Many local schools going to state track tourney

COVINGTON -- The contestants have been set in GHSA Track & Field State Championships for Eastside in Class AAAA, Heritage and Salem in Class AAAAA and Newton, Alcovy and Rockdale in Class AAAAAA following their sectionals on Saturday.

In the Class AAAAAA B-Sectional held at Mill Creek, Newton finished the day competing in 15 events followed by Rockdale with seven and Alcovy. Eastside, who had its B-Sectional at Carrollton, is heading to state competing in a combined 13 events.

The Heritage track and field team will be well-represented at the state tournaments. The Patriots qualified athletes in eight events, led by standout performances by Myles Hunter and Morgan Hubbard, at the Class AAAAA B-Sectional at Grovetown High School.

The boys state meet on will start on Thursday at Memorial Stadium in Jefferson with the girls starting their finals at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany on May 9.

For the boys, Newton will be in eight individual events and one relay event. Duronte Carter, Malik Franklin, Alex Grady will compete in two individual events as well as part on the 4x400 relay team with Shemar Rannie competing in an individual event as well as the relay team and Artice Hobbs going in one event. Also running relay are Jamal Ridgel and Christian Scott.

Carter will compete in the 110-meter hurdles and the 300 hurdles. Carter made it to state with qualifying times of 15.29 seconds in the 110 and 39.48 seconds in the 300. Franklin will represent his team in the long jump (22 feet, 2 inches) and the triple jump (46-08.50). Grady, a distance runner, will run the 1,600 (4:31.18) and the 3,200 (9:52.14). Hobbs will be in the long jump (21-08.50) and Rannie will be in the 400 (51.22).

The 4x400 relay team qualified top for state running the sectional in 3:23.89.

Competing individually for Eastside are Jamal Hardge (long jump -- 22-02.50), Derrick Jackson (high jump -- 6-02), Lorenzo James (300 hurdles -- 40.60), Landon Moore (800 -- 2:00.37) and Darvelle Smith (110-hurdles -- 15.55).

Representing Eastside as part of the 4x400 team, which qualified with a time of 3:24.30, are Cameron Boyd, Taj Horton, Moore, Smith, Jackson and Hardge.

Running individual events for Rockdale are Malik Dawkins (400 -- 50.90), Jhibri Greer (110 hurdles -- 14.97), Robert McCray (shot put -- 47-07) and Keijne Thomas (discus -- 141-11). Running the 4x400 relay are Marc Griffiths, Chaz Mapp, T.J. Warren, Joseph Wright and Dawkins. The team qualified with a time of 3:26.66.

Alcovy's lone individual representative is Khorvon Nelson who will compete in the 400 (49.76) with Nelson, Rontavious Banks, Marcus Beasley and Brian Francois running the 4x400. Alcovy made it to the state meet in the 4x400 with a qualifying time of 3:23.60.

Hunter won the 110 meter hurdles (14.47) and was runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles (38.88). Also qualifying for the Patriots was Dayo Akendeli in the long jump (22-02).

Heritage also qualified its 4x400 boys relay team (C.J. Stone, Hunter, Malik McCrary, Kimari Neal and Jeremy Milton) with a time of 3:27.40.

Salem qualified Quintis Maddox, who was runner-up in the discus throw (145-09).

Eastside and Newton each have five individuals and one relay team in the girls state meet with Alcovy sending one individual and two relay teams. Rockdale's Antwonette Thomas is competing in the 1,600 (5:25.32) and the 800 (2:20.11).

Newton's Brianna Hayden will go for three individual medals competing in the triple jump (34-09.50), 100 (12.48) and the 200 (25.63).

Competing in two individual events are Newton's Makayla Jackson and Eastside's Corin Stokes and Breanna Thornton.

Jackson will compete in the 100 hurdles (15.35) and the 300 hurdles (45.55) with Stokes going for gold in the long jump (16-10.50) and the 100 (12.19). Thornton will be in the triple jump (35-07.75) and the 400 (59.92).

For Heritage, Hubbard was champion in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 44.06 and fourth in the 100-meter hurdles (15.37) with Dejsa Robinson coming in seventh in 100-meter hurdles (15.90).

Battling in one individual event are Eastside's Nylah Chavis (high jump -- 5-06) and Alcovy's Alexis Emanuel (800 -- 2:23.16).

In relay team competition, Alcovy's 4x100 team (Brianna Archer, Laniece Dennis, Ashley Williams and Emanuel) earned a trip to state with a sectional time of 48.74 with the 4x400 team (Ayanna Martin, Archer, Dennis, Emanuel and Williams) finishing in 4:00.41.

Newton's 4x100 relay team (Mercedes Booker, Jazmene Jackson, Shay Lawrence, Micah Sneed. Keri Washington and Hayden) qualified with a time of 49.40 with Eastside's 4x400 team (Myia Johnson, Rhodelle Lewis, Dallas Worthy, Stokes, Thornton and Chavis) making it to state with an time of 4:05.32.

The 4x400 relay team for Heritage (Lyric Bolden, Damali Thomas, Hubbard, Christian Smith, Valencia Williams and Amber Johnson) finished sixth at sectional with a time of 4:05.48.

The Salem girl's 4x400 team (Nikkira Brown, Kendra Jenkins, Savoy Lovett and Briana Smith) qualified with a sixth-place finish with a time of 49.85.

Kurt Aschermann Jr. contributed to this story.