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Sunday, May 15, 2011 - 5:56pm

Girls Track and Field Athletes Settle Scores at GHSA State Meet in Albany

Last week the boys' track and field championships were decided in Jefferson, and this weekend it was the girls' turn to run, jump and throw. After several grueling days of competition, Athens Christian, Decatur, Monroe, Southwest DeKalb and ML King were crowned 2011 team champions in Albany.

In Class A, Athens Christian claimed the crown after winning three individual events. The 1600-meter relay was a huge win for Athens Christian as Destiny Jenkins led the team effort. Jenkins’ impressive weekend continued with wins in the 800-meter run as well as the 1600-meter run. Taylor Noggle finished fourth in the 3200-meter run, gaining five big points for the champions. Athens Christian dominated the field with a team score of 84, besting Darlington and Jenkins County, who tied for second with 45 points. Jenkins County was led by Zandra Lake’s win in the triple jump and Ayana Walker’s win in the 400-meter dash. Hannah Wood of Mt. Zion stood out in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, winning both and setting a state record in the process. Wood broke her own state record in the Class A 200-meter dash as the Mt. Zion star shaved .02 off her time for a time of 24.61. Finally, Torie Owers of Athens Academy claimed a discus and shot put state record in Class A.

In Class AA, Decatur claimed a four-point victory over Therrell 45-41. Crawford County finished third with 40 points. Therrell’s Sandrika Simmons set the Class AA record for 300-meter hurdles and she also claimed a title in the 400-meter dash to go with her 400-meter relay title. Decatur though beat out Therrell in the 1600-meter relay after finishing runner-up in the 400-meter relay. Ashleigh Rasheed claimed a state title for Decatur in the triple jump to boost the point total. Avondale’s Shunika Jarrells won the 100- and 200-meter dash events.

Class 3A was owned by Monroe and Mimieux Land. Monroe earned 82 points, bettering the field by 29 as second-place St. Pius X earned just 53. Washington County and Eastside tied for third with 31 points. Land of Monroe set a new triple jump record and won the high jump and long jump events as well. With 34.5 individual points, Land was the highest scorer for the championships. She also participated on the winning 400 meter relay team. Alexandria Childs won the discus event and Maikea Davis won the 400 meter dash. St. Pius X was boosted by Shelby Ashe’s win in the shot put and runner up finish in the discus. The 3200-meter run was dominated by St. Pius as Erin Osment and Devon Dabney finished 1-2. Jasmie Jackson won the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, representing Jackson.

Southwest DeKalb won just two events but its depth proved to be enough to earn a commanding victory, as the Panthers scored 68 team points to best Dutchtown and Lakeside-Evans, who tied for second with 32 points. Southwest DeKalb earned a win in the triple jump as Morgan Snow outjumped the field. Snow was a part of the 400-meter relay team as well that took home a title. Southwest DeKalb’s Snow helped the Panthers with 28.5 individual points. Class 4A’s leading individual scorer was Kell’s Kendell Williams. She was quite the record-breaker as well, setting new records in the 100-meter hurdles as well as the 300 meter hurdles. Williams earned the second-most points for the entire field with 30 individual points. Dutchtown’s Ciarra Simms won the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. Anna Bowles of Lakeside-Evans took home both the 1600 meter run as well as the 3200-meter run.

Finally in the state’s highest classification, ML King scored a 15.67 point victory, beating out Westlake 66-50.33. Brookwood finished third with 42 points. King was led by Jada Martin’s 25 points after Martin won the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. She was also part of the winning 400-meter relay and 1600-meter relay squads. King’s title also had Felicia Brown’s signature all over it as Brown appeared on the 1600-meter relay team as well as the 400-meter relay team before winning the 400-meter dash. Jalisa Terrell won the high jump for ML King. Westlake finished second after Ashley Johnson won the shot put event. The runner-ups also finished in the top three in several other events. Brookwood’s Brittany Brown finished second in the pole vault, and the Broncos’ Caroline Kissel finished third in the 3200 meter run and second in the 1600-meter race. QuanDra Shanks finished second in the 800-meter and third in the 1600-meter event.