Eastside track takes third place
Lady Eagles complete meet with 4 first-place finishes

COVINGTON - For the past four years under Eastside track coach Frankey Iverson, the girls have been improving.

This year is no different for the Lady Eagles as they had three individual first- and one fourth-place finish and one first-place team finish with 11 people qualifying from the Region 8-AAA meet.

Earning the No. 1 position at the podium were J'quyra Moncur-Blue (shot put - 41-feet, 10 inches and discus throw - 126-5), Asia Palmer (800 - 2 minutes, 17.55 seconds) and the 4x4 relay team (3:56.83).

Kimberly Thomas finished fourth in the 400 with a time of 58.01 seconds.

"To have that many qualifiers and that many actually place and win is really surprising, they showed up to run," Iverson said.

"That's the best that we've ever done. It came out perfect that they peaked when they were suppose to. Some of them started to peak early and we were just hoping that they wouldn't start to fall off."

As a result, Eastside placed third in 2009 Class AAA Georgia High School Association Girls State Track Meet. Scoring 45 points, Eastside was one point behind Towers (46) and six points behind first place Monroe (51).

The 4x4 relay consisted of Thomas, Palmer, Whitney Martin and 13-year-old freshman Shyanne Uguwibe.

"It's always a transition for them (freshman) because they're used to running track but not at the high school level," Iverson said. "They're used to being the top dog but here they're low on the totem pole.

"It's easier to compete on a team than individual because you have to be able to think by yourself. A lot of those girls when they get to individual events they like to go off by themselves and think and concentrate on the event. But when you're young it's harder to do that. Being with older girls and on a relay team helps you focus."

By winning the shot put and the discus, Moncur-Blue was tied for second as the overall high point scorer in field events.

Her distance of 126-5 in the discus also set a new personal best.

"She's top five nationally in the hammer throw but we don't do it in high school," Iverson said.

Her record in the hammer throw is 137-6.

One thing making the team more successful is the change in training.

"We changed up a little bit of the training. We're more event specific. The other coaches, Gary Tindal and Leah Carlisle, did more endurance training for those girls and I did more of the short training," Iverson said. "My coaches did a great job."

Even though the team did as well as they did, Iverson feels that they could have done better if more girls had come out. He is hoping that the success they've had will motivate more people to come out and fill the shoes of Moncur-Blue and Palmer, who are his only graduating seniors.

"But we have some girls that can probably step in. Those are big shoes to fill but I think they're capable.

"I feel there's still a lot of untapped talent at the school. With us having that kind of showing I think will help us make those kids come out because they may think that they're faster," Iverson said. "That may make them come out which will make the whole team better."