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Bulloch hosts 14-team meet
Loy Waters Track
Loy Waters leaps into the sand in the Long Jump event Saturday morning at Bulloch Academy's Gator Relays track meet. - photo by BRYAN BURKE/Special to the Herald

    Bulloch Academy took the first and second-place trophies in the rain-shortened 14th annual Gator Relays Saturday at the Georgia Southern University track and field complex.
    The meet was halted twice, once at 11:25 a.m. and again at 1 p.m., due to the hard rain which swept through the area. Several events were cancelled because of the potentially hazardous conditions. All hurdling events were scratched as well as the boys’ pole vault, the boys’ triple jump and both 200m dashes.
     The meet, which was sponsored by Sheppard Lumber, Sapp Outdoor Advertising, Cope Eye Clinic, Statesboro Appliance, Isabella’s, Video Warehouse, McDougald Oil and Hendley Properties, was also smaller than normal with 10 girls’ teams and 12 boys’ team representing 14 schools.
    “We hit a lot of schools on their Spring break weekends,” said BA head girls’ track coach Barbara Conner. “But the competition that was there was good. The kids ran great. Considering the cold and damp temperatures, we even had some really good times.”
    BA sophomore Pate Lomax clocked her best time in her 800m victory (2:32), helping the Lady Gators to score 173 points for the meet win. Trinity Christian School of Dublin was second (85) and Robert Toombs Christian of Lyons was third (48). Lomax also won the high jump (4-11), pulled points in the long jump and ran legs on both winning relay teams.
    “I was very pleased with the girls,” said Conner. “We won eight out of 13 events.”
    Senior Marianna Peebles won the pole vault (7-2), sophomore Ashley Burke ran away with the 3200m run (12:47), sophomore Page Spence took the discus (78-4) and junior Chelsea Oglesby claimed the shot (32-10 ½). The 4x100m relay team of Oglesby, Lomax and seniors Anna Newton and Mary Margaret Reeves notched a 54.13 for the win and the 4x400m relay team of Reeves, Burke, Lomax and Newton clocked a 4:28.
    Second-place finishes were turned in by junior Danielle Atkinson (pole vault), freshman Abigail Smith (discus) and Newton (high jump and 400m run). Thirds were claimed by sophomore Destiny Burke (shot), Oglesby (long jump), Ashley Burke (1600m ) and Reeves (400m).
    In the boys’ meet, Trinity Christian netted 115 points to take the top trophy. The Gators scored 83 for second place and Augusta Preparatory School had 54 for third.
    “Trinity was strong in the distance and field events,” said Conner. “The largest of all of the day’s races were the boys’ distance events. We had some schools who came strictly to have their kids run in the distances races. The times were also very good too.”
Trinity’s Caleb McLeod came within seconds of breaking three Gator Relay records (the 3200m, the 1600m and the 800m runs) in his three wins.
    The Bulloch boys won just one event, had three seconds and two thirds.
    The 4x400m relay team of seniors Themba Twala, Harrison Averitt, Forrest Spence and Bailey Smith clocked a 3:46 for Bulloch’s lone victory.
    Averitt was second in the 400m dash (54.58). The 4x100m relay team of seniors Smith and Averitt and juniors Daniel Hendrix and Matt Sheppard ran a 47.12 for second place. The BA #2 team of Sheppard, Hendrix, senior Loy Waters and junior Zach Sapp had a 3.50 for second place as well.
    Thirds were claimed by Smith (400m dash) and the second 4x100m relay team (Waters, Spence, Twala and junior Eddie Howard).