Raider, Lady Raider track teams take second at region meet; name 12 individual champions

Published 3:17 pm Wednesday, April 19, 2017


ALBANY – The Southland Academy Raiders and Lady Raiders’ track teams put up some quite impressive performances on April 12 at Deerfield-Windsor School in Albany, with 12 individual athletes between the two teams earning region champion honors.
Both the Raiders and Lady Raiders’ teams took runner-up honors at the region meet behind the host team from Deerfield-Windsor.
Southland’s Ryliegh Bell took the top spot in the 1600-meter event, completing the race in 5:34:67, nearly five seconds ahead of runner-up, Riley O’Lynn from Valwood Academy.
Kaitlyn Smith won the girls’ discus event with a toss spanning 83’2.5”, nearly two and a half feet farther than runner-up, Valwood’s Cameron Braswell.
The Southland girls’ 4×400-meter relay team of Alex Exum, Lili Dickens, Calyn Fort, and Bell brought home a first-place award with a time of 4:28:26. The Southland squad finished the race six seconds faster than the second-place Deerfield-Windsor team.
For the Raiders, pole-vaulter, Brody Shattles, took first place with a leap that cleared 11’6”, besting Deerfield’s Jackson Tennyson by nearly six inches. Southland’s Bennett Carey earned a pair of first-place titles in the 110-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles. Carey completed the 110-meter event in 17.38 seconds, defeating Dalton Jones, Tiftarea’s top hurdler by over two seconds. Carey finished the 300-meter event in 45.98 seconds, just shy of two seconds faster than second-place finisher, Evan Campbell, of Deerfield. The Southland 4×400-meter relay team of Billy Calcutt, Josh McKie, Morgan Youngdale, and Townsend Ray, completed their team race in 3:41.69, two seconds ahead of Deerfield’s relay team, to earn the first-place award.

Southland’s Raiders track team pauses for a photo at the Region 3-IAAA meet in Albany on April 12.

Southland also produced several region runners-up at the meet, including Sydney Payne, who placed in both the girls’ triple jump and high jump events. Payne’s trio of leaps spanned 29’2” in the first event and she took the second-place spot in the high jump by launching herself five feet in the air, just one inch under event winner, Lila Lanier of Deerfield-Windsor.
For the Raiders, Stephen Turton took second-place honors in the discus toss with a throw that cleared 127’5”, three inches short of first-place finisher, John Collier Logan, of Deerfield-Windsor. McKie finished second in the triple jump event, covering 41’5” in three bounds. McKie landed two inches short of Deerfield champion, John Jacobs’ mark. Ray took secondary honors in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash events, finishing the former race in 11:50, three quarters of a second behind top finisher, Mark Henderson, of Valwood. Ray ended up second-best to Henderson in the 200-meter dash event as well. Henderson bested Ray’s time of 23:53 by one-fifth of a second.
Calcutt’s time of 54:05 was good enough for a second-place finish in the 400-meter dash, less than a second behind Deerfield’s Brynn Sammons, who earned the top spot in the event.
The Lady Raiders finished with 65 total points in the meet, overtaking third-place overall finisher, Tiftarea, by 17 points.
The Raiders completed the day with 93 total points, defeating Brookwood Academy for the runner-up spot by over 60 points.
The Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) state tournament is slated to kick off on April 27.