Fifteen years and still going strong.
That’s how Bulloch Academy head track and field coach Barbara Conner sees today’s 15th annual Gator Relays.
“It has become such a fun event,” said Conner. “It’s gotten to be so popular that I’ve got coaches calling at the beginning of the school year wanting to know the date.”
Even though the weather forecasts call for rain and, at times, thunderstorms, Conner says that the meet will go on.
“We will work around the weather,” she said. “We’ve done it before. If we need to take a break to the storms pass or let the rain subside and the track dry out, then we will. The drainage system at the facility is very good. We may have to cancel some events but we’re not cancelling the meet.”
Hosted by Bulloch Academy, the all-classification meet will boast some of the best athletes in the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA). Student-athletes representing 20 independent schools from around the state will converge on Georgia Southern University’s track and field facility.
“The track surface at Georgia Southern is so comparable to what we run on at state (Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany),” said Conner. “It makes people want to run there to prepare for the state meet.”
An estimated 300 student-athletes will participate in the meet, which begins at approximately 10 a.m. Admission is $6 per person for the day-long event and full concessions will be available.
All first-place winners will receive souvenir t-shirts, compliments of the sponsors, with additional t-shirts available for purchase.
Last year, the Bulloch Academy girls and the Trinity Christian School of Dublin boys won the first-place trophies. Both teams went on to win the state championships in their respective classifications.
Today’s meet will feature some exciting races, according to Conner.
“Ashley Burke from Bulloch and Stokes from Mount de Sales will square off in the girls’ 3200-meter run and will be joined by Jamey Holodak from Augusta Prep in the 1600m,” said Conner. “Caleb McLeod from Trinity Christian School of Dublin and Jacob Burgamy from Brentwood will face each other in the 800m and 1600m runs. In the boys’ sprints, the races will be between Trinity Christian of Sharpsburg’s George, Ellison from Dominion Christian and Matt Sheppard from Bulloch. In the girls’ sprints, Issac from Augusta Prep, Campbell and Cowan, both from Trinity Christian of Sharpsburg are the favorites.”
Bulloch Academy’s Dylan Stuckey and Atys Cope are the favorites in the boys’ 100 and 300m hurdles as is Daniel Hendrix in the boys’ pole vault, Chelsea Oglesby in the girls’ shot put and the Lady Gator 4x400m relay team.