• 64°

Southland and Furlow Charter track and field teams tune up for regionals at Marion County Meet

BUENA VISTA, GA – At this point of the track and field season, teams are fine-tuning their speed and skill in preparation for their various regional and state meets that are right around the corner. For the Southland Academy Raiders (SAR) and Furlow Charter Falcons (FC), last Wednesday’s Marion County meet was one of those opportunities for both squads to work out any kinks and prepare for their respective GHSA and GISA region and state meets.

The emphasis of this meet was not so much on team standings, but individual performance. Southland finished first in both the boys and girls’ team standings and two SAR athletes turned in new PRs (personal best times/distances) for the season. Noah Sheff turned in a new PR in the boys’ 1600 Meter Run when he finished in second place in a time of 5:27.08. Sheff finished right behind his teammate Tanner Humphrey, who won the event in a time of 5:26.58. Furlow Charter’s Edwin Gonzalez finished the event in third place in a time of 5:36.

In the Boys’ 4x400m Relay event, Southland won the event in a time of 4:08.32, finishing nine seconds ahead of Dooly County, who finished in second place in a time of 4:17.64. Marion County, the host school, finished in third place in a time of 4:18.33, followed by Furlow Charter (FC), who finished in a time of 4:48.11.

In the Boys’ 3200 Meter Run, FC’s Edwin Gonzalez won the event and finished in a time of 12:25.15. Matteson Debaise and Shaw Pinell finished in second and third place respectively. Debasie ran the 1600 in a time of 13:29.85 and Pinell finished in a time of 13:51.57.

Southland Academy’s Catie Paradise competed in both the 100 and 300 Meter Hurdles and won both events.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

In the Boys’ 400 Meter Dash, Southland’s Nathan Duke won the event in a time of 53.69, finishing almost four seconds ahead of Markevis Evans of Dooly County. Duke’s SAR teammate, Ashton Ray, finished in fourth place in the 400 Meter Dash with a time of 58:84. Ray’s time was just slightly behind that of third place finisher Dean King of Dooly County, who finished in a time of 58.23.

In the Boys’ 800 Meter Run, SAR’s Tanner Humphrey once again showed his prowess in the distance events. Humphrey won the 800 in a time of 2:16.94. Humphrey’s teammate, Max Foster, finished in second place in a time of 2:18.30.

In the Boys’ 200 Meter Run, SAR’s Hudson Collins turned in a strong showing, as he finished in third place in a time of 24.7. Collins was barely beaten out for second place by Jalen Hall of Dooly County (24.6). Collins also turned in a strong showing in the Boys’ 100 Meter Dash. Collins finished the race in a time of 11.85. Dickens was neck and neck with Collins during the race, but finished just behind him in third with a time of 11.87. In the Boys’ 300 Meter Hurdles, SAR’s James Griffin took second place, running a time of 46.87. Griffin’s teammate, Perry Usher, finished in fourth place in a time of 48.39.

In the field events, the Raiders did extremely well. Nathan Duke won the Boys’ Triple Jump by jumping a distance of 35-3 (35 feet, 3 inches). Duke’s teammate, James Griffin, finished in second place with a distance of 34-9.

In the Boys’ High Jump event, SAR’s Owen Exley won the event by jumping a distance of 5’8 and his teammate, Coleman Fort, finished in second by jumping a distance of 5’6.

The Raiders also got a strong showing from Carmello Volley, who finished in second place in the Boys’ Long Jump. Volley was able to reach a distance of 18-6. Volley’s teammate, Hudson Collins, finished in fourth place with a distance jump of 17-5.

Furlow Charter’s Edwin Gonzalez tries to chase down a Marion County runner in the Boys’ 1600 Meter Run. Gonzalez finished in third place in the event with a time of 5.36.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Raiders also shined in the Discus event. Will Godwin came in second place with a distance throw of 96’9. Godwin’s teammate, John Saye, finished right behind Godwin in third place with a distance throw of 88’4.8.  Hunter Hemingway if Marion County won the event with a distance throw of 107’10.8.

While much of the attention in this meet is focused on the SAR send FC athletes, Schley County decided to bring some of their athletes to the Marion County meet to compete in the Discus and Shot Put events.

In the Shot Put, Wade Cox of SCHS won the event with a distance throw of 39’2.  Cox was able to out distance Hunter Hemingway of Marion County, who finished in second with a throw of 35’11. Will Godwin if SAR came in third place with a throw of 35’7 and his teammate, John Saye, finished in fourth place with a distance throw of 32’7.

In the Boys’ 110 Meter Hurdles, SAR’s James Griffin came in second place, as he finished in a time of 19.31. Griffin’s teammate, Ethan Beck, finished the event in fourth place in a time of 22.9 and was barely edged out for third place by William Arn of Marion County (22.66). Rounding up the SAR Boys’ performance, the Raiders also did well in the Boys’ 4×100 Meter Relay. They finished the relay in third place in a time of 47.76.

In girls’ action both the SAR and FC teams made strides in preparation for their respective upcoming region and state meets. In the Girls’ 1600 Meter Run, Taylor Ragsdale of SAR finished in fourth place in the event with a time of 8:16.02.

FC’s Maya Wynn proved herself once again as one of the state’s best distance runners by winning the 3200 Meter Run in a time of 13:39.45. Jadie Burrell of SAR finished right behind Wynn in second place in a time of 14:23.29. In the 300 Meter Hurdles, two SAR athletes turned in strong performances. Cate Stallings of Southland won the event in a time of 1:00.39 and her teammate, Catie Paradise, took home second place, finishing in a time of 1:01.69. Paradise also turned in a strong performance in the 100 Meter Hurdles as well, winning the event in a time of 20:37.

Just as the SAR boys did, the girls also made strides in the Discus and Shot Put events. Katie Rogers won the Discus event with a distance throw of 82’5. Rogers’ teammate, Addison Starlin, finished in second place with a distance throw of 74’11.

In the Shot Put event, Southland’s Brylie Redding won the event by making a distance throw of 289.5. Starlin finished in third place in the event with a distance throw of 231.5, which was slightly behind the distance of Traytavia Denmark of Marion County.

In the Long Jump, SAR’s Elizabeth Law was able to post a new PR for herself. Law won the event by jumping a distance of 14-11 (14 feet, 11 inches). Law’s teammate, Wimberly Hines, finished the event in third place with a jump of 13-10.5

In the Girls’ 800 Meter Run, Law was able to win it for the Lady Raiders in a time of 2:56.63, as she beat Noelia Morales of Marion County by about seven seconds (3:03.25).

SAR’s Morgan Minick also turned in a strong showing at the Marion County meet. Minick finished in second place in the 200 Meter Run and finished in third in the 100 Meter Dash in a time of 13:23. In the 400 Meter Dash, SAR’s J.C. Bailey had a strong showing in the vent, as she finished in second place in a time of 1:12.13.