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Jenkins County wins 7th region title
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            The Jenkins County boys won their seventh region title in eight years, and the Lady Eagles did well enough for a second place finish Friday afternoon at the Region 3-A track and field meet at Southeast Bulloch High School.

            The boys totaled 131.5 points to narrowly edge out Bryan County (127) for the region championship. The girls came up just shy of Bryan County for the title, but finished 46.5 points ahead of third place Claxton.

            “It was a great effort from both of our teams today,” said Eagles coach Charlie Waters. “I’m extremely proud of everyone. We’ve worked very hard all year, and it paid off for us today.”

            Leading the way for the boys was senior Dag Gay.

            Gay took first place in the 200 meter final and also helped the 4x400 relay team to the region crown. Participating in five events, Gay’s consistency earned him the individual high-point mark for the meet.

            “Dag is a guy that can do it all for us,” said Waters. “He just missed qualifying for state in a couple of events, but helped both of our relay teams to get there. He has come on with a lot of speed this year and moved into the sprint events. Dag is really a special talent.”

            In all, the Jenkins County boys qualified for the state meet in five events, including the 100 meter dash (Deyshon George), and both the 110 meter and 300 meter hurdles (Charles Reynolds).

            “Last year, we lost our six-year streak when Claxton won the title,” said Waters. “We set it as a goal in our very first meet this year that we wanted to get back to the top. Our guys battled hard to get it, and I know they wouldn’t have been happy with anything less.”

            The Lady Eagles were equally impressive.

            Ayana Walker and Zandra Lake each won two individual events, and both contributed to the girls’ second place finishes in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.

            “We’ve struggled for a couple years with the girls, so it’s good to get back near the top,” said Waters. “Ayana and Zandra have been great for us, but we didn’t have enough people to compete for a team title the last few years. We got some new girls to come out this season and they have really helped. Bryan County is an excellent team, but it was good to see us compete with them the whole way.”

            In addition to Walker and Lake’s efforts on the track, Deondra Lewis added to Jenkins County’s success in the field, taking the top spot in the shot put and finishing second in the discus throw.

By the end of the meet, the Lady Eagles qualified for the state competition in nine events.

Other local teams competing in Friday’s meet included Claxton, Metter and Portal.

Claxton’s girls excelled in the field competitions as Sharesa Williams (high jump) and Jasmine Brewton (discus) each qualified for state.

The boys also dominated in the field, as Dean Eason took second in the long jump in addition to sweeping the state qualifying bids in the shot put, discus and pole vault.

On the track, Tevin Valentine (400m) and Xavier Slater (110m hurdles) also clinched top-two finishes to get to state.

Both Claxton squads finished third in the team standings.

Metter’s Veljulisa Canty nabbed the last state qualifying effort among area teams, finishing second behind Lake in the 110m hurdles.

Metter’s boys took seventh place while the girls took eighth.

Portal’s boys finished ninth as the Lady Panthers had a tenth place showing.

The boys’ state meet will be held at Jefferson, while the girls will crown their state champions in Albany.


Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.