When your track team is as small as Portal’s, individual performances are that much more important.
Justin Raymond knows that, and he used that as motivation to lead the Panthers with two silver medals in Tuesday’s Plankenhorn Invitational at Southeast Bulloch. His 24 points put him in third place individually at the meet.
“It feels good coming out and trying,” said Raymond. “I knew that there were going to be bigger schools (than Portal), so I just wanted to come out here and do my business.”
Although he fell just short of the gold in two events on Tuesday, finishing just inches behind Statesboro’s Mario Jackson in the long jump and the high jump, Raymond is confident leading the Panthers into the Region 3-A meet.
“This is just getting me ready for regions on Wednesday,” Raymond said. “I’m going to get first place in that — take that home. I’m going to get first place in long jump and high jump.”
Portal coach Justin Chester likes the example set by the senior on the track.
“You just hope that his leadership can trickle down to some of these younger athletes,” Chester said after the Plankenhorn. “Maybe they can say, ‘I want to be like Justin Raymond when I’m a senior and have as many awards and accomplishments as he was able to get as a senior.’ Follow his lead — that’s what you want young people to do.”
Girls: No surprise, Brewton wins again
It was no surprise when Lacreasha Brewton was the High Point winner for the girls at Tuesday’s Plankenhorn Invitational at Southeast Bulloch.
Brewton has spent the 2008 season racking up medal after medal, and doing it in a multitude of events.
In fact, the only person who was even a little bit surprised was the Claxton track star herself.
“I didn’t really think I was doing all that great, because I was feeling sick today,” said Brewton, whose 27.75 points led the girls from eight area teams. “I had to push myself, and I did it. When I won the triple jump, I started feeling better.”
Brewton placed first in the triple jump and the 1600-meter, and also medaled in the 800 and the 1600m relay.
“It’s great to have an athlete like Lacreasha,” said Claxton coach Joy Daughtry. “She works hard in practice every day, and she actually enjoys running. A lot of people who are on the track team don’t really enjoy running. When it’s time for her race, she’s glad — she always wants some more and some more and some more. She’s very versatile. I could put her in the long jump — could put her in the triple jump. She’s probably my fastest 400 person. She’s one of those kids that can do a lot of events.”