Heritage teams finish 1st, 2nd at region meet; Trinity sends 12 to state


Heritage School track athletes captured high-points honors while helping respective lineups to top-two finishes in Monday’s GISA Region 1-AAA meet at Mill Springs in Alpharetta. 

Long-distance runner Josh Mattingly captured wins in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters and added a fourth victory as part of the Hawks’ 1,600-relay to lead Heritage’s boys to a 1-AAA championship.

The Hawks scored 135 1/2 points to finish ahead of The Weber School (124), Trinity Christian (105) and Dominion Christian (90 1/2) among seven competing boys schools.

Led by 35 points from seniors Chase Parker and Alexis Pappas, the Lady Hawks scored 138 points to finish second behind Atlanta Girls School’s 151. Dominion was third with 106 and Trinity Christian fourth with 75 points among eight schools. 

Parker, Pappas and sophomore Ruthie Powell each won three individual events and teamed with Maggie Crosby during a victory in the 1,600-relay. Powell won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 while giving Heritage a clean sweep in long-distance events among girls and boys. 

The Lady Hawks seniors also ran on a winning 400-relay team with Crosby and girls soccer standout Calista Eckert. 

The top-four finishers qualified for next week’s GISA State Championships in Albany, starting next Thursday at Hugh Mills Stadium. 

Trinity Christian lineups — competing in their first seasons — qualified 12 athletes for the GISA meet, nine of which were sophomores or younger. 

“As coaches we’re real pleased, especially how very young we are this year,” said Trinity head coach J.P. Weaver. “Just about every athlete that competed had a personal best.”

Trinity Christian’s boys were led by a pair of victories from Joseph Armistead in the 200 and 400 to go with first-place efforts in field events from Mark Collier in the shot put and eighth-grader Alec Collins in the pole vault. 

Ashley Caldwell and Nicole Zaubi each had multiple top-three finishes for the Lady Lions.


Heritage School Boys

Mattingly made it a clean sweep in distance events, cruising to wins in the 800 (2:10.35), 1,600 (4:50.72) and 3,200 (10:34.63) with no runner closer than seven seconds at the finish among the three. 

He ended the meet by joining Kyle Schuman, Parker Jones and David Bready for a 18 second victory in the 1,600-relay while crossing in 3:38. Heritage’s 400-relay also qualified for state while placing third in 47.93.

Senior Richard Ebersbach also added a region championship in the discus with a throw of 112 feet, 6 1/2 inches. He also qualified for state in the shot put with teammate Tyler Henson, with the teammates finishing third and fourth, respectively with top throws of 36-6 1/2 and 35-2. 

Despite just missing a berth in the 400 while placing fifth, Bready qualified for state in the high jump, placing fourth after tying with Schuman at 5-3 based on attempts. He also advance with a fourth-place effort in the triple jump at 37-7 1/2.

Hawks sophomores Trevor Sawyers and A.J. Gainwell both qualified in the 300 hurdles by finishing third and fourth, respectively in 46.78 and 48.89. 

Sawyers also added a state time in the 110 hurdles, finishing second in 18.56.

Also scoring points for the Hawks were: Gainwell (7th, 110 hurdles), Schuman (7th, 100), Will Duke (8th, 100; 6th, 200), Parker Jones (8th, 200; 6th, 400), Tom Pattiz (7th, 800; 6th, 3,200), John Dean Uglum (5th, 1,600); Cole Jones (5th, long jump; 7th triple jump) and Tyler Henson (8th, discus). 

Trinity Christian Boys

In his first competition in the pole vault, Collins cleared 8-0 to win the event for the Lions.

“He’s just started with it and he’s doing real well,” said Weaver of the eighth grader. “He could have easily cleared nine [feet].”

Collier, meanwhile, came through with a win in the shot put to earn a trip to state in his final varsity season. A throw of 37-4 1/2 outdistanced Weber’s Max Franco (36-9) for first-place honors. The Lion senior also qualified in the discus, placing fourth in 95-10 1/2. 

In running finals, Armistead came through with victories for Trinity in the 200 and 400, both in close finishes. He crossed the 200 in 24.22 and held off Dominion’s Donavan Ellison by six-hundredths of a second in the 400 with a mark of 54.13. 

The Lions had a pair of qualifiers in the 100 led by eighth-grader Aaron George’s third-place finish of 12.0. Junior Rodney Neely was fourth in 12.10. 

Neely, George and Armistead were members of Trinity’s qualifying 400 relay, which placed fourth in 48.07. The Lions’ 1,600 relay just missed reaching state, finishing fifth in 3:59.16.

Caleb Nixon and Ben Peacock also added state qualifying times. Nixon was third in the 110 hurdles in 19.44 and Peacock finished behind Heritage’s Mattingly in the 800 (2:16.53). 

Also advancing in field events for Trinity was Noel Fuller with a third-place finish in the high jump. 

Other scorers for the Lions were: Robby Blanchard (8th, 110 hurdles; 8th, 300 hurdles), Peacock (7th, 3,200; 7th, 1,600), Alex Rhodes (8th, 1,600), Nixon (6th, 300 hurdles; 8th, triple jump), Armistead (7th, high jump), Neely (8th, long jump) and Fuller (6th, triple jump).

Heritage School Girls 

The Lady Hawks’ three ‘P’s’ — Pappas, Parker and Powell — combined to dominate the meet while winning nine of 14 individual region titles. 

Powell continued her dominance in long-distance events to capture the 3,200 (12:00), 1,600 (5:32.92) and 800 (2:28.66) with ease. 

Pappas swept the sprints, capturing championships in the 100 (12.78) and 200 (26.78). The senior also won the long jump by more than 18 inches with a leap of 16-1. 

Parker added wins in both hurdles events, winning the 300 (49.20) and 100 (16.21) by more than a full second. The Lady Hawks senior also captured the high jump at 4-10 over Dominion’s Morgan Lavigne (4-8). 

Heritage’s winning 400 relay of Parker, Crosby, Eckert and Pappas crossed in 54.12, while a 1,600 team of Crosby, Parker, Pappas and Powell also finished first in 4:27.61 for an 11-second victory.

Eckert, a freshman standout for Heritage’s girls soccer team that was headed into the Class AAA state playoffs on Tuesday, qualified individually in the shot by placing fourth with a throw of 24-8 while just missing out on two other events where she placed fifth.  

Other scorers for the Lady Hawks included Crosby (5th, 200; 8th, 400), Eckert (5th, 400; 5th 100), Clara Haugen (8th, 800), Lillie Smith (7th, 300 hurldes), Casey Harcourt (6th, discus).

Trinity Christian Girls 

Despite being unable to earn a region title, the Lady Lions had four athletes advance to the state meet, including freshman Nicole Zaubi in all three long-distance events. 

Zaubi finished second behind only Heritage standout Ruthie Powell in the 800 (2:42.50), 1,600 (5:55.48) and 3,200 (13:18.65). 

“Ruthie is probably going to win state,” said Weaver. “[Zaubi]’s just a freshman and she’s really made strides this year.”

Ashley Caldwell finished second in the 100 hurdles in 18.71 and also qualified with a third-place effort in the 300 hurdles in 55.45.

Andrea Campbell advanced in the 100 and 200, placing fourth in both events. Ruth Colbert placed third in the 400 in 1:08.05 to qualify for state. 

The Lady Lions also advanced in the 400 relay, placing fourth in 56.11 with a lineup that included Sirena Eller, Colburn, Caldwell and Campbell. Trinity’s 1,600 relay placed fifth.

Other scorers for the Lady Lions included Eller (7th, long jump; 7th, 100; 8th, discus) and Colburn (6th, 200).

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