MACON — Statesboro expected — and got — plenty of state track and field meet qualifiers during Saturday’s sectionals in Thompson Stadium in Macon.
Even more impressive, the Blue Devils set three new school records.
Senior Zaquavian Smith has been a shining star throughout his career at Statesboro, but surpassed even his best previous efforts Saturday.
Smith broke a 30-year-old record in the 200 meter dash with a time of 21.40 seconds and followed that up by running a 48.03 in the 400 meters to shave nearly a tenth of a second off of the previous mark. Smith continued his record-shattering day by teaming up with Jaier Williams, Octavian Canty and Andreas Ward to turn in a blazing time of 41.98 seconds in the 4x100 meter relay.
“That’s really impressive,” SHS coach Jake Collins said. “A lot of coaches strive to see their relay teams break that 42 second mark. That’s four guys averaging around 10.5 seconds over 100 meters.”
The Devils will be well-represented in the state meet at Jefferson in hurdling events as well as Ward and Demetrius Davis qualified in both the 110 meter and 300 meter events.
Rickey Lee qualified in both the shot put and the discus throw and Smith added a qualifying effort in the high jump to round out his big day.
The Statesboro girls will be sending eight girls to their state meet, to be held next week in Albany, in eight different events.
Alexis Hunter led the way for the Lady Devils, qualifying in the high jump, triple jump, and 300 meter hurdles.
Genevieve Okafor also qualified in multiple events, punching her ticket in the 400 meter dash and joining up with Daysha Everett, Staysha Everett and Iyana McKeever in the 4x100 meter relay.
Lucia Lyons, Simone Kirkland, and Jaslyn Joseph will also head to state, qualifying in the discus throw, pole vault, and 100 meter hurdles, respectively.
Walker wins long jump, Eagles in 5th
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Junior Jasmin Walker claimed her third straight Southern Conference Outdoor Long Jump title and extended the string of Eagle champions in that event to 10. Walker recorded a personal best 6.12m (20’1”) to take the crown with a distance that ranks second all-time on Georgia Southern’s top performance list.
Georgia Southern currently sits in fifth after six scored finals on the first day of competition at the Viking Athletic Complex.
Georgia Southern returns to conference championship action at 10 a.m. Sunday morning with the three remaining events in the Heptathlon.
Lady Blue Devils finish fifth
WAYNESBORO — The Statesboro Lady Devils finished in fifth place with a team score of 294 in the 2014 Lady Bear Classic.
The tournament was a prelude to State sectionals, which take place May 2.
The Lady Devils were led by Sara Jane Bowers with a score of 78. Bowers' score captured second place individually in the tournament behind Vidailia's Katie Dalton.
Statesboro's Brianna Jones and Emily Olsson also had scores counting for SHS.
Both the girls and boys teams will be back in action Monday, April 28, at the Georgia Southern University course, hosting the Blue Devil Classic after it was rained out last Saturday.
GSU game at Navy on national TV
NEW YORK — CBS Sports Network will broadcast Georgia Southern’s Nov. 15, football game at the U.S. Naval Academy, GSU announced on Saturday.
Kickoff time is set for 3:30 p.m. The two programs last met at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in 2010. Navy won 13-7.
The Eagles will play the season’s first weekday game between two Sun Belt Conference opponents on ESPNU on Thursday, Sept. 25, at home at Paulson Stadium. Georgia Southern plays host to rival Appalachian State for the first Thursday game at home since the 1989 Hugo Bowl.
Georgia Southern’s second nationally televised game is set for Thursday, Oct. 30, against Troy, also at Paulson. Kickoff times for both Thursday games will be announced at a later date.
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