Freshman Brave Bailey Scarborough scored a 4th place state finish in the Pole Vault (Photo: Renae Taylor)
(Albany, GA) — Four Brave track athletes scored top five finishes and earned spots on the final podium over the weekend at the GHSA Class AA State Championships at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany.
A trio of young field event competitors and a senior distance runner led the way for the Braves with the highest finishes for the team at the meet.
Freshman Bailey Scarborough was the first to medal Thursday morning when he finished in fourth place in the male Pole Vault competition. Scarborough was excited about his placement and thankful to head coach Cory Shelnutt for the motivation to help him reach the state finals podium.
“During the region meet a few weeks ago, I wasn’t able to get any higher than last year’s vault because the pole I was using was so worn. The reason I didn’t go to the next pole was because I thought it was too big for me and I sprained my ankle three weeks before region using a bigger pole,” said Scarborough.
“Coach Shelnutt helped give me a “push” to get to the next pole at sectionals. I really want to thank Coach Shelnutt because I could tell he put a lot of time into researching about pole vaulting to help me even though he hadn’t coached it before.”
The most surprising finish of the day came in the form of a fourth place finish by freshman Beth Taylor in the Discus Throw on Friday.
Taylor’s top mark at the meet was 107 feet an awesome throw from someone that only learned the event this year. Normally a softball player, Taylor says a friend encouraged her to try throwing the Discus for the first this year.
Freshman Beth Taylor with Coach Tyler Napier (L) and Brave head track coach Cory Shelnutt (R) in Albany last week (Photo: Renae Taylor)
“It felt great to make the podium as a freshman but I was focused more on the distance of my on throws at the competition rather than the other competitors ages,” says Taylor.
“Originally, my friend Jasmin Aquino encouraged me to try-out for track, however I can’t forget about Coach Shelnutt and Coach Tyler Napier always being there and pushing me.”
Senior Holly Moreland finished off her stellar distance running career at Heard High with fifth place finishes in both the 3200 Meter (12:57.58) on Thursday evening and the 1600 Meter (5:52.83) on Friday evening. The state medals were the first in each event for the athlete that will be signing to compete in Cross Country at Lagrange College this week.
Rounding out the medal winners was sophomore Tori Caldwell who earned a fifth place finish in the female Pole Vault event. It was the third fifth place state medal earned by the young athlete in just her first two years in Albany. Her mark of 8’0 was six inches better than her 2017 finish in the same event.
Rounding out the state placers were Mack Smith (14th place Discus), Sophia Long (14th Triple Jump), and Miranda Harbin (15th place 100 M Hurdles).
The Lady Braves finished in 12th place as a team in Class AA with 17 points. Vidalia finished as female team champions. Elbert County claimed the boys’ Class AA title.