events in a balanced effort. The team had multiple scorers in the 400, 1,600 and 3,200 on the track in addition to a pair in both the high jump and shot put in the field despite coming away without an individual champion.
East Coweta freshman Aliah Whisby led her team while holding off talented Northgate sophomore Toya Jantzen in the high jump after both cleared 5 feet, 2 inches. The Lady Indians finished with 40 points while eighth among girls teams and scoring in 13 events.
Both schools were neck-and-neck in the boys standings while separated by less than five points. The Vikings scored 58.83 to place third among boys teams. Scoring in nine events, Northgate showcased its depth in the pole vault with three placers led by senior Alex Anderson’s victory at 13-4.
The Indians scored 53 to placed fifth among boys lineups. Senior Josh Bruce held off Northgate’s Evan Vatave by five-tenths of a second to win the 1,600 in 4:56.31. East Coweta’s boys placed in 11 events, including both relays.
Recapping team efforts:
Northgate girls (1st, 83 points): Kemor Anderson scored in five events to lead the Lady Vikings, placing second in the long jump (17-2), third in the 100 (12.44) and seventh in the 200 (26.57) individually.
Anderson joined Ebonee Echols, Quianna LeBlanc and Brenna Skalski for a pair of seventh-place efforts in the 400 and 1,600 relay. The group’s mark of 50.62 in the 400 was nearly two seconds faster than their seeding.
The Lady Vikings were dominant in long-distance events led by junior Hailey Gollnick, who was second in the 3,200 (12;17.69) and third in the 1,600 (5:46.66). Erica Lee was right behind her teammate, finishing third in the 3,200 (13:04.78) and fourth in the 1,600 (5:57.36) while sister Taylor finished fourth in the 3,200 (13:20).
Caitlin Bellora added an eighth-place effort of 2:43.99 in the 800, while Kaia Kirk was eighth in the 300 low hurdles (52.50).
Northgate’s girls also had multiple scorers in the 400. LeBlanc and Echols placed sixth and eighth, respectively, as each crossed at the 1:03 mark.
The team did it twice in the field. Joining Jantzen in the high jump was Emily Seiler’s fourth-place finish of 4-10. Andie Martin (32-4) and Alyssa Allen (32-3) placed sixth and seventh in the shot. Allen was also eighth in the discus with a throw of 81-11.
Hannah Schaerer gave the Lady Vikings a second-place effort in the pole vault with a solid mark of 8-0.
East Coweta girls (8th, 40 points): The Lady Indians came well within range of moving up in the standings after having to settle for five ninth-place efforts.
The team had two scorers in the 1,600 and 3,200 led by a pair of fifth-place finishes by Darien Pugh. Andrea Williams was sixth behind her teammate in the 3,200 and seventh in the mile.
Cynthia Swindle scored in two events, placing fifth in the 300 hurdles (51.25) and seventh in the triple jump (31-4).
Freshman Ayanna Reid finished second in the triple jump in 33-2 3/4 while nearly missing out on scoring in the long jump (9th, 15-7). Reid, Whisby, Alona Glenn and Adrianna Williams did the same in the 400 relay, also finishing ninth.
Glenn managed to score in the 400, placing seventh in 1:03.38, while Candice Bass was eighth in the 100 in 12.86.
Ninth-place efforts included Miriah King in the 800, Swindle in the 100 hurdles and Mary Kleihauer in the discus.
Northgate boys (3rd, 58.83): Anderson, Conner Bergh and Johnny Gilbert combined for 23 points in the pole vault. Bergh cleared 12-6 to place second while Gilbert was fourth at 10-0.
Only Woodward Academy’s Jameel Spencer managed to outdistance Anderson with an impressive mark of 14-7.
Senior Josh Harrison added a second-place finish in the discus with a throw of 124-9. Adrian Tolbert was third in the high jump at 5-10 while Malik Wade placed eighth in the triple jump (38-4).
Vatave was among two scorers in the mile joining Garrett Stephens, who placed sixth. Logan Lagner took sixth in the 400 while Benton Washington placed seventh in the 200 in 22.78.
Washington, Lagner, Wade and Matt Bemister combined to place fourth in the 1,600 relay in 3:36.05.
East Coweta boys (5th, 53): Dartavyous Walker and Kevin Lashley each scored in multiple events for the Indians to help lead the way.
Lashley posted top-four times in both hurdles, placing second in the 300 intermediates in 42.21 and fourth in the 110 high hurdles in 16.03.
He was also a member of relay teams that scored points for East Coweta. Lashley, Gay, Weylin Orr and Davion Jackson finished eighth in the 400 while Lashley, Bruce, Satchel Horton and Everett Ranson were fifth in the 1,600 in 3:37. Horton was also seventh individually in the 800.
Walker placed third in the weights with a throw of 44-11 in the shot and 110-10 in the discus. Teammate Noah Rutherford was sixth in 100-7.
Other Indian scorers in field events included Orr, who was sixth in the long jump at 20-0 and Gay, who placed fourth in the triple jump at 41-8 1/2.