It was a day of celebration last Wednesday at Wildcats Stadium and it wasn’t necessarily because Richmond Hill’s boys and girls teams swept the Region 2-6A track meet.
Wildcats athletes and others were in the field were celebrating simply because they had the joy of competing, something they weren’t able to do a year ago when COVID shut down all spring sports.
The boys dominated the field as they piled up 229 points to second-place Brunswick’s 121 and the girls scored 150.5 points to finish well ahead of Brunswick which had 107 points.
It was the fourth straight region championship for the boys and second straight for the girls. The top four qualifiers in each event now advance to the sectional meet which will be Saturday, May 8, at Johns Creek High School.
From there the top eight will move on to the state meet in Carrollton May 13-15.
Richmond Hill’s boys had seven first-place finishers in eight events along with two relay teams that finished first. The Wildcats qualified a total of 16 individuals and three relay teams for the sectional.
The girls had 10 individuals and three relay teams advance. Bryan County High School also had Ethan Twombly finish fourth in the 800 meters in the Region 3A meet to earn a spot in the sectional meet.
One of the individual winners for RHHS was Chance Haggray who got a late start in track due to the length of the basketball season. “I didn’t get out here until the middle of the season,” Haggray said. “I made the adjustment pretty easily. It’s a little different than basketball where it’s short, easy bursts.” Haggray won the 800 meters in a personal best time of 2:02.35 to finish ahead of fellow senior Josh Mitchell who ran a 2:04.52. Ironically both had better times running for the 4 x 800 relay team as Haggray was timed in 2:01.21 as the lead runner and Mitchell, running the third leg, clocked a 2:01.08. “When basketball finished and I got out here I just had to find out who was the fastest and keep up with him,” Haggray said. “Track conditioning is about effort and pushing yourself.
“I’m really thankful every day for the opportunity to run track.
They can take it away at any time so you have to do your best every day.”
Richmond Hill’s other winners were: Jasai Taylor 400 meters and 300 hurdles, Corey Adamski 1600, Memphis Rich 3200, Jae Kollman shot put, Jordan Clark long jump and Jaden Day pole vault.
Winners for the girls were Lucy Tuttle in the 800 meters, Reese Wilson in the 3200, Avery Fisher in the shot put and discus and Daisy Avery in the pole vault.
Other boys qualifiers were: Deon Sumpter and Ravon Grant 400 meters; Dylan Overbey 1600 and 3200; Adamski 3200; Joel Bowlin 300 hurdles; Elijah Blige shot put and discus; Evan Clark long jump and triple jump; Roman Slaughter triple jump.
The 4 x 100 relay team of Evan Clark, Taylor, Bowlin and Jordan Clark was second; the 4 x 400 of Evan Clark, Bowlin, Ravin Grant and Taylor was first; the 4 x 800 team of Haggray, Mitchell, Sterling Bartian and Rich was first.
Other girls qualifiers were: Jayla Lawrence 100 meter dash; Caroline Cameron 800; Savannah Goode 1600 and 3200; Akira Webb and Avery 300 hurdles; Mary Pelegrina discus and Autumn Smiley pole vault.
The 4 x 100 relay team of Webb, Lawrence, Briauna McDaniel and Akira Burt was fourth; the 4 x 400 of MaKiyah Matthews, MaKayla Stokes, Jada Delos Reyes and Tuttle was second while the 4 x 800 team of Somaria Courtney, MacKenzie Winkworth, Tuttle and Goode was second.
Mike Brown is a veteran sports writer who covers area high school and college sports for various publications. According to the BCN editor, Brown is the dean of local sportswriters.