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Southland track earns first-place honors at GISA opener

From STAFF REPORTS

PERRY – Southland Academy’s varsity track teams opened their 2016 Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) season on March 16, traveling to Perry to take on Westfield, Tiftarea, Citizens Christian (Douglas), Covenant Academy (Macon), and Crisp Academy.
Southland’s men took first place in the meet with 139 points, followed by Covenant with 128, Westfield with 89, then Tiftarea, Crisp Academy, and Citizens.
The Southland women earned a second-place finish with 88 points, followed by Tiftarea with 63, then Westfield, Covenant, and Crisp Academy. The women from Citizens won with 136 points.
The Raiders and Lady Raiders enjoyed a number of personal-best times and outstanding performances at the tournament.
Once again, the men’s top scorer was senior distance runner, Wright Calhoun, who won the 1600-meter event with a time of 4:36 and the 800-meter event with a time of 2:04, both of which are personal bests. Calhoun also anchored the winning 4 x 400 relay team with Billy Calcutt, Ridge Roland and Brian Miller that completed the event in 3:44, Southland’s fastest time in this event in the last several years.
Calcutt took second in the 800-meter event, finishing in 2:13 and earned a third-place finish in the 1600-meter in 5:03.
Roland came in third place in the 800 with a time of 2:17. Miller finished the same event in fourth place with a time of 2:20.
Roland took fourth in the 1600, finishing at the 5:15 mark as Miller followed close behind, finishing fifth in 5:25.
Southland’s number-five distance runner, Gray Torbert, took sixth in the 3200-meter race.
Other first place finishers were freshman, Bennett Carey, in the 110-meter  hurdles in 17.7; senior, Ellis Ivey, in the 300-meter hurdles in 47.35; and Sophomore Jamal Rice in the 200-meter event with a time of 24.08.
Second-place finishers were Ivey in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 18.55 and Josh McKie in the triple jump with a trio of leaps spanning 33’ 6.75”.
Stephen Turton took third place in the disc competition with a toss spanning 101’7″. Turton also earned a fiifth-place finish in the shot put.
Stephen Taggart earned fourth place in the disc competition with a 100’ 8” throw. Taggart also finished fourth in the shot put. Carey came in third place in the 300 hurdles with a time of 49.07. Rice finished fourth in the long jump with a 18′ 7.5” leap. Clay Owens finished right behind him, jumping 17′ 6.75”. McKie finished fifth in the high jump. Morgan Youngdale came in fourth in the triple jump with a distance of 32′ 10.5″ and sixth in the 400-meter event in 58:72. Luke Law came in fourth in the 200-meter race in 25.47.
The number one 4 x 100 relay team of Rice, Turton, McKie and Owens finished fourth place, as did the number two 4 x 400 relay team of Ivey, Logan Morris, Owens and Youngdale with a time of 4:03.
Riley Parker took fifth place in the 110 hurdles with a time of 25:72.
On the women’s side, the leading point scorer was eighth-grade distance runner, Ryleigh Bell, who was a double winner, with victories in the 1600-meter event with a time of in 5:52 and the 800-meter event with a time of 2:38. Both times recorded were personal bests for Bell.
Bell also anchored the winning 4 x 400 relay team alongside Alex Exum, Lilli Dickens, and Calyn Fort with a time of 4:36.8.
Kaitlyn Smith won the disc event with a throw spanning 79′ 5″. Fort took second in both the 800-meter race (2:45) and the 1600-meter race (6:15).
Exum and Dickens tied for second place in the 400-meter event, sharing a time of 1:08.
Dickens also finished fifth while Exum took sixth in the 800-meter event. Sydney Payne tied for fourth in the 400-meter race with a time of 1:10, took second place in the long jump with a leap of 13’11”,  and won fourth place in the high jump, clearing 4’8″.
Olivia Perry earned a fifth-place finish in the shot put and Anna Kate Ivey earned sixth in the 100-meter hurdles. Jordan Sanders placed fifth in the triple jump, covering 24’ 4.75”.
Southland’s varsity track teams travel to Albany on March 23 to take on Deerfield-Windsor while the middle school travels to Ellaville to compete against Schley County.