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Blue Devils sweep region meet

Blue Devils sweep region meet

Blue Devils sweep region meet


    On a gloomy day at Cross Creek High School in Augusta, Statesboro’s track and field squads held off Mother Nature and the rest of Region 3-AAAA with region championships for both the girls —who secured their sixth consecutive region crown — and the boys.
    After a solid performance in Wednesday’s field events, the Devils came into Friday’s competition ready to strike. Moving quickly from one event to the next because of a constant rain, Statesboro continued to turn in solid times and distances to stay ahead of the field.
    “First off, I just want to thank our coaching staff,” SHS coach Jake Collins said. “Assistant head coach Carlton Lovett, assistants Scott Schofill, Lance Turner, Dillon Bennett, Zach Rivera, and Rebecca Fogarty all did a tremendous job in getting our athletes ready for region.”
    Times and distances are still awaiting finalization, but the Devils’ team titles and sectional qualifiers —including 10 girls and nine boys — are set.
    They now advance to the sectional competition at Rutland High School in Macon April 26. The top eight finishers in each event at sectionals will qualify for the Class AAAA state meet.
    In addition to sweeping the team competitions, Statesboro also claimed the high-point awards for both the boys and girls. Zaquavian Smith won the 200 and 400 meters, ran the anchor leg on both region-winning relay teams, and also qualified for sectionals in the high jump to earn 33 points for the team. On the girls’ side, Jaslyn Joseph won both hurdling events, anchored the winning 4x400 meter relay team, and placed in the high jump for a total of 30.25 points.
    Statesboro dominated events throughout the two days of competition and saved one of its most impressive showings for late Friday afternoon. Running the 4x400 relay, the SHS girls quartet of Joseph, Genevieve Okafor, Iyana McKeever and Jessica McBride stormed to a win. Their only competition came in the form of their teammates as the Lady Devils’ second team of Staysha Everett, Daysha Everett, Dayona Henry and Alexis Hunter outran the top squads from the other nine schools to place second.
    “That’s 18 other relay teams and our fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth runners beat them all,” Collins said. “That kind of puts into perspective the kind of effort we got.
    “Our athletes had an outstanding performance on a tough day. It was pretty cool and the rain kept coming down harder. I’m very proud of what they were able to accomplish.”

    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-4904.

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