For the 16th consecutive spring, some of the best track and field athletes from around the area will descend upon Brooklet as Southeast Bulloch High School hosts its annual Plankenhorn Invitational.
The event is held each season to commemorate the life of Derrick Plankenhorn - a former runner for SEB who passed away during a team practice while competing for the Yellow Jackets. Now a full generation removed from Plankenhorn’s time at Southeast Bulloch, his namesake event still draws plenty of interest from top teams and his parents can still be found on the track, handing out awards at the end of each meet.
“It’s a tremendous event,” SEB coach Jeremy Gantt said. “Our community supports it and while our kids try their best in each meet, they know that this one always means a little more. We give the ninth graders some backstory every year and let them know that, in this event, they had better come with their best.”
Southeast Bulloch has had plenty of success in previous Plankenhorn Invitationals and has never had a weak field to thank. The Yellow Jackets routinely are amongst the top programs in their Class AAA region, but the Plankenhorn will bring in larger schools like Statesboro, Wayne County and Ware County.
“We want to test ourselves,” Gantt said. “We appreciate all of these great programs coming to support the event and our team is up for the challenge, even against some bigger schools.”
Field and distance running events are scheduled to begin around 3:30 p.m., with the sprinting and hurdling competitions rounding out the event early in the evening.