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Gators come away with top awards in meet
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Bulloch Academy's Seth Brant won the triple jump with a jump of 36-10. Several BA athletes walked away with top honors at Saturday's annual Gator Relays at Georgia Southern University.

    Bulloch Academy claimed the top trophies in both the girls’ and boys’ meets of the 16th annual Gator Relays Saturday at the Georgia Southern University track and field complex.
    Over 200 student-athletes from 18 schools descended on the eight-lane, rubberized track for the all-classification meet. The cool, crisp and breezy conditions were almost a perfect complement to the brilliant sunshine and blue skies.
    The Lady Gators amassed 164 points to claim their third straight Gator Relays trophy. The boys’ squad netted 175.5 points for its second consecutive victory.
    “It was a really good day,” said BA head girls’ track coach Barbara Conner. “It was the first completely dry meet that we’ve had in about four years. It was cold though.”
    In the boys’ meet, Bethesda School from Savannah was second with 114.5 points and Augusta Prep was third with 77. In the girls’ meet, Brentwood from Sandersville brought a full, strong squad and pushed the Lady Gators but finished second (145) while Augusta Prep was third (71).
    The Bulloch boys won six events, took second in six and third in three. The Lady Gators captured just two firsts but had 10 seconds and five thirds.
    All first-place winners received souvenir Gator Relays t-shirts, compliments of the meet’s sponsors Actions Signs, Statesboro Appliance Center, Video Warehouse, Hendley Properties, Cope Eye Clinic, Howard Lumber and Hardware and Chris Merrill Construction.
    “It’s all about pulling points and making every one of them count,” said Conner. “Depth is the key for us. Even though we may not have won an event, if our kids place second and third, we’re still ahead on points. We are on track for late March.”
    BA boys’ head coach Ronnie Hodges agreed.
    “We can start moving people around to where they can pull the most points,” he said. “I was very pleased with the performance of our boys in the field events.
    Dylan Stuckey won two events and was a part of a third for the Gators.
    He had a break-out day in the shot put, throwing his personal best of 41-11 for the win. The senior also exhibited great form in winning the 300-meter hurdles (43.12). Jack Fortune captured the long jump (19'5. ½) while Seth Brant won the triple jump (36-10). Jarves Williams took the 100m dash (11.47), Stuckey, Brant, Atys Cope and Davis Childs captured the 4x400m relay (3:38.14).
    Second-place efforts were turned in by Justin Lane (pole vault, 10-6), Tyce Lovett (discus, 116-1 ¾), the 4x100m relay team of Cope, Fortune, Stuckey and Jarves Williams (45.94), Cope (110m hurdles, 17.11, 300m hurdles, 44.90), Williams (200m dash, 24.14).
    Third places were won by Brant (high jump), Stuckey (110m hurdles) and Fortune (200m dash).
    “Our depth concerns me,” said Hodges. “But today, it worked out all right.”
    For the girls, Mikay Sands won the shot put (30-7) and the 4x400m relay team of Page Spence, Ashley Burke, Pate Lomax and Kristin Kingery crossed the line first (4:22).
    Second-place winners were Burke (3200m run, 12:42; 1600m run, 5:49), Lomax (high jump-tie, 4-6; triple jump, 30-9), Kingery (long jump, 15-10; 300m hurdles, 49.50), Spence (pole vault, 7-6) and the number one 4x100m relay team (Lomax, Kingery, Spence and Dailey Averitt, 54.38), Averitt (high jump-tie, 4-6) and Mattie Wynn Hendrix (800m run, 2:39.38).
    Third-place finishers were Spence (shot put), Lomax (long jump), Burke (pole vault), Hendrix (3200m run), and the second 4x400m relay team (Averitt, Hendrix, McKenzie Crooms and Koree Jacobs).