Heritage, Newton rule second day

CONYERS - Heritage and Newton dominated the second day of the Citizen's Challenge area track and field invitational Tuesday afternoon at Seminole Stadium on the Salem High School campus. The annual competition features all six high schools of Rockdale and Newton counties.

In the both the boys and girls divisions, Heritage led Newton at the conclusion of the field events and two races in the three-day event. After two days, Heritage had amassed 53 points to Newton's 43 in the boys division and 52 points to 51 in the girls. These totals were through eight events, all six field events and the 4X800 meter relay and the 3,200-meter run.

"It's nice to be leading but the onslaught of all of the running events (today) will decide the winner," Heritage coach Scott Wade said. "Eastside and Alcovy are especially talented in those events so it becomes a case of can a team strong in the field events get enough points in the races to hold on."

Following Heritage and Newton in the point totals were Alcovy with 35, Eastside with 25, Rockdale County with 22 and Salem with 22 in the boys events while Alcovy tallied 38, Eastside 33, Rockdale County 26 and Salem 9 on the girls side.

The competition began Monday afternoon at Alcovy with the pole vault competition and a third straight win for Heritage senior Morgan Tabb. He cleared 12 feet, 7 inches that was a meet record but still shy of his season's best of 13 feet, 7 inches just a couple days prior at the Loganville Invitational.

Nehemie Sagesse won the girls competition by virtue of less misses when she cleared 7 feet, 6 inches, the same height cleared by Heritage's Chantai Harris, who was awarded second place.

In Tuesday's field events at Salem, senior Aliah Griffith of Newton was a standout with wins in both the girls long jump and triple jump. She leaped 15 feet, 9 inches and 32 feet, 11 inches in those events, respectively. Another dual winner Tuesday in the girls events was J'Quyra Blue of Eastside with a discus hurl of 108 feet, 11 inches and a shot put of 36 feet, 8 inches.

Rounding out the girls field event winners was Makiala Houseworth of Alcovy with a high jump of 5 feet. The running events for the girls were won by Ameryst Armsted with an impressive 12 minutes, 31 seconds in the 3,200 meters and Eastside in the 4X800 meter relay with a time of 10 minutes and 27 seconds.

Brian Forde of Newton continued his excellence in the boys' discus with a throw of 152 feet, 8 inches, more than 10 feet better than runner-up Carl Williams of Eastside. In the boys shot put, Jamal Toney won with a heave of 43 feet and 91/2 inches.

Heritage junior Rufus Jenkins won the boys triple jump with a season's best leap of 43 feet, 6 inches while Tyler Askew got Salem some sorely needed points by winning the long jump with a distance of 22 feet, 71/2 inches. The high jump in the boys division was won by Gary Wilkins of Alcovy with a clearance of 6 feet, 2 inches.

Jenkins was pleased with his win.

"I felt good today and each jump was good," he said. It was his second of three jumps that proved to be his best.

In the two races Tuesday in the boys competition, Jake Hudson of Heritage won the grueling 3,200 meters with a time of 10 minutes, 14 seconds and his Patriot teammates prevailed in the 4X800 meter relay with a time of 8 minutes, 24 seconds.

The meet concludes this afternoon at Salem with the remaining track events. The first competition begins at 4 p.m.