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Claxton, SEB atheletes place at 2010 Plankenhorn Invitational
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Southeast Bulloch freshman Amber Taylor, 15, closes in on the leader before winning the 300 M hurdles event during the Plankenhorn Track Invitational at Southeast Bulloch High School Saturday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

BROOKLET – Nine athletes from Claxton and Southeast Bulloch placed in an event and the SEB girls took home third place out of 16 girls squads in team competition Saturday at the seventh annual Plankenhorn Invitational in Brooklet.

            “I thought that our team did exceptionally well today,” said SEB girls coach Jolie Britt. “We ran well, we threw well, and we did it against a whole lot of great competition.”

            Most notable for the Lady Yellow Jackets was the performance of the relay teams.

            With a blistering pace of 50.42 seconds, the 4x100 squad of Nira Byrd, Dineshia Baker, Crystal Mikell and Breanna Gates took second in the event. SEB nearly too first in the race, finishing just a fraction of a second behind Bradwell Institute’s winning time of 50.11.

            The jackets matched that second place finish with another in the 4x400.

            Individually, Gates took second in the long jump with a leap of 16 feet-6 inches. Byrd was second in the triple jump, totaling 32 feet-9 inches, and Le’Keriya Hendrix finished second in the 800-meters with a time of 2:39.71 - just .16 seconds behind Erin Moore of St. Vincent.

            Gates also racked up a third place finish in the 100 meter dash – her time of 12.98 seconds making her one of only three girls to break the 13-second mark on the day.

            “Breanna, Nira and Kiki (Hendricks) all had big days,” said Britt. “I was really proud of their efforts. Everyone on the team gave it their all and got us the good results at the end.”

            A pair of SEB boys excelled in the field as Robbie Spivey’s throw of 124 feet-7 inches earned him second place in the discus and Derek Dobson earned a second place finish in the triple jump with a mark of 40 feet-8 inches.

            One of the most decorated athletes on the day was Chris Bellamy of Claxton.

            The senior earned first place in both the discus (137 feet-10 inches) and the shot put (49 feet-9 inches).

            Also earning honors for the Tigers was Lorenzo Love, who earned third place in the discus. Claxton’s top performer on the track was Xavier Slater, who took home a fifth place finish in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 15.35 seconds.

            Over one thousand fans showed up to support what has become one of the largest track and field events in the area.

            The Plankenhorn Invitational honors the memory of Derrick Plankenhorn, an SEB student who died while participating in track practice on February 19, 2003.

            “It’s a sad day and it’s a good day all wrapped up in one,” said Britt. “Derrick’s parents are always here and I’m glad that they get to see this event be such a success. Derrick was and still is very important to us.”

            The Jackets will try to ride Saturday’s success as they continue with their schedule next week. SEB stays at home for a Tuesday afternoon meet against Vidalia, Savannah Christian and Calvary Day.