LOGANVILLE - Heritage ended the first day of the Region 8-AAAA girl's track and field championship in second place, while several local runners put up impressive scores in the preliminaries at Loganville High School's Red Devil Stadium.
Senior Jada Fambrough made the biggest splash for Heritage, finishing second in the 1,600 meters, the only race that had its final Wednesday. Fambrough ran a state qualifying time of 5:31.40, less than two seconds behind region champion Amanda Cope of Winder-Barrow. Fambrough finished her day with the top preliminary time in the 800 meters (2:28.74).
"It's hot today but I feel like I'm doing well," Fambrough said. "I made it (to the state competition) in the mile; hopefully I'll do well on Friday (in the finals)."
A number of other Heritage athletes qualified for the state meet, including pole vault runner-up Chantai Harris (8-06) and discus throw placers Lizzaria Wilkerson (third place, 89-06) and Chandler Shepherd (6th, 86-06).
In the running events, which conclude Friday, Alayna Famble had the fourth-best time in the 400 meters (1:01.34) and the 400-meter relay team (Jazzalyn Daniels, Famble, Amaree Magwood and Alexia Floyd) picked up the fourth-best time at 50.10.
Heritage coach Scott Wade was happy with the day one performance, but knows his team has its work cut out for them.
"We had a lot of good performances," Wade said. "Generally, the meet's gone about like it should have. Keeping pace with (first place) Clarke Central and (third place) Cedar Shoals will be a challenge. (The) team title will be very tough."
Salem finished the first day in sixth place, but the Seminoles did well individually. The 1,600-meter relay team (Alex Pinkston, Jasmine Springer, Shannon Christian and Jaleen Thomas) highlighted the day with a top preliminary finish of 4:10.53, more than two seconds ahead of No. 2 qualifier Cedar Shoals (4:12.64).
Pinkston ran a blistering 400 meters and captured the top preliminary time at 59.20, while Christian had the second-fastest 800 meter time (2:31.94) and Crystal Seals finished second in the discus throw (91-1).
"(The runners) did what was expected for preliminaries; saving it for the finals," Salem coach Dannette Scott said. "I'm pleased with the outcome (and) I know the finals are going to be an awesome day for us."
The Region 8-AAAA meet concludes at 4:30 p.m. Friday with the finals in all running events.