ALBANY - Kelcie Jacobs' dream came true Saturday at the 2010 Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) state track and field championships at Hugh Mills Stadium.
The Bulloch Academy senior won the grueling Class AA 3200-meter run, her third individual state title of the meet, captured the girls' high-point trophy and, most importantly, helped her team win its second consecutive state championship.
The Lady Gators amassed a whopping 174 points to easily win the title. The BA girls had netted 100 points in the earlier field and distance events to have a 50- point lead going into the day's running events. The Brentwood School from Sandersville finished second (50) and third place went to Harvester Christian Academy from Douglasville (72).
"The girls really performed well," said BA head coach Clint Morgan. "They set their goal from the beginning of the year and worked hard to achieve it."
The BA boys won the runner-up trophy by just 2 ½ points, having to finish ahead of Tiftarea Academy in the 4x400-meter relay to be able to take home the runner-up trophy. Brentwood won the boys' meet with 110 points. The Gators tallied 93 ½ points while the Panthers from Chula were third with 91 points.
In the other two classifications, Briarwood Academy won the girls' Class A championship while Covenant Academy won the girls' Class A championship trophy. The First Presbyterian girls from Macon won their sixth straight title and the George Walton Academy boys won in Class AAA. For more results, go to www.gisa-schools.org, click on athletics and then on track.
Bulloch had five more state champions on the day: Jacobs in the 3200m run, junior Lestonz Lewis in the 100 and 200m dashes, junior sophomore John Harden in the 110m hurdles and the girls' 4x400m relay team of Jacobs, senior Heaven Hinton, junior Rachel Gilbert and freshman Anna Newton.
Jacobs was determined to make her last trip to the GISA state track meet her best.
"I had run my best times ever in the 800-meter and the 1600-meter," said the petite blonde. "I was worried how my legs would hold out. Going into the race, I knew it was going to take everything I had and I was willing to give it. After winning the other two races, I wouldn't accept anything less."
In the girls' high-point trophy standings, Jacobs scored 34.5 points for the individual honor, She won three events (10 points each) and ran legs on the winning 4x400m relay team (2.5 points) and the second place 4x100m relay team (two points). Gilbert was fourth (23 ½), Hinton was seventh (20 ½) and junior Sally Marie Futch was eighth (20).
"Early in the season, I would have never imagined winning it," said Jacobs. "But today, I knew it was in reach. I knew I had worked really hard, was on two great relay teams and, if it was meant to happen, it would."
"The thing that Kelcie has done is work very, very hard as a senior to keep her self in shape and give herself the opportunities that she had," said Morgan. "A lot of girls peak before their senior season. It takes a special person to work that hard to win an award like the high-point trophy."
With Lewis' two state championships, he was in contention for the boys' high-point trophy. He finished tied for third with 22 ¾ points.
"Being a state champion feels pretty good," said Lewis. "Thursday during qualifying, the guy from Tiftarea (Wes Carter) beat me. I was still worried about him coming into today's races. But then I was able to beat him in both the 100 and 200. I feel pretty satisfied. It feels great to stand up on the top step of that winner's podium."
"Lestonz had a goal from the beginning of the season," said Morgan. "As fast as the times were in the other classifications, I don't think anybody could have beaten him."
Harden breezed to his second straight state championship in the 110m hurdles.
"John is pretty special," said Morgan. "He's got great form and technique and does an outstanding job."
Bulloch had two state runners-up; Gilbert in the 400m dash (1:01.99) and the girls' 4x100m relay team of Jacobs, Hinton, Newton and Gilbert (52.61).
Third-place finishes were turned in by Gilbert in the 200m dash (27.65), Harden in the 300m hurdles (43.34), the girls' 4x400m #2 team of Mary Margaret Reeves, Emily Morgan, Taylor Collins and Hendley Kimbrell (4:24.98) and the boys' 4x400m relay team of Lewis, Ellis Lane, David Sawyer and Xavier Tolliver (3:43.98).
Other Lady Gators who scored points were: Haley Burke (3200m run, fourth, 13:22.81), Newton (400m dash, fourth, 1:04.67), Kimbrell (100m hurdles, fourth, 17.84; 300m hurdles, eighth 53.43), Hinton (300 hurdles, fourth, 50.72), Kaylee Dennard (100m hurdles, sixth, 18.48) and Reeves (200m dash, eighth, 29.43).
"Our senior girls have really vaulted the girls' program in all sports at Bulloch," said Morgan. "Their leadership and work ethic has really rubbed off on all of the underclassmen."
Other Gator guys who scored points were: the 4x100m relay team of Lewis, Lane, Sawyer and Tolliver (fourth, 45.86), Will Johnson (3200m run, fifth, 5:08.74) and Tolliver (400m dash, sixth, 54.81).