Josey-Durham and Rush triumphs highlight Sumter County T&F success at region meet
Published 6:10 pm Wednesday, April 26, 2023
SYLVESTER, GA – The Sumter County boys and girls track and field teams turned in strong performances as the GHSA Region 1-AA meet, which was held on Tuesday, April 25, at Worth County High School in Sylvester, GA.
The Lady Panthers finished in fourth place as a team with 89 points and the Panthers also finished in fourth place with 99 points and edged out Jeff Davis High School, who finished in fifth place with 95 points. Worth County won the girls’ region championship with 160.50 points and Cook won the boys’ region championship with 142.50 points.
While neither team finished in the top three, both teams had athletes who won region championships in individual events. Both teams also had athletes who finished in the top three in several events and thereby qualified for the sectional meet and both squads had athletes who turned in personal records (PRs) in their respective events.
On the girls’ side, Taylor Rush won the Girls’ Long Jump event by jumping a distance of 15-06.50 (15 feet, 6.50 inches). In addition to her success in the long jump, Rush also medaled in three other events and her teammate, Zyria Battle, medaled in four events as well. Battle finished in third place in the Girls’ 100 Meter Dash with a time of 12.93 and she helped the Girls’ 4×100 Meter Relay Team earn a third place finish and a berth in the sectional meet, as the Lady Panthers finished the event in a time of 51.94. Rush was also a member of that team and placed in third in the Girls’ 300 Meter Hurdles in a time of 52.32. Both Rush and Battle were also a part of the Sumter County Girls’ 4×200 Meter Relay Team that finished as the region runner-up in the event (1:51.93). One of the other four events that Battle medaled in was the Girls’ Triple Jump, as she finished in second place with a distance jump of 33-07.75.
Another Lady Panther who booked her ticket to the sectional meet was Eriel Aldridge. Aldridge, who qualified for state in the Girls’ Shot Put event a year ago, finished as the region runner-up, heaving the metal ball a distance of 33-02.00
Aldridge also finished in sixth place in the Girls’ Discus event with a distance throw of 89-03.
In the Girls’ High Jump event, the Lady Panthers earned another berth in the sectional meet, as Kamayria Waters cleared the crossbar at 4-06.00, which was good enough for a third place finish.
Overall, SCHS girls head coach Shanika Dyson was extremely pleased with how her squad performed at the region meet. “They have qualified for sectionals and they have done so well in the events,” Dyson said. “This season was a season about proving yourself to yourself and being the best that you can be and I think all these young ladies did that today and I’m very proud of them,” Dyson continued.
In boys’ action, the Panthers also boasted a few region champions and had several athletes qualify for the sectional meet. Highlighting the success of the boys’ team was the performance of Caleb Josey-Durham, who won the Boys’ Triple Jump event with a distance jump of 46-03.25, which was good enough for a new school record.
“I’ve been going for that record this whole season, so it feels good to get it,” Josey-Durham said. “That’s what I’ve been striving to achieve this whole season. Now I’m ready for state.” Josey-Durham was also a member of both the Boys’ 4×100 and 4×200 Meter Relay teams that finished as region runners-up and he also qualified for sectionals in the Boys’ Long Jump event, as he finished in third place with a distance jump of 21-02.00.
In the Boys’ 800 Meter Run, James Malik, Josey-bey qualified for sectionals, as he finished in third place in a time of 2:12.55 and he also finished third in the Boys’ 1600 Meter Run as well, crossing the finish line in a time of 5:14.83.
Josey-bey was also a member of the Boys 4×400 Meter Relay Team that barely missed qualifying for sectionals, as they finish in fourth place with a time of 3:42.79.
However, Josey-bey did end up qualifying for sectionals as a member of the Boys’ 4×800 Meter Relay Team, who finished in second place in a time of 9:08.40.
In the Boys’ 110-Meter Hurdles event, the Panthers earned another berth in the sectional meet, as Latravis Angry finished in third place in the event with a time of 17.67. Kavon Lewis also booked a spot in the sectional meet by finishing in third place in the Boys’ 300 Meter Hurdles.
Another Panther that earned himself a spot in the sectional meet was Anthony Tyson. Tyson finished in fourth place in the Boys’ 100 Meter Dash in a time of 11.24 and barely missed qualifying in that event, but was a member of the Boys’ 100 Meter Relay Team that finished in second place.
According to SCHS boys’ head coach Leonard Hosley, putting his athletes in multiple events made a positive difference in the success of his squad.
“I think the team did very well. They performed well because I had each one of them in four events, so I think they did a great job there,” Hosley said. “I had each one of them in four events participating in four different events. They participated in single events or team events and I had each one of them able to drive their opportunities and also able to PR (earn a personal record) in these events.”
The Sectional Meet will be at East Jackson High School in Commerce, GA Friday and Saturday, May 5-6.
For a complete look at scores and events from the GHSA Region 1-AAA Meet, go to www.ga.milesplit.com/meets.