By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC
Cold, windy, rainy conditions appearing more like February than May, made for slower than usual times at the finals of the State Track and Field Championships, Saturday in Jefferson. But there were still some notable team and individual performances at Georgia Olympics XLII:
Mill Creek won the school’s first track and field championship, paced by a strong performance from sprinter Michael Cheeks, who won the 200 meters (22.01 seconds), placed third in the 400 meters (48.49) and anchored the Hawks’ title-winning 1,600 meter relay team (3:24.22). Cheeks, a senior, won the High Point Performer award for Class AAAAAA … Allan Frey of Campbell earned the meet’s Outstanding Performing Award by registering the best overall times in both the 110-meter (14.46) and 300-meter hurdles (37.84).
McIntosh won its first championship as well, on the strength of Brooks Hardy’s win in the shot put (144-feet, 8 inches) and third place finish in the discus (49-1), Brad Hort’s victory in the 1,600 meters (4:19.62), and a win by Taylor Huntley in the 800 meters (1:55.47). The Chiefs defeated Cedar Shoals by just two points, 40-38 …. Josh Whitener of North Paulding won the High Point Performance award, winning the shot pu.t (54-08.50) and placing second in the discus (150-02), while his brother, Seth, took second in the discus (50-11.50).
Marist dominated the field and prevented perennial favorite Carrollton from winning its third consecutive state championship. Daniel Navarro led the way with wins in the 1,600 meters (4:23.10) and 3.200 meters (9:21.20), while Kenneth Brinson won the discus (179-01) …. Kevin Williams of Monroe took home the High Point award with a fifth-place finish in the high jump (6-4), second in the triple jump (45-8) … Sophomore phenom Ryan Clark of Banneker, perhaps the state’s next great track athlete, lost his first race of the season when Demoton Boyd of Lagrange edged him in the 200 meters, 21.76 to 21.77.
St. Pius jumped out to a huge lead on the first day of competition on Thursday and never looked back, as Daniel Haugh won the discus (175-11) and the shot put (54-9.50), Fred Dorsey won the triple jump (45-05), and Austin Sprague (4:19.88) and Calvin Tirrell (4:25.00) finished first and second in the 1,600 meters. It was the Lions’ first title win since they won the AAAA crown in 2006 … Andrew Slanton of Sonoraville won the 100 meters (11.02) and the 110-meter hurdles (14.48) en route to taking home the High Point Award.
Westminster, a state power in cross country, won its second track and field championship in five years as Jordan Flowers (4:24.45) and Jag Gangemi (4:28.07) finished first and third, respectively, in the 1,600 meters. Flowers also won the 3,200 meters in 9:47.96 … Darius Slayton of Greater Atlanta Christian won the 100 (11.00) and 200 meters (22.73) and took home the AA High Point Award
Class A Public
Commerce won its first track title since 1962, largely on the efforts of Dekerrio Ramsey, who won the High Point Performer Award by winning the long jump (21-1) and triple jump (44-2), and placing second in the 400 meters (50.75)
Class A Private
Athens Christian won its third consecutive title, its fourth since 2007, in dominating fashion, beating second place Landmark Christian School by more than 50 points. Jordan Pickerall won a Top Performer Award by setting a new discuss record (168-1) and winning the shot put (57-6) … Our Lady of Mercy junior Christian Coleman scored more points than any other athlete in the meet (30.50) by winning the 200 meters (22.43) and long jump (21-9), placing second in the 100 meters (11.15), and anchoring the Bobcats’ 400- and 1,600-meter relay squad.