Track and Field Blog: Top performances over the weekend, indoor all-state team

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Top performances from the weekend. With more than 60 high school teams from Georgia and Alabama competing, the 2012 Coaches Invitational, held last weekend at Georgia Tech, featured some of the region’s best athletes, who had stellar performances.

In the boys 1,600 meters, nine of the state’s top 10 times were recorded at the meet, with Peachtree Ridge junior Josh Brickell leading the way at 4 minutes, 16.13 seconds. He was followed by seniors Zane Coburn of Grady (4:17.54) and Sid Vaughn of Lakeside-Evans (4:20.65). In the 100 meters, McEachern senior Amba Etta-Tawo won in 10.58 with Chestatee senior Brandon Thompson finishing second at 10.61, the first and second fastest times in the state thus far.

In the girls 100 meters, four of the state’s current five fastest times were posted, led by Walton senior Tayla Carter’s 11.80. She was followed by Grayson senior Jasmine Abrams (11.87), Brookwood sophomore Simone Glenn (12.04) and Peachtree Ridge senior Sonkiqua Walters (12.09). In the 1,600, seven of the top 10 times in Georgia were recorded, led by Westminster junior Sahara Fletcher (5:06.08), Peachtree Ridge senior Lauren Kelly (5:07.07), Norcross junior Katherine Yost (5:07.39) and Lassiter senior Marcie Merriman (5:07.73).

Elsewhere, the M.L. King girls 400 meter relay team of Felicia Brown, Tiffany Camper, Jada Martin and Alexis Smith, ran a blistering 47 seconds at the 2nd Annual Gary Townsend Invitational, held at Southern Crescent Stadium in Jonesboro. It ties the Lions for the sixth fastest time in the nation. The Drew boys 400 meter relay team of Timothy Barnes, Andreius McBride, DeAndre McBride and Jadarius West clocked in at 41.04 to win the event in the fastest time thus far in Georgia.

Indoor All-State performers. For the first time ever the Georgia chapter of USA Track and Field has complied all-state indoor teams. Athletes were chosen based largely on their performances at the New Balance Indoor High School Nationals, held March 9-11 in New York, and the USATF South Zone Championships, held Feb. 19. Here are the girls and boys teams:

(60 meters, 200 meters) Tayla Carter, Walton; Briana Vaughn, Union Grove; Jada Martin, M.L. King.

(400) Felicia Brown, M.L. King; Chelsea Caldwell, M.L. King; Venessa Providence, Arabia Mountain.

(800) Greciana Cooper, Southwest DeKalb; Tatiyana Caffey, Miller Grove.

(1,600) Marcie Merriman, Lassiter; Cooper, Southwest DeKalb; Quandra Shanks, Brookwood.

(3,200) Grace Tinkey, First Presbyterian; Merriman, Lasssiter; Annie Kelly, Milton.

(60 meter hurdles) Kendall Williams, Kell; Sydney Griffin, Walton; Shannen-Rose Forde, Dominion Christian (GISA).

(High jump) Williams, Kell; Jaelyn Rice, Wheeler; KeAndrea Ladson, Bradwell Institute.

(Long jump) Williams, Kell; Forde, Dominion Christian (GISA); Kaitlyn Taylor, Therrell.

(Triple jump) Anasterasia Terrell, Howard; Leah Chisholm, Lakeside-DeKalb; Taylor, Therrell.

(Pole vault) Megan P. Clark, Columbus; Sydney Rodkey, North Oconee; Hadley-Reed Hancock, Deerfield-Windsor Academy (GISA).

(Shot put) Torie Owers, Athens Academy; Nyla Woods, Grady; Sarah Howard, Trinity Christian (GISA).

(Weight throw) Avana Story, Woodward Academy; Monica Phillips, Pope; Kelli Thomas, Luella.

(Pentathlon) Williams, Kell.

(60 meters) Joshua Stanford, Duluth; Brandon Thompson, Milton; Amba Etta-Tawo, McEachern.

(200) Michael Newton, Sprayberry; Jordan Moore, M.L. King; Alexander Reese, Lassiter.

(400) Newton, Sprayberry; Mark Watt, South Gwinnett; Ayrian Evans, Morrow.

(800) Cameron Thornton, Whitefield Academy; Andrew Whetten, Druid Hills.

(1,600) Morgan Malanoski, Brookwood; Adam Jones, Columbus; Thomas Miller, Westlake.

(3,200) Jones, Columbus; Preston Jones, Columbus.

(60 meter hurdles) Moore, M.L. King; Devin Williams, Kell; Alan Frye, Campbell.

(High jump) Brandon Goodman, Etowah.

(Long jump) Jamar Sims, Redan; Williams, Kell; Kareem Nicholas, Cedar Grove.

(Triple jump) Jamario Calhoun, Cedar Shoals; Obos Ikpefan, Roswell;

(Pole vault) Austin Eckenroth, Flowery Branch; Dolphurs Hayes, Westover; Eli Sumner, Tift Area (GISA).

(Shot put) Roc-M Nesbitt, New Schools of Carver; Jordan Pickerel, Athens Christian; Justin Bell, West Forsyth.

(Weight throw) Kenneth Brinson, Marist; Chase Carroll, North Cobb Christian; Josh Whitner, North Paulding.

(Pentathlon) Jordan Thomas, Luella.

12 comments Add your comment

Track Guy

March 20th, 2012
8:57 am

Is there a reason we do not mention the Morehouse Relays? There were some good performances there over the weekend worth mentioning. There was a kid who threw the discus 171-4 over there on Friday night. That’s second in the State right now.


March 20th, 2012
10:30 am

Amen! Track Guy when is it not important to give updates in ALL of the relays or track events? I hope we will receive better coverage!!!!


March 20th, 2012
11:06 am

There were 20+ meets this weekend, and around 8 that produced elite results. No way you can expect coverage of all of those meets. Be thankful for ANY T&F coverage is my motto, and so a big Thanks to Mr. Coleman for the coverage. More stuff is on milesplit…..outside of that audience, there are maybe 100 people in the whole state of Georgia that would even care at all about reading this.

S. Thomas Coleman

March 20th, 2012
11:59 am

@Track Guy and dekalbcounty1: Pre1962 is right. There were 26 meets this weekend and there just isn’t enough room and time to highlight all of them. Sorry the Morehouse Relays got slighted. I know it is one of the classic track and field events held annually in Georgia. It’s just that the times that were mentioned in the blog were pretty stellar performances. But I’ll definitely keep an eye on Roc-M Nesbitt as the season progresses because 171-4 is awesome! It makes him No. 17 in the nation, and he’s a junior.

S. Thomas Coleman


March 20th, 2012
5:46 pm

Very impressive performances by these talented GA athletes. Thank you Mr. Coleman for the aroticle.


March 20th, 2012
7:50 pm

S.Thomas Coleman, thank you for the insight of T&F reporting. To Pre1962-I respect your blog, but maybe 100 people know/cares is MAYBE lack of coverage???

2000 Dekalb Offensive Player of the Year

March 20th, 2012
9:49 pm

I think there is more than 100 people in GA that appreciate track and field articles. I can find 100 people in Dekalb county alone that would appreciate this. I know Gwinnett, Cobb, Clayton, Henry, Carroll and Fulton counties could probably give you 100 apiece as well. Keep it up! Like the county meets are this weekend and should produce some more stellar performances.


March 20th, 2012
9:59 pm

Thanks for the write-up on T&F. We get very little coverage so it’s nice to be recognized every once in a while.

S. Thomas Coleman

March 21st, 2012
5:45 am

@KCCC, @basketballcounty1, @2000DeKalb OPOTY and @Jeady: Thanks for the support! We’ll post this track blog twice a week — Tuesday and Friday. Look for an edited version of Tuesday’s blog in the paper on Wednesdays. Thanks for reading and I look forward to great track and field discussions this season! Tell all your friends and coaches to check it out, too.

S. Thomas Coleman


March 21st, 2012
8:24 am

All I was trying to say was that most of the folks that are interested in Georgia HIGH SCHOOL T&F likely get their fix through milesplit. Surely there are hundreds (probably thousands) of track fans throughout the state, but Mr. Coleman will never be able to make all of them happy due to the sheer number of meets. But it’s certainly great that he’s able to highlight some stellar performances, and ANY exposure the sport gets is a great thing!


March 21st, 2012
1:00 pm

I too appreciate the coverage of track. I do think a broder coverage of High School sports from Macon north would generate more interest, but just my opinion.
On the subject at hand, I watched a great meet in Calhoun at the Mohawk Invitational. Some good races and field events were witnessed. The kids from Gainesville represented well! The 800m saw the local boy from Calhoun ran a 2:02.4 and finished third to two Gainesville runners. Many thanks to corporate sponsor Mohawk Industries for supporting high school sports in their hometown!

Ila Drejka

March 22nd, 2012
7:05 am

I cling on to listening to the news broadcast lecture about getting boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the top site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i get some?