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Gators win Region 2-AA track title
jacobs gilbert

          Two team region championship trophies, two high-point award winners, 25 individual region champions and 58 entries into the state meet.

          Not a bad day for Bulloch Academy at the GISA Region 2-AA track and field championships Wednesday at Gator Alley.
          The Gator girls walked away with the title, scoring a phenomenal 256 points. Curtis Baptist took second with 90 points and Robert Toombs was third with 70 points. BA’s boys won their title easily as well, scoring 219 points. RTCA was second with 121 and Curtis Baptist was third with 88.

          Bulloch girls captured 14 region titles and won their second consecutive region championship. The boys’ team notched 11 region titles en route to a ‘three-peat’ as region champions.

Senior Kelcie Jacobs and junior Rachel Gilbert tied for the girls’ high-point trophy with perfect scores of 35 points each.

“It’s the first time that I’ve had two high-point champions on the girls’ side,” said BA head coach Clint Morgan, who was honored with both region Coach of the Year plaques. “A high-point champion is won by all of the hard work and discipline that they put into it. Both with perfect scores makes it just that much more amazing.”

Jacobs, the team’s distance queen, won the 3200-meter run, the 1600m, the 800m and ran legs on the region champion 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams. Gilbert, the team’s top sprinter, won the 400m dash, the 200m dash, the long jump and also ran legs on the winning relay teams.

The award is the first for Jacobs but the fourth straight for Gilbert. Last year, she netted 34.5 points for the honor. In 2008, Gilbert scored 33.5 points to win the award and at the 2007 region meet, she netted 34.5 points for the plaque.

Other region champions for the Gator girls were seniors Heaven Hinton (300m hurdles, 4x100, 4x400) and Kaylee Dennard (pole vault), juniors Sally Marie Futch (discus, shot put) and Taylor Collins (high jump, triple jump) and freshman Anna Newton (4x100, 4x400).

In the boys’ meet, seniors Paul Son and David Sawyer and juniors John Harden, Lestonz Lewis and Will Johnson won individual titles.

Son won the discus and the shot, Sawyer took the high jump and the triple jump, Harden won the 110m and 300m hurdles, Lewis was first in the 100m and 200m and Johnson captured the 1600m run. The foursome of Sawyer, Lewis, senior Xavier Tolliver and junior Ellis Lane won both the 4x100 and 4x400m relays.
          “The four of them (Son, Sawyer, Harden and Lewis) have really worked hard all year long,” said Morgan. “Will had a great run to win. Xavier and Ellis are qualified in five events. That just shows their athleticism and determination to the program.”

Bulloch Academy will have 58 entries into GISA Class AA track and field championships next week at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany. Competitors who finished in the top four spots of each event in the region meet automatically qualified for the April 29-May 1 state meet.

The Lady Gators have 30 out of a possible 32 entries into the state championships while the Bulloch boys have 28. Both squads will make strong runs at defending their respective state titles. Last Spring, both teams were Class AA state champions. The Gator guys have won the state title for the past two seasons.
          “I’ve said it all along that depth is what wins state championships,” said Morgan. “Track is all about numbers. I feel like we have a chance.”

           Other qualifiers for the Lady Gators are: Haley Burke (3200m, 1600m), Merrill Nelson (pole vault), Hinton (discus, shot), Newton (high jump, 100m, 400m), Collins (4x400 #2) Hendley Kimbrell (long jump, 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles, 4x400 #2), Maddie Manack (triple jump), Dennard (100m hurdles), Emily Morgan (800m, 4x400 #2) and Mary Margaret Reeves (200m, 4x400 #2).

          Other qualifiers for the Gators are: Lane (long jump, 100m, triple jump), Tolliver (high jump, 400m, 800m), Harden (4x100 #2, 4x400 #2), Will Johnson (3200m, 4x400  #2), Taylor Burke (long jump), Codi Johnson (discus, shot), Blaine Lovett (pole vault), Morris Prince (200m, 4x100 #2), Daniel Hendrix (pole vault, 4x100 #2, 4x400 #2), Bailey Smith (1600m) and Harrison Averitt (400m, 4x100 #2, 4x400 #2).