A pair of athletes from both Cass and Woodland need only duplicate their efforts from Wednesday to qualify for the Georgia High School Association track and field championships in two weeks. That foursome -- Cass' Amber Bowen and Jaison Morning and Woodland's Lacey Fritz and Gabby Pearson -- moved closer to that realization on the first day of the Region 7-AAAA track and field championships at Johns Creek High.
As recently as last season, Bowen, Morning, Fritz and Pearson would be headed for the Georgia Olympics in Jefferson, but the GHSA now requires a two-step process to qualify for state, a process akin to what wrestling adopted some years back.
Instead, the four are headed to sectionals after placing in the top four of their respective events. Fritz had the highest finish of the aforementioned sectionals qualifiers as she came in second in the girls discus throw with a distance of 95 feet, 2 inches. Pearson placed a couple of spots behind Fritz in the same event with a throw of 80-11.
Morning competed in one of the last events of the day, the boys 3200 meter run. The freshman runner took fourth place.
Bowen also finished fourth in her event, the girls triple jump. She jumped a distance of 33-1, which initially placed her in third. However, a gaffe during the girls triple jump preliminaries had precluded Northwest Whitfield's McKinley Hopkins from advancing to the finals -- even though she never got her final three jump attempts. Hopkins was allowed her final attempts and came in third place when all was said and done.
Bowen was bumped to fourth, still good for a sectionals qualifying spot, but one other Bartow County athlete was adversely affected. Woodland's Aubrey Branch slid from fourth to fifth as a result, meaning she will serve as an alternate for the Class AAAA west sectionals at Starr's Mill. If Hopkins is unable to attend for any reason, Branch would be next in line.
It was just another bit of bad news for a Woodland team that watched its top-seeded girls 4x100 relay team botch a handoff in the second exchange zone, eliminating it from contention in Friday's finals.
While that heat didn't go exactly as planned for Woodland, several other teams and athletes qualified for the region finals, including Idraiah Thompson, Xavier Hendricks and Deo Adams. All three won their respective events -- Thompson in the girls 100 meter dash, Hendricks in the boys 110 meter hurdles and Adams in the boys 300 meter hurdles. Both of the boys' and girls' 4x400 relay teams qualified the region finals, too.
Cass, as well, had some qualifiers for Friday's finals.
Below are results from Wednesday's region meet action, excluding the boys 3200 meter run and the 4x400 relay events. The top eight in the event finals earned points for their teams and the top four qualified for sectionals. The event preliminaries just list those athletes who qualified for the region finals.
GIRLS 4X100 METER RELAY (Prelims)
FIRST - Rome 'A' 51.51; SECOND - Johns Creek 'A' 51.63; THIRD - Forsyth Central 'A' 52.46; FOURTH - Northwest Whitfield 'A' 52.58; FIFTH - Woodland 'B' 52.65; SIXTH - Creekview 'A' 52.71; SEVENTH - Cass 'A' 52.80; EIGHTH - Lambert 'A' 53.03.
BOYS 4X100 METER RELAY (Prelims)
FIRST - Johns Creek 'A' 42.93; SECOND - Woodland 'A' 43.06; THIRD - South Forsyth 'A' 44.48; FOURTH - Woodland 'B' 44.77; FIFTH - Sequoyah 'A' 44.91; SIXTH - Rome 'B' 45.89; SEVENTH - Chattahoochee 'A' 45.90; EIGHTH - Johns Creek 'B' 45.95.
GIRLS 1600 METER RUN (Finals)
FIRST - Allie Buchalski, Johns Creek, 5:14; SECOND - Shelby Wilson, Northwest Whitfield, 5:20; THIRD - Alyssa Sale, South Forsyth, 5:29; FOURTH - Molly Speese, Johns Creek, 5:30.22; FIFTH - Nicole Smith, Creekview, 5:30.25; SIXTH - Jenna Tilton, Rome, 5:38; SEVENTH - Rachel Dorris, Creekview, 5:43; EIGHTH - Ashley Barrera, Woodland, 5:44.
GIRLS 400 METER DASH (Prelims)
FIRST - Kaitlin Greenway, Johns Creek, 1:01.48; SECOND - Savannah Smith, Lambert, 1:01.87; THIRD - Katie Philmon, Lambert, 1:02.70; FOURTH - Abby Scott, Johns Creek, 1:02.93; FIFTH - Shunterria Griffin, Rome, 1:03.24; SIXTH - Devynn Honey, South Forsyth, 1:03.52; SEVENTH - Katie Harris, Woodland, 1:03.73; EIGHTH - Cassidy Dowd, South Forsyth, 1:04.22.
BOYS 400 METER DASH (Prelims)
FIRST - Cliff Phillips, Northwest Whitfield, 49.92; SECOND - Aaron Edeus, Forsyth Central, 51.23; THIRD - Twan Terrell, Woodland, 51.32; FOURTH - Trey Thompson, Woodland, 52.03; FIFTH - Joedel Braxton, Lambert, 52.23; SIXTH - Jalen Lockett, Northwest Whitfield, 52.90; SEVENTH - Duncan Ingram, Creekview, 53.03; EIGHTH - Noah Banks, Chattahoochee, 53.18.
BOYS SHOT PUT (Finals)
FIRST - Nathan Pelletier, Creekview, 46-10 3/4; SECOND - Daniel McKune, Sequoyah, 43-7; THIRD - Michael Scullin, South Forsyth, 42-3 3/4; FOURTH - Kirby Southard, Johns Creek, 41-5 1/2; FIFTH - Aramis Ellis, Cass, 41 1/2; SIXTH - Robert Stahl, Woodland, 40-9 1/4; SEVENTH - Grant Rhodes, Creekview, 39-11 3/4; EIGHTH - Devon Howard, Johns Creek, 39-7 1/4.
GIRLS DISCUS THROW (Finals)
FIRST - Hayden Merrick, Johns Creek, 97-9; SECOND - Lacey Fritz, Woodland, 95-2; THIRD - Alison Ault, Northwest Whitfield, 86-8; FOURTH - Gabby Pearson, Woodland, 80-11; FIFTH - Cara Wallace, Sequoyah, 79-3; SIXTH - Carley Fetzer, Northwest Whitfield, 78-7; SEVENTH - Abbey Smith, South Forsyth, 77-7; EIGHTH - Alexis Chumbler, Creekview, 76-2.
BOYS LONG JUMP (Finals)
FIRST - Demian Sevciuc, Johns Creek, 22-2 3/4; SECOND - Johnathan Roddey, Johns Creek, 20-7; THIRD - Eli Jeffers, Forsyth Central, 20-4 3/4; FOURTH - Kailend Wilkins, Northwest Whitfield, 20-3 3/4; FIFTH - Deo Adams, Woodland, 20-3 3/4; SIXTH - Kadeem Buford, Cass, 20-2 3/4; SEVENTH - Jacob Kinder, Lambert, 19-8 3/4; EIGHTH - Robert Curry, Forsyth Central, 19-8.
GIRLS 100 METER DASH (Prelims)
FIRST - Summer Starr, Rome, 12.67; SECOND - Brianna Coppock, Northwest Whitfield, 12.70; THIRD - Idraiah Thompson, Woodland, 12.71; FOURTH - Jasmin Askew, Woodland, 13.02; FIFTH - Raeven Whitfield, South Forsyth, 13.24; SIXTH - Ciera Lynch, Johns Creek, 13.31; SEVENTH - Imani Whitfield, Cass, 13.31; EIGHTH - Meghan Upchurch, Lambert, 13.39.
GIRLS TRIPLE JUMP (Finals)
FIRST - Kathleen Flagg, Chattahoochee, 36-6; SECOND - Courtney Hewatt, Forsyth Central, 35-4; THIRD - McKinley Hopkins, Northwest Whitfield, 34; FOURTH - Amber Bowen, Cass, 33-1; FIFTH - Aubrey Branch, Woodland, 32-10; SIXTH - Ariana Lovins, Woodland, 32-9 1/2; SEVENTH -Raija Rolle, Lambert, 32-2; SEVENTH - Maya Scott, Creekview, 32-2.
BOYS 100 METER DASH (Prelims)
FIRST - C.J. Woods, Woodland, 10.99; SECOND - Stuart Glassic, Sequoyah, 11.08; THIRD - Josh Young, Woodland, 11.26; FOURTH - Johnathan Roddey, Johns Creek, 11.26; FIFTH - Demian Sevciuc, Johns Creek, 11.29; SIXTH - Kailend Wilkins, Northwest Whitfield, 11.34; SEVENTH - Marquise Godbey, South Forsyth, 11.37; EIGHTH - Chris Hull, Northwest Whitfield, 11.46.
GIRLS 100 METER HURDLES (Prelims)
FIRST - Anna Dunn, Creekview, 15.09; SECOND - Allie Mullins, Northwest Whitfield, 16.49; THIRD - McKinley Hopkins, Northwest Whitfield, 16.54; FOURTH - Amber Bowen, Cass, 17.10; FIFTH - Sydney Henderson, Chattahoochee, 17.13; SIXTH - Mariam Haidara, Johns Creek, 17.39; SEVENTH - Katie Schmidt, Forsyth Central, 17.43; EIGHTH - Madison Proban, Chattahoochee, 17.43.
BOYS 110 METER HURDLES (Prelims)
FIRST - Xavier Hendricks, Woodland, 15.34; SECOND - Will Somers, Johns Creek, 15.55; THIRD - Jacob Whitfield, Sequoyah, 15.56; FOURTH - Najee Banks, Chattahoochee, 15.76; FIFTH - Andre Hinton, Johns Creek, 16.12; SIXTH - Charlie Fragakis, Chattahoochee, 16.51; SEVENTH - Peter McFarlane, Lambert, 16.76; EIGHTH - Russell Terrel, Northwest Whitfield, 16.79.
GIRLS 800 METER RUN (Prelims)
FIRST - Leanne Zimmer, Lambert, 2:21; SECOND - Shelby Wilson, Northwest Whitfield, 2:24; THIRD - Camille Fahrnbauer, Creekview, 2:30; FOURTH - Katie Marzzarella, Lambert, 2:32.85; FIFTH - Leah Damon, Johns Creek, 2:32.91; SIXTH - Rachel Garabedian, Creekview, 2:33; SEVENTH - Katie Harris, Woodland, 2:34;EIGHTH - Rachel Mez, Woodland, 2:35.
BOYS 800 METER RUN (Prelims)
FIRST - Austin Erickson, Chattahoochee, 2:00; SECOND - Austin Ryan, Creekview, 2:03; THIRD - Hunter Carter, Creekview, 2:04.15; FOURTH - Erik Olsen, Johns Creek, 2:04.50; FIFTH - Reed Vaughn, South Forsyth, 2:05; SIXTH - Jake Howlin, South Forsyth, 2:07; SEVENTH - Dylan Carson, Sequoyah, 2:08; EIGHTH - Victor Ho, Johns Creek, 2:09.
GIRLS 200 METER DASH (Prelims)
FIRST - Idraiah Thompson, Woodland, 25.91; SECOND - Brianna Coppock, Northwest Whitfield, 26.76; THIRD - Shunterria Griffin, Rome, 27.47; FOURTH - Kaitlin Greenway, Johns Creek, 27.49; FIFTH - Jasmin Askew, Woodland, 27.64; SIXTH - Brianna Kaiser, Forsyth Central, 27.92; SEVENTH - Kendricia Tate, Rome, 27.92; EIGHTH - Brittany Purves, Creekview, 28.07.
BOYS 200 METER DASH (Prelims)
FIRST - Cliff Phillips, Northwest Whitfield, 22.36; SECOND - Stuart Glassic, Sequoyah, 22.49; THIRD - C.J. Woods, Woodland, 22.52; FOURTH - Matt Azemar, Johns Creek, 22.57; FIFTH - Marquise Godbey, South Forsyth, 22.83; SIXTH - Trey Thompson, Woodland, 23.10; SEVENTH - Eddie Mirynowski, South Forsyth, 23.23; EIGHTH - Johnatan Roddey, Johns Creek, 23.28.
GIRLS 300 METER HURDLES (Prelims)
FIRST - Anna Dunn, Creekview, 48.18; SECOND - Allie Mullins, Northwest Whitfield, 49.10; THIRD - Mariam Haidara, Johns Creek, 49.35; FOURTH - McKinley Hopkins, Northwest Whitfield, 49.81; FIFTH - Sydney Henderson, Chattahoochee, 49.84; SIXTH - Summer Starr, Rome, 50.16; SEVENTH - Alyssa Boatwright, Johns Creek, 51.31; EIGHTH - Lacey Furrow, Cass, 51.61.
BOYS 300 METER HURDLES (Prelims)
FIRST - Deo Adams, Woodland, 39.40; SECOND - Will Somers, Johns Creek, 41.47; THIRD - Jacob Whitfield, Sequoyah, 41.54; FOURTH - Alex Reynolds, Northwest Whitfield, 42.77; FIFTH - Christian Johnson, South Forsyth, 43.38; SIXTH - Justin Lu, Johns Creek, 43.40; SEVENTH - Micheal Gatto, South Forsyth, 43.46; EIGHTH - Thadeus Barnett, Rome, 43.65.