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Gators take first at meet
BA TRACK 5 col bw
Rachel Gilbert takes flight in the long jump for Bulloch Academy during Wednesday’s track meet at Gator Alley. Gilbert’s jump was good enough for first place. - photo by Special
    Bulloch Academy’s track teams notched over 150 points each to easily win the Gators’ first home meet of the season Wednesday.
    “Generally, the second meet of the season (BA competed in a Class AAA meet in Macon last week) is not one of your better meets,” said Bulloch head track coach Clint Morgan. “Our girls and guys both fought through that. I was very impressed with the heart shown today.”
    The Gator guys were missing several key team members who were competing in the GISA Class AA State Literary Competition at Valdosta State University. But there were others who stepped up and filled their shoes.
    Bulloch had 10 first-place finishes, seven seconds and six thirds en route to tallying 158 points for the win. Pinewood was second with 74 and Edmund Burke was third with 49.
    Sophomore Chan Newton won both the high jump and the triple jump while junior Ethan Lovett scored victories in the 110-meter hurdles and the 400m dash. Lovett also ran legs on the winning 4x100 and 4x400m relay teams.
    Other first-place finishers were junior Jordan Walker (long jump), sophomore John Godbee (1600m run), David Poole (300m hurdles) and Ben Stephens (800m run). Other team members on the 4x100m relay team were Walker, Poole and Newton while the 4x400m relay team also had Poole, Stephens and James Conner.
    “John Godbee and Ben Stephens were my two pleasant surprises today,” Morgan said of his two distance runners. “They really stood out.”
    The BA boys also got second-place efforts from eighth grader Thomas Brunson (3200m run), Lovett (pole vault), Walker (high jump and 800m run), Conner (110m and 300m hurdles), Poole (100m dash).
    In the girls’ meet, the Gator girls notched eight firsts, 10 seconds and six thirds to amass 160 points for the win. Pinewood was second with 93 points while Edmund Burke was third with 45.
    Sophomore Susanna McKee easily captured both the 400m dash and the 800m run. Freshman Kelcie Jacobs ran away with the 1600m run while freshman Heaven Hinton took the 300m hurdles.
    Other first-place efforts were turned in by freshman Rebekah Beasley (pole vault), eighth grader Rachel Gilbert (long jump) and the 4x100 and 4x400m relay teams of McKee, Hinton, Gilbert and Kaylee Lanier.
    The BA girls also got second-place finishes from Lanier (400m dash), Beasley (800m run), Gilbert (200m dash), sophomore Catherine Ball (3200m run), junior Abi Foy (pole vault), junior Whitney Hinson (high jump), freshman Kaylee Dennard (300m hurdles), eighth grader Sally Marie Futch (discus) and both the 4x100 (Jacobs, Hinson, sophomore Kinsley Mallard and freshman Ashlie Smith) and 4x400m (Jacobs, Mallard, Hinson and Beasley) relay teams.
    The Gators will be back in action Saturday morning when they host the annual Gator Relays. Instead of being held at Gator Alley, the 16-team track meet will be held at the Georgia Southern University track and field complex near Paulson Stadium.