Alyssa Weaver (leading) and Mollie Shaw (#5) of the ‘Nettes ran strong in the 3200 Meter Run this past Friday at the Region 7AAAA Championships. Weaver won (12:14.25) and Shaw finished 4th (12:32.32) as both will go on to next Saturday’s Sectionals and the chance to qualify for State. Weaver also finished 4th to qualify in the 1600 Meter Run (5:34.96).
Thankfully, the weather cooperated this time as the PHS Track & Field Teams traveled to Dalton High School last Thursday and Friday for the Region 7AAAA Track & Field Championships. The teams turned in some outstanding performances, qualifying a total of 8 individual athletes along with the Dragon 4 X 400 Team for next Saturday’s Sectional Meet in Carrollton.
Day 1 saw four ‘Nettes qualify for Friday’s Region Finals in their events as Kamish Langston (100 Meter Dash), Sydney Romine (400 Meter Dash, 300 Meter Hurdles), and Sarah Ballard (800 Meter Run) turned in strong performances to stay alive for another day. Alyssa Weaver went ahead and punched her ticket to Carrollton and next Saturday’s Sectional Meet with a 4th place finish amongst a strong field in the 1600 Meter Run (5:34.96). Also scoring for the ‘Nettes on Thursday was Allison Dowdy in the Pole Vault (6th / 6’0”).
The Dragons then placed 7 athletes in Friday’s Finals as Carey Cunningham (400 Meter Dash), Drew Bellows and Wyatt Ingram (800 Meter Run), the 4 X 100 Meter Relay Team (Tyler Craig, Carey Cunningham, Deondre Green, and Kalyn Brooks) all made it into the top 8 in their qualifying heats. Drew Bellows feet must have been smoking hot as he topped the field in the 1600 Meter Run Final, finishing first in 4:37.71. Tyler Craig then proved he could also soar through the air very well without the aid of a pole as he finished 3rd in the Triple Jump with a distance of 42’5” to qualify for Sectionals.
When the teams woke up Friday, the steady rain falling was all too familiar and threatened to postpone the day’s scheduled events for Saturday. A few hours later, the skies began to clear allowing the meet to proceed as planned. After the rain delayed start, Tyler Craig had everyone looking skyward again. This time folks were not looking for clouds and rain, but instead at the spectacle of Craig launching himself to a new personal and school record in the Pole Vault. Craig cleared 16’0”, and then narrowly missed 16’5” to easily place 1st by 4 ½ feet over the 2nd place finisher. Craig will have company in the Pole Vault competition at the Sectional Meet in Carrollton this year though, as teammate Harley Barnes set his own personal record in clearing 11’0” to finish in 3rd place.
The Pickens faithful later saw Drew Bellows fire up his engine again in the 800 Meter Final as he smoked the field in that event too, clocking his own personal record time of 2:02.30 for first place. Teammate Wyatt Ingram tracked Bellows closely through most of the race and finished a strong second in 2:06.45 to earn a trip to Sectionals. Turner Moranos then set a personal record in the 3200 Meter Run at 10:18.68 for 4th place, keeping himself alive in the quest to qualify for State at next weekends’ meet.
Also performing well and scoring for the Dragons in Friday’s Event Finals were Carey Cunningham in the 400 Meter Dash (5th / 53.60 secs.) and Long Jump (7th / 19’2.25”), Ryan Evans in the Discus (8th / 112’4”), Wyatt Ingram in the 3200 Meter Run (8th / 10:47.28), and the 4 X 100 Meter Relay Team (5th / 45.04 secs.). Tyler Craig would also have scored more points in the Long Jump, but was unfortunately disqualified because of a uniform rule technicality.
Sydney Romine was strong in the 300 Meter Hurdle Final on Friday as she finished 4th in 51.36 secs. to qualify for Sectionals. Romine ran well, but could not quite make the cut in the 400 Meter Dash (7th / 1:06.36). Friday was good to Alyssa Weaver in the 3200 Meter Run as she finished first in 12:14.25. ‘Nette teammate Mollie Shaw was determined to keep Weaver company next Saturday as she finished 4th in the 3200 (12:32.32) to set a personal record and stay alive for another week. Also scoring for the ‘Nettes on Friday were Kamish Langston in the 100 Meter Dash (7th / 13.90 secs.), and Sarah Ballard in the 800 Meter Run (8th / 2:44.95).
The last event for the night on Friday was the always exciting 4 X 400 Meter Relay, and this year saw both the ‘Nettes and Dragons finish very well. The ‘Nettes were up first as the team of Morgan Bailey, Sarah Ballard, Savanah Rice, and Sydney Romine took to the track. The ‘Nettes ran a very stong race, but came up about 3 seconds short of qualifying for Sectionals as they placed 6th in 4:36.41. The Dragons team of Carey Cunningham, Turner Moranos, Julian Harney and Drew Bellows then toed the starting line with the Region’s best 4 X 400 teams. The Dragons kicked it up a notch when they really needed it, finishing a strong 3rd in 3:42.51 to send themselves to Carrollton and stay in the hunt for a medal at State.
The ‘Nettes finished well in the team standings, totaling 37 points for 7th place out of 11 teams. The Lady Catamounts from Dalton were tops for the meet on the girls’ side with 120.33 points. The Dragons finished a strong 4th out of 11 teams after totaling 73 points, with the Bruins of Northwest Whitfield (102 points) taking the top team spot on the boys’ side. Complete meet results from last Thursday and Friday’s Region 7AAAA Track & Field Championships can be found at http://ga.milesplit.com/meets/139785-ga-region-7-aaaa-track-and-field-championship.
All Sectional qualifiers will be traveling to Carrollton High School this coming Saturday for the AAAA – B Sectional Meet including Regions 5,6,7 and 8. The 1600 Meter Run and Pole Vault qualifiers will begin at 10:30 AM, with the other running event qualifying heats following in the afternoon and early evening on Saturday. At Sectionals, the top 8 finishers in each event will qualify for the respective Boys’ and Girls’ State Meets. Congratulations to all Pickens Track athletes on a job well done at Region in Dalton, and best of luck this Saturday in Carrollton!