WHILE the Jefferson boys’ track and field team is looking to build for the postseason, there’s certainly nothing wrong with winning along the way.
The Dragons won six events to finish atop the team standings at the 51st annual Jefferson Relays Saturday. Jefferson tallied 190.5 points to finish ahead of second-place Berkmar (154.5) in hosting the seven-team event. Elbert County was third with 103 points.
This was Jefferson’s second victory of the year and first win in a weekend meet.
“It’s going great,” boys coach Tim Corbett said of his team’s start this year. “I couldn’t ask for a better situation right now … It’s going to be interesting to see how much more we can improve before late April, because that’s when it’s going to matter.”
The Jefferson boys received first-place finishes in the field events from Ethan Hix (shot put) and Mason Hamrick (pole vault).
The Dragons then won four relay events — the sprint medley relay (Satchel Turpin, Rodney Carr, T.J. Skelton and Tradd Porter; 3:49.25), the distance medley relay (Josh Reid, Gage Lawson, Taylor Hitt and Max Higgins; 11:58.28), the 4 x 1,600 meter relay (Higgins, Alex Parrish, Hitt and Jacob Adams; 20:17.50) and the 4 x 800 meter relay (Parrish, Jacobs, Reid and Higgins; 9:00.17).
Corbett pointed to the dramatic finish in the spring medley with Tradd Porter running a 2:04 split in the 800-meter leg to carry the Dragons to victory.
“He just bared down and decided he was going to win,” Corbett said. “We’ve got several kids like that right now.”’
Corbett was pleased with other performances as well. Satchel Turpin triple jumped over 42 feet and leaped over 20 feet in the long jump. Dalton Hill set a season-record in the 300 meter hurdles (41.01) despite being injured in the process. T.J. Skelton ran a 53-second split in the 4 x 400 meters. Michael Goza reached 118 feet in the discus.
Despite the field of teams being smaller this year, this was a highly-competitive meet.
Corbett said the marks set Saturday in both the boys and girls’ competitions would compare very favorably with those set in meets like the Roswell Relays held the same day.
“We would have held our own,” Corbett said. “We would have been in the top five with the other schools right behind us … The atmosphere wasn’t quite the same (as one of the large meets), but it was still a good meet. The clock doesn’t lie and the tape measure doesn’t lie.”
Corbett said he wanted to beef-up the early season competition, and that process continues this weekend when the team travels out-of-state to take part in the Golden Corner Invitational in Seneca, S.C. The meet will feature some events Jefferson isn’t used to — a shorter sprint medley and the 400-meter hurdles.
“I wanted to go somewhere different and see some different competition,” Corbett said.
So far, Corbett — whose team has depth with 60 athletes — likes what he’s seeing this spring through four meets, noting that the Dragons are even getting contributions from freshman athletes like Jackson Bowen (shot put), Max Higgins (distance races), Addison Cochran (distance races), Jared Brown (pole vault), Johnny Paolozzi (discus), Alex Mason (hurdles), Donte Wilson (throwing events) and Lane Sorrow (hurdles).
The coach said this is a fun group to coach.
“You’ve got some kids that are feeding off one another a little bit and they’re all competing,” Corbett said. “That’s spreading, and that’s a nice thing to spread.”
GIRLS TAKE SECOND: The Jefferson girls finished second in the team standings, winning the pole vault (Abby Carson) and the 4 x 1,600 meter relay (Reese Bowles, Kelsey Reschley, Libby D’Antonio and Morgan Mitchell; 26:53.17).
The Jefferson girls finished with 138 points. Berkmar won the event with 174 points. North Springs took third with 67 points.
Coach Chad Cheatham said with only 28 athletes available Saturday, several younger Lady Dragons were pressed into service.
“I thought they did a great job,” Cheatham said.
Jefferson was only five points behind Berkmar following the field events and 4 x 1,600, but Berkmar pulled away in the relay events. North Springs also scored big points 4 x 400 and sprint medley.
“It’s hard to run against those guys,” Cheatham said. “But we did what we had to do and I wish we could have won it but we just couldn’t keep in close in the sprint races.”
To this point, Jefferson has two second-place finishes to its credit and one victory in a tri-meet.
“We’re doing OK,” Cheatham said. “We’re obviously not where we need to be. Weather has been a big factor for us in getting everybody in shape.”
The team also didn’t get its basketball players back until late with the Lady Dragons reaching the Elite Eight. So those athletes are still getting into track shape.
Still, Cheatham is seeing good things out of his squad.
Maggie Newman continues to improve in the discus, throwing 103 feet this weekend.
Abby Carson has reached 8-6 in the pole vault. The team has found depth in 300-meter hurdles with Taylor Love, Jerilynn Wiliamson and McKenzie Wells. The squad is also getting strong performances from Jaclyn Coleman in the long jump and sprints. Madison Dills in the 400 meters.
“Overall, I’ve been extremely impressed with the effort we’ve had,” Cheatham said.
The Lady Dragons have another test this weekend at the Golden Corner event in Seneca.
“We will definitely see some speed,” Cheatham said.
The coach said the point of the regular season is to train for the postseason, and this will provide another opportunity to do that.
“You don’t want to peak right now,” Cheatham said. “It’s a process. I don’t want to peak at the region. I want to peak at the sectionals and state meet.”
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
The author does not allow comments to this entry