Panthers and Wildcats run wild at Westover Relays
From Staff Reports
ALBANY – The 2021 Westover Relays were supposed to take place at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany on Friday, April 9, but due to inclement weather, they were rescheduled for Tuesday, April 13. This postponement gave the Americus-Sumter (ASHS) and Schley County (SCHS) boys and girls track and field teams extra time to prepare for the event and according to the results, both team and individual, the extra time to prepare paid off. Both the Schley County teams finished in second place, while the Americus-Sumter boys and girls finished in fifth and sixth place respectively.
Several student-athletes from both schools turned in high marks and a few of them set new PRs (personal best times/distances).
In boys’ action, the SCHS Wildcats got a very strong showing from Clinton Jackson, who won the 110-Meter Hurdles (16.49) and finished in third place in the 300-Meter Hurdles (44.57). Jackson’s time in the 110-Meter Hurdles, which was 16.49, is a new PR for him this year so far. Two other Wildcats, David Williams and Aaron Pinckard, also showed out at the meet. Williams won the 1600-Meter Run and finished in a time of 4:55.37. His teammate, Eli Bacon, finished in seventh place in the event in a time of 5:53.93. Williams also had a strong showing in the 800-Meter Run, as he finished in second place in a time of 2:10.77. Americus-Sumter’s Kavon Lewis was also in that event and finished in 10th place in a time of 2:35.76. Lewis’s teammate, Lavaris Milledge, finished the event in seventh place in a time of 54.30.
As far as Pinckard was concerned, the SCHS senior continued the good work that he has been doing his entire high school career. Pinckard turned in a first-place finish in the 3200-Meter Run and finished in a time of 11:30.27. Pinckard’s teammate, Dustin Howard, wasn’t far behind. Howard finished in third place in the event with a time of 12:06.66.
As far as the Panthers were concerned, their athletes turned in high marks as well. In the 400-Meter Dash, Braylon Green finished in second place and posted a new PR of 49.83. The Wildcats’ John Lightner was also in that event and finished in 10th place in a time of 57.61.
In the 200-Meter Dash, Christian Waymon of ASHS turned in a strong showing by finishing in fifth place in a time of 24.60. Waymon’s teammates, Matthew Toms and Kavon Lewis, both finished in the top 10 in the 800-Meter Run. Toms finished in sixth place in a time of 2:21.87, while Lewis finished in 10th place in a time of 2:35.76. The Panthers’ Michael Pride was also in the event and finished in 13th place in a time of 2:46.21.
In the 300-Meter Hurdles event, Tyler Vickery was able to turn a strong showing by finishing in third place in a time of 17.68. Vickery also turned in a PR in the Discus event as he finished in fifth place with a new best distance throw of 108-10.00.
Vickery’s teammate, Josh Brown and Michael Pride of ASHS also took part in the Discus event. Brown finished in ninth place with a distance throw of 96-02.00, while Pride finished three spots behind Brown in 12th place with a distance throw of 74-10.50.
Brown also had a strong showing in the Shot Put competition, as he finished in fourth place with a distance throw of 38-09.99. Brown’s teammate, Wade Cox, finished right behind him in fifth place with a distance throw of 38-00.00.
In addition to his top-notch performance in the running events, Clinton Jackson also had a strong showing in the field events as well. In the Long Jump, Jackson won the event by jumping a distance of 20-07.00. Jackson also excelled in the Triple Jump, finishing in second place with a distance jump of 41-01.00. Jackson also took home the trophy for the High Point Award, which goes to the athlete who scores the most individual points in a meet.
In the Pole Vault event, two Wildcats turned in strong showings. Levi Johnson won the event, as he was able to reach a height of 10-06.00. His teammate, Matthew Nguyen, finished in fourth place in the event by reaching a height of 8-00.00.
In the 4×800-Meter Relay event, the Wildcats finished in second place with a time of 9:19.30. In the 4×400-Meter Relay, SCHS turned in a fifth place finish with a time of 4:02.00.
In girls’ action, several ASHS and SCHS athletes did extremely well in this meet and several turned in some new PRs. Southland Academy also had one student-athlete win an event. Jadie Burrell, who was the only SAR athlete to compete in the Westover Relays, won both the Girls’ 800 and 1600-Meter Run. Burrell finished the 800 in a time of 2:37.16 and she finished the 1600 in a time of 6:06.87.
The Lady Panthers had several athletes turn in PRs in this year’s Westover Relays.
Before the meet, Junior Rebecca Wood’s previous PR in the 800-Meter Run was 3:45, but she was able to set a new PR of 3:00.90 in the event and finished in fifth place. Wood also set a new PR in the Girls’ High Jump by jumping a height of 4-00.00 and finishing in fourth place. Wood’s teammate, Cyniah McCrary, finished just ahead of Wood in third place by jumping a new PR (personal best) of 4-02.00.
Jakiera Pride also posted a new PR in this meet. In the 200-Meter Dash, Pride’s previous PR was 29.90, but in Tuesday’s Westover Relays, Pride was able to shave her time down to 27:34, which was good enough for a third place finish. Pride’s teammate, Jasmine White, also set a new PR in the 200-Meter Dash by running a time of 30:24. White was able to hold off Nyah Rogers of Dougherty for sixth place.
Selliyah Owens was not able to compete for the Lady Panthers as she is recovering from an injury.
In the Girls’ 100-Meter Dash, Schley County’s Dasani Minter finished in second place and was able to set a new PR of 12.87. Minter finished just seconds behind event winner Madison Mitchell of Westover, who won the event in a time of 12.36. Jakiera Pride, who posted a new PR in the Girls’ 200-Meter Dash, finished in sixth place in the 100 with a time of 13.43. Pride’s teammate and cousin, Shakyra Pride, finished in ninth place in a time of 13.95. Jasmine White, who set a new PR in the Girls’ 200-Meter Dash, finished the 100-Meter Dash in 12th place in a time of 14.51.
In the Girls’ 1600-Meter Run, which was won by Southland’s Jadie Burrell, Hannah Scoggins of SCHS finished third in the event in a time of 7:19.56. Scoggins’ teammate, Maelyn Anthony, finished the 1600 in sixth place in a time of 8:13.63.
In the Girls’ 300-Meter Hurdles, Daneria Thornton of SCHS finished in third place and set a new PR of 53.45. Thornton’s teammate, Perri DeVane, won the Girls’ Pole Vault event by vaulting a height of eight feet.
Dasani Minter, who finished in second place in the Girls’ 100-Meter
Dash, won the Girls’ Triple Jump event and set a new PR for herself by jumping a distance of 31-02.50. Minter’s teammate, Daneria Thornton, finished in second place in the event with a distance jump of 31-02.00. Minter also excelled in the Girls’ Long Jump by finishing in second place with a distance jump of 15-03.25.
In the Girls’ Shot Put competition, the Lady Wildcats got another victory as Liberty Justice won the event and set a new PR for herself by throwing a distance of 33-10.00. Justice’s teammate, Berkley Goodin, finished in fourth place in the event by throwing a distance of 26-05.00. The ASHS Lady Panthers had three athletes in the vent. Cyniah McCrary, who set a new PR in the Girls’ High Jump, finished in 10th place with a distance throw of 24-03.00. McCrary’s two teammates, Rebecca Wood and Shakyra Pride, finished in 14th and 15th place respectively. Wood was able to throw a distance of 19-08.00, while Pride achieved a distance throw of 17-03.00.
In the Discus event, the Lady Wildcats once again were able to have two of their student-athletes place in the top 5. Rene Rix finished in second place with a distance throw of 94-04.50 and her teammate, Sarah Barnhill, finished in fifth place with a distance throw of 78-06.50. Both Rix and Barnhill were able to set new PRs for themselves in the Discus event.
Both Wood and McCrary competed in the Discus event for the Lady Panthers. McCrary finished in 11th place with a distance throw of 43-06 and Wood finished right behind her in 12th with a distance throw of 36-06.
In the Girls’ 4×800-Meter Relay event, the Lady Wildcats were able to take second place and finished in a time of 14:34.52.
Overall, the coaches of both the ASHS and SCHS teams were very pleased with the efforts of their student-athletes. “The girls performed exceptionally well for this to their first major meet of the season,” said ASHS Girls’ Head Coach Shanika Dyson. “I have a very young team and they have a tremendous amount of potential that I look forward to seeing n the years to come. Cyniah (McCrary) did very well to be a freshman with her learning all of these events that’s she’s never done before and is performing well in them. She earned her first medal ever and that is much to be celebrated.” Dyson was equally pleased with the performances and growth of Jakiera Pride and Rebecca Wood. “Jakiera Pride (also a freshman) performed very well,” said Dyson. “She received her first medal as well and her personal best. I was not expecting that, but happy to see it. I am extremely proud of Rebecca. She ran for me during cross country and the things that she’s learned during that time has transferred onto the track and it reflects in her training and her performance.
I am proud of all of them because while we are a small team this year. We are still here despite the obstacles and they have worked hard to achieved the goals we talked about and now we have to make new goals to work towards, which is always exciting. I am very proud of them,” Dyson continued.
As for the ASHS boys, who finished the meet in fifth place, they are moving in the right direction at the right time, this according to ASHS Head Coach Ken Eldridge. “They all performed better than at the previous meet, but they prepared better at practice,” said Eldridge. “They are heading in the right direction to be peaking at region, which is what we work towards.”
As far as the Wildcats and Lady Wildcats are concerned, head coach Scott Burgess was particularly pleased with how well his athletes competed against schools that are much bigger in size. “I am very happy and proud for our athletes to be able to compete and even win several events against schools that are much larger than us,” said Burgess. “It is always good for us to get to go to Hugh Mills and compete there because that is where we will have our region and state Meets at. Hopefully, this meet will give our athletes some confidence as we will be having our region meet there in two weeks as they have seen that they can go there and beat some of their PRs. “
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