The 12th annual Derrick Plankenhorn Invitational for Southeast Bulloch’s track team is not just a run-of-the-mill track meet.
The Invitational, hosted by Southeast Bulloch, is in honor of fallen student-athlete Derrick Plankenhorn who collapsed and died during a track practice.
Girls track coach Jolie Britt, who mentioned the Plankenhorn family would be in attendance for the meet, said the Plankenhorn Invitational is an event for the entire community.
“We really do want to do well. This is their son that they lost out here and they’re such wonderful people,” Britt said. “We want to represent our school and community. We get quite a few sponsors and most of them are local. We have a lot of local support. That’s just how Southeast Bulloch is.”
Southeast Bulloch’s boys and girls track and field team are looking strong coming into the Plankenhorn Invitational.
The teams are coming off a second place finish at the Statesboro Relays.
“We really have balance this year. We have people in field events that I expect to do well and I expect our relay teams to do well,” Britt said.
Coach Britt also mentioned the impressive work of freshman distance runner Hattie Pitts. Pitts finished first in the 3,200-meter run and fifth in the 1,600-meter run at the Statesboro Relays.
“She has ran exceptionally well for us this season. She’s placed in the top at every event she has been in,” Britt said.
For the boys, head coach Jeremy Grantt said hosting the Plankenhorn Invitational could give his team a slight edge.
“It may give our guys an advantage just because we run very well here. When they go to other places they may freak out if the boards are different or if it’s not in the same place they’re used to,” Grantt said. “But we’re definetly on the right pace for this season. We finished 20 points behind Statesboro (in the Statesboro relays).”
Grantt had a long list of athletes he expects to do well in the annual Derrick Plankenhorn invitational, starting with distance runner Quinn Pitts.
Quinn Pitts had a first place finish for the Yellow Jackets in the 3,200-meter run and a fifth place finish in the 1,600-meter run at the Statesboro Relays.
Coach Grantt also mentioned Javarious Spaulding, who finished second in the 300-meter hurdles for SEB at the Statesboro Relays.
Nigil Smith, Cecil McCollum, Paul Allen, Justin Youmans and Charles James should also put up big numbers for the Yellow Jackets.
The invitational will begin at 3:45 p.m. today and feature 16 teams.