Southland track & field athletes turn in strong performances at GISA State Meet
Published 5:41 pm Monday, April 29, 2019
ALBANY – The Southland Academy (SA) boys and girls track & field teams turned in strong performances at the 2019 Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) State Meet held Thursday through Saturday, April 25-27, at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany.
In the finals of each individual and team event, the top eight performers earned medals. Several SA athletes were able to finish in the top eight of their respective events.
In the finals of the Girls 3200 Meter Run on Saturday, April 27, SA’s Elizabeth Law finished in fifth place with a time of 13:30.31. Law was able to hold off Brookwood’s Elise McPherson by six seconds to hold on to fifth place. Molly Joseph of Augusta Prep won the event in a time of 11:31.43. “I felt really good about the race. It was a hard race. There were a lot of very fast people,” Law said. “I tried not to be nervous and tried to be calm and confident. Like always, I give the Lord all the glory.”
Law was a member of the SA Girls 4×400 Meter Relay team that finished in fifth place in that event with a time of 4:28.37. The team consisted of Law, Maddie Crisp, Morgan Minick and Ryleigh Bell. “We definitely ran faster than we did yesterday and we definitely placed higher than we did yesterday. I’m really proud of us,” Bell said. Law commented that she felt that the relay team wanted it more in the finals than in the preliminary round. The team finished with a slightly faster time in the finals. In the preliminaries on Friday, SA finished in sixth place with a time of 4:28.64.
In addition to helping the 4×400 meter relay team finish in the top eight, Bell was able to finish in eighth place in the Girls 800 Meter Run with a time of 2:36.18.
In the finals of the Boys 3200 Meter Run, SA’s Tanner Humphrey finished in sixth place with a time of 11:25.24. “My mindset going into the race was to stay up with the top eight runners and do the best that I can,” Humphrey said. “I prayed before I ran and asked God to be with me and to help me run the race for Him and not for men. I just did the best I could.”
In the Boys Shot Put competition, Parker Weldon gave the Raiders another top-eight finish by finishing in fourth place. Weldon’s best throw of the competition was for a distance of 40-11.50. He was able to hold off Korbett MacGregor of Pinewood Christian, who finished in fifth place with a distance throw of 40-11.25. Weldon credits SA track & field head coach Nathan Hammock for his improvement. “Coach Hammock did a good job of teaching me the throws that I’ve been throwing this year,” Weldon said. Weldon finished in 10th place in the Boys Discus competition. His best throw was for a distance of 106-05 (106 feet, five inches). Weldon was only six inches short of finishing in the top eight. Nate Rice of Bulloch Academy finished in eighth place with a throw of 106-11. Eduardo Perez of Augusta Prep won the event by throwing a distance of 150-05.
In the Boys High Jump competition, Owen Exley finished in the top four. Exley’s best jump was a distance of 5-08.00 (five feet, eight inches). The Raiders also had another athlete make it into the top eight in the Boys Long Jump. Clay Owens finished in sixth place in the event by jumping 19-09.00. His teammate, Caleb Law, also finished in the top eight of the event. Law was able to jump a distance of 19-05.00. That jump was good enough to earn Law an eighth-place finish.
Owens was also a member of the Raiders’ 4×100 Meter relay team that finished in fifth place in a time of 45.12. The team consisted of Owens, Luke Law, Caleb Law and Landon Law.
Nathan Duke turned in a fine performance for the Raiders in the finals of the Boys 400 Meter Dash. Duke finished in fifth place in a time of 52.50. Peter Nell of Heritage barely edged out Duke for fourth place in a time of 52.29. Duke summed up his performance by saying that it was the result of a lot of practice. “It took a lot of practice, but I definitely could practice more,” Duke said. “That was a very fast race with a lot of fast kids.” In the Boys Triple Jump competition, Duke finished in 11th place with a jump of 38-01.25, which was a little over a foot short of eighth-place finisher CeDaniel Sumter of Holy Spirit Prep. Sumter jumped a distance of 39-01.75.
The Raiders had two athletes finish in the top eight in the Boys 110 Meter Hurdles. Bennett Carey finished in fourth place with a time of 17.12. Carey’s teammate, Riley Parker, finished in sixth place with a time of 18.16. Carey also had a strong finish in the Boys 300 Meter Hurdles. He finished in sixth place with a time of 44.55.
In the Girls Shot Put competition, Holly McCain finished in fifth place. Her best throw was for a distance of 29-04.00. McCain was able to edge out Ruthie Scott of Trinity-Dublin to secure fifth place. Scott’s best throw was for 29-02.75.
In the Girls Long Jump competition, SA’s Betsy Turner narrowly missed finishing in the top eight. Turner finished in ninth place with a jump of 14-10.50. Jenna Bradley of Pinewood Christian finished in eighth place with a jump of 14-10.75. Trinity Wornek of Trinity-Dublin won the event with a jump of 16-10.00.
As a team, the Lady Raiders finished in a tie for eighth place with the Heritage School. Both teams finished with a total of 14 points. SA was able to edge out both Westminster and Loganville Christian. Both of those schools finished in a tie for 10th place with 13 points.
The SA boys’ team finished the state meet in eighth place with 36 points. The Raiders were two points short of seventh-place finisher John Milledge Academy (38). Overall, SA head coach Nathan Hammock was pleased with the performance of both the Raiders and the Lady Raiders. “Our kids did a good job. They ran well. They threw well. Everything was good,” Hammock said. “A lot of personal records were set. I was very pleased.”