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Jenkins County, Lady Tigers win Plankenhorn
Metter’s Kanisha Parrish lands in the sand pit during the long jump event during the Plankenhorn Invitational track and field competition Saturday at Southeast Bulloch in Brooklet. - photo by GRAYSON HOFFMAN/Herald Correspondent

plankenhorn for 4.1

The 4th Annual running of the Plankenhorn Invitational.

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    BROOKLET — 12 teams met at Southeast Bulloch High School to compete in the fourth annual Plankenhorn Invitational track meet on Saturday, and the Claxton girls and Jenkins County boys took home first place trophies. The SEB Yellow Jackets came in second in both the men’s and women’s categories.
    The day started off with the girls 3200-meter run in which SEB took first and third place. Audrey Smith got the gold medal when she clocked in at 12 minutes, 37 seconds and Sarah Burgess got the bronze with a time of 13:56.
    The Yellow Jackets continued to dominate early on in the field events as Sarah Herndon placed second in the shot-put throw with a toss that traveled 34 1/2 feet and brought another gold to Southeast Bulloch with a discus throw that soared over 10 feet farther than the closest competitor and measured in at 99 feet 9 1/2 inches.
    The Portal Panthers got their only gold medal of the event in the high jump when Justin Raymond was the only athlete able to clear the bar set at 6 foot 2 inches.
    “I thought it was pretty good,” Raymond said. “Everybody was taller than me. I thought I was going to get put out first, but they didn’t.”
    Raymond was ready to attempt a new personal record, but his duties with the team kept him from the try.
    “My personal best is 6-3,” said Raymond. “I was going to go for 6-4, but we had to work on the relay, so I just stopped.”
    The field events were also where Claxton Lady Tiger Endya Jones — point leader for the event (30.5) — began her dominance. After placing second in the long jump with a 16-foot leap, and the triple jump, in which she measured in at 32 feet, seven inches, Jones won the gold in the high jump, clearing the bar at five feet. Jones also helped her team win the gold in the 100-meter relay when they clocked in with a total time of 50:13.
    The Southeast Bulloch boys squeaked by Jenkins County to win the gold in the 100 relay when they edged out the Eagles by .02 seconds. SEB’s Dre Lingle helped lead the relay team to victory, and used his speed to place second in both the 100 and 200-meter dash.
    Jenkins would get its revenge in the last race of the invitational when, with overall first place on the line, they earned the gold in the 400-meter relay and edged out Lingle and the Yellow Jacket relay team for the win.
    “I’m more of a sprinter,” said Lingle — who received his fourth medal of the invitational with the second place finish in the 400 relay. “I felt like I was giving up on the 4 by 400 on that last stretch.”
    The battle between the Eagle and Yellow Jacket relay teams summed up how the day went for the top two teams of the invitational.
    “I think we did pretty good,” Lingle said. “We were trying to beat Jenkins — we were neck and neck the whole time — and at the end I guess we just kind of let it go.”
    On the girls side of the competition, the Lady Yellow Jackets were in a similar battle all day long with Claxton. After dominating in many of the field competitions, the Lady Tigers began to close the gap in the speed competitions. The Tigers were not relying on first-place finishes, but they seemed to earn points by placing in the top three in nearly every race.
    “You don’t have to finish first in everything to win,” said Lady Tiger coach Joy Daughtry. “You can just add the two together to get 10. We had a lot of fifth and fourth (place finishes) that added up.
    “We did a good job in the field events and we had some personal bests today, and I think it was a total team effort.”
    With the Lady Jackets (112 points) and the Lady Tigers (138 points) taking the second and first place respectively, South Effingham (46 points) took third.
    The Benedictine team won third on the men’s side with 75 points, and Southeast Bulloch (112 points) grabbed second. Jenkins County’s 125 points earned them the first place finish.
    The event was well attended — size of the crowd and the number of participants was bigger than ever — so SEB coach Jolie Britt was pleased with how the 4th Annual Plankenhorn Invitational went off.
    “It went great today,” said Britt. “Everything ran very smoothly. Things went without a hitch — everyone had a great time.”

    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.