Both Bulloch Academy girls’ and boys’ track teams rolled to victories in the GISA Region 4-AAA championship meet Thursday at Georgia Southern University’s track and field complex.
The Lady Gators dominated the field events and the relays to amass 212 points for the team title. Junior Kristin Kingery won the girls’ high-point trophy by scoring 33 total points. Senior Chelsea Oglesby was second with 32.5 points, junior Page Spence was third with 31.25 and junior Pate Lomax was fifth with 29.
“Having four out of the top five high-point girls showed how strong we were today,” said BA head girls’ coach Barbara Conner.
The Bulloch boys captured seven events to score 169 points. Senior Daniel Hendrix was third in the boys’ high-point race, earning 23.5 points.
But, more importantly, the Bulloch student-athletes qualified for 39 spots in next week’s GISA Class AAA state track and field championships at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany. The girls, who are the reigning state champions, notched 22 entries while the boys have 17. The top four finishers in each event at the region meet qualified for the state event.
Kingery, who had not participated in track and field since the eighth grade, got the high-point plaque by winning the region championship in both of the 100 and 300-meter hurdles, placing second in the long jump and running a leg on the winning 4x100 and 4x400m relay teams.
“Kristin was sick at the beginning of the week,” said Conner. “For her to do what she did today and not be 100 percent just shows what type of competitor she is. She came into the 100 hurdles with the fourth best time. She had an awesome meet.”
Oglesby won three individual region titles (long jump, shot put and triple jump) and ran a leg on the 4x100 team. Spence took the pole vault, the discus, was second in the 300m hurdles and was on the 4x400m relay team. Lomax won the high jump, was second in the triple jump, third in the 800m run and was on both relay teams.
Junior Ashley Burke won the 3200m run, was second in the 1600m, fourth in the 800m and on the 4x400m team.
Other qualifiers were senior Danielle Atkinson (pole vault and 4x400, team 2), freshman Dailey Averitt (high jump and 4x400, team 1), eighth grader Mattie Wynn Hendrix (3200m, 1600m and 4x400m, team 2) and eighth grader MacKenzie Crooms (4x400m, team 2).
In the boys’ meet, Hendrix won the pole vault and the 400m dash and ran a leg on the victorious 4x400m relay team. Senior Will Bohlke won the region championship in the long jump, senior Matt Sheppard took the title in the 200m dash and junior Dylan Stuckey won the 300m hurdles.
“We had some guys really step up and show their maturity today,” said Conner.
Other individual qualifiers were Bohlke (triple jump), senior Christopher Williams (800m, 1600m), senior John Paul Padilla (200m), senior Eddie Howard (100m), junior Justin Lane (110m hurdles), junior Hunter Perry (high jump), sophomore Atys Cope (110m hurdles) and freshman G.C. Kimbrell (discus). Hendrix, Sheppard, Williams and Stuckey composed the first-place 4x400m relay team while Bohlke, Padilla, Cope and Davis Childs made up the second team, which also qualified for next week’s event.