Johnson and Jackson win state T&F titles, Schley County boys finish as state runners up at state meet
Published 1:56 pm Monday, May 15, 2023
COLUMBUS – The Schley County boys track and field team had two athletes return home from Columbus as state champions: Levi Johnson and Clinton Jackson. Johnson won the boys’ pole vault event by clearing a height of 13-03.00 and Jackson won the boys;’ triple jump event by jumping a distance of 44-03.75 at the GHSA Class A Division 2 State Meet in Columbus this past weekend.
The efforts of both Johnson and Jackson, coupled by the successes of other Schley County male athletes, enabled the Wildcats to finish as the state runner-up at the meet. Schley County finished in second place with 46 points, 12 behind state champions Montgomery County (58).
“I could not be any more proud of our athletes. There are 76 teams in Class A-II and we were able to finish second in the boys and 11 for the girls,” Schley County head track and field coach Scott Burgess said. “To even qualify for State is a great accomplishment, to be able to place in the top eight and get a medal for yourself and points for your team is outstanding. I feel that these results are great representations of how hard these athletes have worked throughout the season. I would also like to thank Coaches Beth Kinney, Clifton Aldridge, and Ashley Denby for all of their hard work throughout the season.”
In addition to winning state in the triple jump, Jackson finished as the state runner-up in the boys’ long jump, as he jumped a distance of 20-11.00.
There were several other Schley County athletes who medaled at the state meet. Tyrese Cook was able to finish in fourth place in the boys’ 300 meter hurdles. Cook crossed the finish line in a time of 41.21.
While Johnson took home first place in the boys’ pole vault event, his teammate, Declan Ekkel, was the state runner-up in the event, as he cleared a height of 11-00.00. One other Wildcat that medaled in the pole vault, Matthew Nguyen, finished in fourth place, clearing a height of 10-00.00.
In addition to the Schley County boys’ success, the Lady Wildcats also turned in a strong showing at the state meet as well, finishing in 11th place overall out of 36 schools.
Individually, several Lady Wildcats medaled at state. The top eight competitors in each event receive a medal.
Emily Wilder finished tied for second place in the girls’ pole vault event, clearing the bar at a height of 7-06.00. Her teammate, Emma Campbell, also medaled in the event, as she finished in fifth place by clearing a height of 6-06.00. Layla Williams also medaled in the pole vault, as she finished in seventh place, clearing a height of 6-00.00 (six feet).
Daneria Thornton was another athlete who medaled in several events for Schley County. Thornton finished in fourth place in the triple jump (32-07.50), sixth place in the high jump (4-00.00) and seventh place in the long jump (15-04.50).
Another local school that turned in strong performances in the GHSA Class A Division 2 State Meet was Furlow Charter. As a team, the Falcons finished in 13th place out of 40 schools with 22 points and the Lady Falcons finished 26th out of 36 schools competing.
Individually, several FC male and female athletes medaled at state. On the boys’ side, both Edwin Gonzalez and Ian Biedermann medaled in the boys’ 3200 Meter Run. Gonzalez finished in third place with a time of 11:10.42 and Biedermann finished right behind him in fourth place in a time of 11:12.60. In the boys’ 1600 Meter Run, Biedermann ended up finishing in third place with a time of 4:58.74 and Gonzalez finished right behind him in fourth place with a time of 4:59.24.
On the girls’ side, FC’s Elizabeth Arizmendi earned a spot on the podium with a sixth place finish in the girls’ 3200 meter run, as she crossed the finish line in a time of 14:46.19. Her teammate, Maria Kilheffer, barely missed medaling in this event, as she finished in ninth place in a time of 16:03.28. The FC Girls’ 4×800 Meter Relay Team of Jacklyn Chen, Isabel Amato, Maria Kilheffer and Elizabeth Arizmendi finished in fourth place in the event with a time of 11:34.97.
In the girls 1600 Meter event, Jacklyn Chen barely missed making the podium, finishing in ninth place with a time of 6:28.92 and Arizmendi finished right behind Chen in 10th place in a time of 6:35.27.
For all of the scores and totals of the GHSA Class A Division II State Meet, go to wwww.ga.milesplit.com.