The Banks County Leopards track and field teams head to Mill Creek for the second time this Saturday (March 7) for the Jerry Arnold Invitational. 

It is the third meet of the season for Banks County, and head coach Will Foster is "excited" to see what his teams will do at its biggest meet thus far in the season. 

"Definitely excited to get to a big meet with a deep field," Foster said. "We need to work on our performance while under pressure, and a big meet with lots of talented athletes is a good place to do that. Also, good performances are contagious so hopefully, our kids can get motivated by impressive times and marks around them and rise to the occasion."

The Banks County program took to the track last Saturday (Feb. 29) at North Oconee. 

Jackson Ramey paced the teams with a first-place finish in the discus (151-7). He placed fifth in the shot put (43-5). 

"Jackson also faced some tough conditions in the throws on Saturday with gusting winds through the duration of the event," Foster said. "His good form and experience prevailed and led him to the top mark of the day against some other good throwers. Excited to watch him this season."

The boys' 4x800 relay team finished third (9:08.33). Buck Ledford placed fourth in the 1,600-meter run (4:42.44). 

"Our 4x800 team of Buck Ledford, Bryson Banister, Nic Cotton and Griffin Stephens went out in tough conditions and lowered the school record in the event, which I was very proud of, considering the wind that they were dealing with," Foster said. "Buck also showed out in the 1600, where he ran a very tactically-sound race, which got him a fast time in tough conditions."

Shelby Speed helped lead the girls' team. Speed placed fourth in the discus (91-0) and sixth in the shot put (30-9.5). 

"Shelby has also shown her talent during the first two meets," Foster said. "Shelby, Coach (Grant) Newman and Coach (Shobby) Pittman have been working hard, and I know we are going to see the fruits of that labor sooner rather than later."

Kya Santiago finished fifth in the long jump (15-9) and eighth in the 200-meter dash (28.49). 

"Kya is definitely a talented athlete," Foster said. "She has shown that early and I think she will only keep improving as she perfects her skills and her form."

Other top finishers include: Sean Hall, pole vault (fifth, 11-6); boys' 4x400 relay team (seventh, 3:54.08); girls' 4x100 and 4x800 teams (sixth); girls' 4x400 relay team (seventh, 4:56.77); Alexus Humphries, shot put (seventh, 30-5); and Jenna Reeves, pole vault (eighth, 7-0). 


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