“Marquez had two options at that point,” Canes’ track coach Rusty Grimmett said. “He could have stayed there and felt sorry for himself, or he could have picked himself up and finished the race.”
Fortunately for Grimmett and the Canes’ track team, Walker chose the latter. He finished eighth that day to qualify for the 110-meter hurdles in the 5-AAA region track meet where he placed fifth.
“To me, it was what happened on Tuesday that made the difference in the Cartersville’s boys placing first or second two days later,” Grimmett said.
His fifth-place finish earned Cartersville a much-needed four points, as the boys won the three-day, 5-AAA region track meet that concluded Thursday at Gordon Central with 120 points. Gordon Central was second with 110 points. Adairsville would finish sixth, ahead of Coahulla Creek and Ringgold, with 54 points.
“I knew it was close a meet from start to finish for the boys,” Grimmett said. “Overall, both Cartersville teams won because everybody did their part and succeeded in what they had to do.”
In the finals, first-place finishers for the Canes were Tommy Morrison, who won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:02.45; Walker (42.14) who beat out Adairsville’s Jordan Character (43.22) in the 300-meter hurdles; and the 4x400 meter “A” relay team in a time of 3:38.79. Second-place finishers included Lawson Crowe in the 3,200-meter run (10:39.07); Tommy Morrison, 1,600-meter run (4:47.71); Noah Harper with a time of 52:67 in the 400-meter dash; Jahir Camps, 110-meter hurdles, 16.21; and Roger Herrera, 800-meter run, 2:06.99.
For the Tigers, their best performance was turned in by Character, who placed third in the finals of the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.28. Character placed first in the same event during the preliminaries. His time of 43.22 was good enough for second place behind Walker in the finals of he 300-meter hurdles.
While every point mattered for the Canes, it was a different story for the Lady Canes. They ran away with the region title by accumulating 140 points. Gordon Central’s girls were second with 110. Adairsville placed seventh with 56.
Cartersville’s girls were first in the triple jump, the 1,600-meter run, 800-meter run, 200-meter dash, 300-meter hurdles, the 4x400 meter relay and the pole vault. Adairsville’s lone first-place finish was in the 3,200--meter run.
The Lady Canes’ Blake Perry won the high jump, 33 feet, 9 1/4 inches; the 300-meter hurdles, 50.28, and the 100-meter hurdles, 15.93. Other winners included Bree Cole, 800-meter run, 2:26.59; Destiny Mitchell, 200-meter dash, 28.03; the Canes’ 4x400 meter relay team, 4:27.54; and Anna Hightower, who had less misses at 9-0 in the pole vault.
Emily Sexauer was the lone first place-winner for the Lady Tigers, as she won the 3200-meter run with a time of 13:42.38.
“We didn’t have the depth that other teams had, but we still have seven who will be representing our school at sectionals,” Adairsville coach Kent Howard said.
The top four finishers in each event qualify for the Class AAA Sectionals track meet that will be held at Lakewood Stadium next Saturday. Teams competing with represent regions 5-AAA, 2-AAA, 4-AAA and 6-AAA and
Along with Sexauer and Charter, Adairsville will be represented by Baylee Eduards, long jump and 100-meter dash; Tinsley Smith, 100-meter hurdles; Deadrienne Carter, 300-meter hurdles; Austin Greenfield, triple jump; and Daelen Harriston, 400-meter run.
Also heading to the Sectionals for Cartersville will be Mason Heath, discus throw; Ellsee Hoganson, 3200-meter run; Calen Jenkins, 3200-meter run; Victoria Hickom, 100-meter hurdles, Shandez Moore, 300-meter hurdles, Tanner Davis, pole vault.