The Brave Track Team and Coaches at Saturday’s Sectional Meet in Calhoun, GA
(Calhoun, GA) — Following strong performances at the state sectionals in Calhoun Saturday, eight Heard County track athletes are headed for Albany next week to compete at the GHSA Class AA State Track and Field Championships.
The Braves will send three male athletes to the state finals including freshman Bailey Scarborough who had the highest finish of the day when he topped the 11′ 6″ mark in the Pole Vault. It was an outstanding mark for Scarborough and two feet higher than his personal record.
Only those finishing in the top eight of each field event at sectionals qualified for the state meet.
The other Braves that will be heading to Albany are junior Jartavious “J.T.” Thornton who ran a time of 15.51 in the 110 Meter Hurdles to just make the field in the number eight spot and junior Mack Smith who threw the Discus 117-09 to claim seventh place.
In girls’ competitions, senior Holly Moreland again led the way in distance running with a third place finish in the 1600 Meter and a fourth place finish in the 3200.
Moreland was the only Brave athlete to qualify in two different events. She will be a strong candidate to make the finals podium in both events at Albany.
Two more freshman Lady Braves will be making the trip following strong showings in Calhoun. Beth Taylor scored a sixth place finish in the Discus Throw with a mark of 99-03 and Sophia Long earned her spot with a seventh place showing in the triple jump. Long jumped 32-08.50 for her best mark.
Tori Caldwell came up just short in the High Jump competition finishing in ninth place after a jump off but will be heading to Albany in the Pole Vault after vaulting 7-06.00. She will be looking for her third state medal after earning two 5th place state medals as a freshman.
Rounding out the Lady Brave qualifiers was junior Miranda Harbin who took eighth place in the 100 Meter Hurdles with a time of 17.85.
Freshman Bailey Scarborough claimed 3rd place in the Pole Vault at sectionals
The 4×100 ladies relay team just missed making the state meet due to a faulty exchange DQ.
Just missing the state field were Tae Gray (10th in the Long Jump), Hermonie Garza (10th in the long Jump), and Ethan Lawson (9th in the 3200 Meter, 10th in the 1600 Meter). Lawson will be an alternate in the 3200.
Coach Cory Shelnutt was excited for his eight athletes that made the state finals after only five in 2017 and one in 2016 earned the accolade.
“I just really want to commend these kids even those that didn’t quite make it. Gray and Garza were so close to making it and I can’t say enough about their dedication this year,” said Shelnutt. “Ethan Lawson also finished with a top-tier time in the mile, an awesome finish for a freshman. His time of 5:01.52 is maybe the best we have had before, but the field was just tough in that event.”
“We’re starting to generate a lot of interest in track right now and creating a ‘buzz’ for our program. We are in a small place where we aren’t always blessed with the best athletes, but we are blessed with hard-working kids who can make up a lot of ground thanks to that work ethic and effort.”
The state meet takes place Thursday, Friday, and Saturday May 10-12 at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany.