Roswell’s girls and boys teams hold the lead in both genders after the conclusion of three field events. The Hornets (36 points) are ahead of second place Wheeler (25) and third place Walton (19) with Milton (12), Cherokee (8), Woodstock (8), Etowah (5) and Lassiter (4) also scoring.
The Lady Hornets (27) have a slimmer advantage over second place Walton (21), followed by Etowah (19), Wheeler (15), Woodstock (12), Milton (9), Lassiter (8) and Cherokee (6).
Boys field event finals included high jump, long jump and discus, while the girls finals were held in pole vault, long jump and shot put. Finals were also held in the boys and girls 1,600-meter run. Preliminary running events also took place. The top four finishers in each event qualify for next week’s sectional meet.
Although Woodstock didn’t crown any individual champions, the Wolverines did advance Khalil Muhammad (third, 5-10) in the high jump and Owen Bailey (second, 4:23.60) in the 1,600.
Woodstock’s Alexandra Melehan wouldn’t be denied a sectionals berth in the girls 1,600 meter run. Melehan ran second for much of the race, but fell into fifth place on the final lap before summoning enough energy over the final 100 meters to qualify fourth in 5:15.27, passing Roswell’s Erin Gant over the last 10 meters.
“Running is such a mental sport where you have to push your body and get your mind past the breaking point,” Melehan said. “It came down to the last 100 meters and it looked like (Gant) was getting tired. So, I pushed past that mental barrier. If I wanted to get her, I needed to go now, so I did and passed her right at the end to qualify.”
Leena Morris of Etowah claimed the girls shot put title with a toss of 41 feet, 11 inches. Lady Eagles’ Sydney Brim (8-0) and Kelsey Keith (8-0) placed second and third in the girls pole vault.
Lazion West of Cherokee put forth an effort in the high jump that stunned even himself. West, a freshman, set a personal best leap of 6-2 in winning the region championship in his first varsity season.
“I’m surprised I won and even more surprised to get 6-2,” West said. “I didn’t get that in practice, so it feels amazing to get my personal best and a region championship.
“I’ve been feeling pretty confident the past couple of weeks, so I just want to keep going. I’m excited about the future.”
Joining West at sectionals will be teammate Andrew Harris (third, 21-0.5) in the long jump.
All three schools qualified several runners into today’s finals. Field events in the boys pole vault, triple jump and shot will also be competed along with girls’ high jump, triple jump and discus.
“We qualified people in the running events and had some unexpected help in the field,” Woodstock coach Rick Glasper said. “We should get some more help (today) for the boys and girls. We’re in the thick of things and you can’t ask for much more.”
Cherokee coach Jennifer Waldrup was also pleased with her team’s results.
“Our strengths are in some of the field events like the throws, but things didn’t go well (Wednesday), she said. “(West’s) height was big, so we’re proud for him. We’re a young team this year, but we expect to be stronger next year.”