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Plankenhorn Invitational makeup day today

    The show must go on, and the show will go on at 4 p.m. today at Statesboro High School, where Southeast Bulloch High School's track and field program will host the 9th Annual Plankenhorn Invitational.
    This year's 11-team track and field meet, which commemorates the life of Derrick Plankenhorn, an SEB runner who died Feb. 19, 2003, began Friday but was suspended because of lightning and rain.
    Today, the event will pick up where it left off.
    "We were able to get in the 3200 (meter run) and the first round of field events," SEB girls coach Jolie Britt said of Friday's attempt.
    The Plankenhorn Invitational, a GHSA-sanctioned event,  was held at Georgia Southern last year.
    "We don't have a track this year," Britt said. "Everything's dug up. We're getting a new stadium, a new track facility and everything, so we'll be rearing to go next year (at SEB in Brooklet)."
    Britt is hopeful that teams from all 11 schools that attended Friday will return today.
    "We will have 11 (schools), and for a weekday that's not too shabby," she said. "Normally, we have a lot more on the weekends but we weren't able to schedule a time this year for that.
    "It's supposed to be excellent weather. Good running weather, good throwing and jumping weather, so we're looking forward to it. It couldn't be, I don't think, a better day to have a makeup on as far as that goes.
    "Statesboro High was very gracious in allowing us to use their facilities."
    Friday, SEB's Philicia Batton won the high jump. SEB's girls team features several talented athletes.
    "Our whole team is pretty strong," Britt said. "We're really very well-rounded. We have a young team. We only have a couple of seniors."
    In addition to Batton, SEB is led by Breanna Gates.
    "She's strong as well," Britt said. "She does the long jump, 100, 200 and all the relays, and she's really strong in that as well."
    SEB's boys team, which is coached by Jeremy Gantt, features versatile athlete Jamal Johnson, a contender in both the shot put and discus.
    Over the years, the Plankenhorn Invitational has become one of the most recognized track and field events in the state.
    "Pretty stiff competition," Britt said. "We have Bradwell Institute and, of course, Statesboro is always tough. And Metter will be there, and Claxton. South Effingham. Bryan County and Portal were there originally. And H.V. Jenkins (from Savannah) was there. There are 11 (schools), counting us."