Schley County, Furlow Charter and Sumter County athletes shine at their various state track and field meets
Published 9:24 pm Saturday, May 14, 2022
ALBANY – The amount of Schley County (SCHS) male and female track and field athletes that qualified for this year’s Georgia High School Association (GHSA) 1A-Public State Meet was less than in passed years. Nevertheless, several Wildcats and Lady Wildcat finished in the top eight in the various field events at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany this past weekend.
This meet was one of four GHSA state track and field meets held across the state.
“I am very proud for our athletes that were able to qualify for State,” SCHS Head Coach Scott Burgess said. “When you consider that there are over 80 schools in Single A Public, to be able to say that you were one of the 16 best is a great accomplishment. The athletes that placed in the top eight were able to get on the podium and get a medal, which is a tremendous feat.”
In the Girls Discus event, Berkley Goodin closed out her stellar athletic career as a Lady Wildcat by placing fifth in the event and she did it by making a throw of 94-8 (94 feet, eight inches).
In the Girls Shot Put, Liberty Justice came in as the defending state runner-up in the 1A-Public Classification and had her sites on winning the state title. Unfortunately, Justice was not able to recapture the form she had a year ago, but finished in a tie for fourth place with Jerrica Bryant of McIntosh County Academy. However, both Justice and Bryant threw 33-3 (33 feet, three inches), but Bryant won the tiebreaker because her second best throw was farther than that of Justice. Justice’s first throw of the competition was for 33-3 and it turned out to be the best of her six attempts. “The competition is harder this year and I didn’t hit my PR (Personal Record),” Justice said. Nevertheless, Justice Still turned in a strong showing for Schley County with a fifth place finish.
In the Girls Pole Vault competition, Emily Wilder secured a fourth place finish for the Lady Wildcats. Wilder was able to clear seven feet, six inches, but was unable to clear eight feet.
In addition to the SCHS athletes at the state meet, there was one Furlow Charter athlete who turned in a top eight finish. Maria Kilheffer finished in fifth place in the 1A-Public Girls 3200-Meter Run. Kilheffer crossed the finish line in a time of 13:52.20 and edged out Lauren Vaughn of ACE Charter, who finished in sixth place in a time of 13:53.19.
The Lady Wildcats 4×800-Meter Relay Team also made it to state, having finished in eighth place at last week’s region meet. The SCHS team made up of Maelyn Anthony, Kaleigh Johnson, Cheyenne Hardison and Passamon Junrat finished in 16th place in a time of 13:30.12.
In boys’ action, Wyatt Halstead finished in eighth place in the Boys Discus competition and earned himself a spot on the podium. Halstead’s best throw of the competition went for 120-9 and it was good enough for him to place in the top eight.
Halstead’s success was remarkable due to the fact that this was his first year to ever compete in the Discus event. “I did good today. It could have been better, but I’m glad I placed. This year was my first year of throwing,” Halstead said.
In the Boys Pole Vault competition, Levi Johnson secured a spot on the podium for the Wildcats by finishing in fourth place. Johnson was able to clear 12-6 (12 feet, six inches) to secure fourth place. “I felt pretty good. I still have a long way to go…two more feet or a foot and a half till I get first,” Johnson said. He was unable to clear 13 feet, which would have possibly put him in a tie for third or even second place. Another ironic fact was that the Class AA Boys Pole Vault state champion, Hunter Manning of Vidalia, won the event in that classification by clearing 12-6 at the GHSA Class AA State Meet in Columbus.
Another Wildcat who competed at the state meet was Tyrese Cook. Cook, who finished in fifth place in the Boys 300-Meter Hurdles at the region meet a week ago, had a more difficult time in the event at the state meet. Cook crossed the finish line in 12th place in a time of 45.86.
At the GHSA Class AAA State Meet in Carrollton, GA, Sumter County female shot putter Eriel Aldridge, who finished in third in the region meet the week before, turned in a seventh place finish at the state meet with her best attempt going for 35-10.50.
One other Sumter County athlete who competed at the Class AAA State Meet was Caleb Josey-Durham. Josey-Durham qualified for state in both the triple jump and the long jump events. In the long jump, he finished in 14th place, as his best jump went for 19-9 (19 feet, nine inches). In the triple jump, Josey-Durham finished in 15th place, as his best jump went for 40-11.
Some of the information in this article was obtained from www.milesplit.live.