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Gators sweep five-team meet
rachel gilbert
Rachel Gilbert stretches for extra distance in the long jump. - photo by RAHN HUTCHESON/Special to the Herald
    Both Bulloch Academy boys’ and girls’ track teams walked away from the competition to win their respective five-team meets Wednesday at Gator Alley.
    The Lady Gators netted a whopping 197 points for first in a five-team meet while the Gator guys scored 153 points for the win. Augusta Christian’s girls were second with 144 points while the Lions were second with 123. Robert Toombs was third in the girls’ meet with 91 points and Thomas Jefferson was third in the boys’ meet with 98.
    “Our girls are really starting to be competitors and our boys are getting so much better week-to-week that they are finally realizing what they are capable of doing,” said BA head boys’ and girls’ track coach Clint Morgan.
    Both Bulloch’s boys and girls won nine events each. But, more importantly, the second entry in almost every event placed well.
    “Our depth is really a key for us this year,” said Morgan. “Our goal is always to get our number two entry to score points. Number two points are gravy, especially in a big meet.”
    Freshman Sally Marie Futch won two events to lead the Lady Gators. She posted a 111-2 to easily win the discus and threw the shot put 30-0 for her other victory. Other Lady Gator first-place winners were Kelcie Jacobs (3200m run, 13:40), Rebekah Beasley (pole vault, 7-6), Rachel Gilbert (long jump, 15-5), Kinsley Mallard (triple jump, 28-8 1/2), Whitney Hinson (high jump, 4-11), Haley Burke (1600m run, 6:23) and Kaylee Dennard (300m hurdles, 53.27).
    Second-place individual efforts were turned in by Casey Lanier (3200m run, 13:42), Heaven Hinton (triple jump, 27-7 1/2), Dennard (100m hurdles, 17.86), Gilbert (400m dash, 63.18; 200m dash, 27.52), Jacobs (800m run, 2:45). Both 4x100 and 4x400m relay teams (Mallard, Gilbert, Taylor Collins, Kaylee Lanier) took seconds.
    Senior Ethan Lovett won three events (pole vault, 110m hurdles, 300m hurdles) and ran the anchor legs on the winning 4x100 and 4x400m relay teams (with Jordan Walker, Chan Newton and Troy Poulin. He took the pole vault with a vault of 11-0, the short hurdles with a 15.63 and the long hurdles with a 40.66. The short relay team clocked a 45.68 while the long relay squad had a 3:49.
    “Ethan was a man among boys out there today,” said Morgan. “But the best part about him is that he is a leader. He makes everybody else around him better. In the 4x400m relay, he ran a 52 split (one lap in 52 seconds) when he had a 50-meter lead. To get out there and compete against yourself like that is pretty amazing.”
    Junior John Manack pushed himself to win the 3200m run in an 11:14 and the 1600m run in 5:21. Other first-place winners were Newton (high jump, 5-10), Poulin (400m dash, 54.96)
    Nathan Brown took second in the shot put with a heave of 41-9.