The Jefferson girls’ and boys’ track teams made the most of their lone day of competition this season inside Memorial Stadium.
Hosting their only home track meet of the year, both Jefferson squads finished first Saturday (Feb. 22) in the nine-team MainStreet News Invitational.
This was the first full meet of the season for both teams.
The girls’ team racked up 179 points to win its meet, while the boys’ team totaled 162 points to take the top spot in that competition.
Jada Pittman won the long jump (17-4.5) and 100 meters (12.84) to lead the Jefferson girls. Others placing first were JoJo Smith (high jump, 4-10), Abbey Howard (100-meter hurdles, 16.63) and the 4 x 100 meter team (Mac Fowler, Howard, Hannah Perkins, Pittman, 51.18).
Girls’ coach Brandon Vinson said he was impressed with how his team performed at home for the first and only time this year.
“One and done — it was good to have a good crowd here and nine teams,” Vinson said, “and to compete like we did and show our abilities.”
The Jefferson girls totaled 20 top-three finishes in the meet in finishing 76 points ahead of second-place North Oconee.
“I think we did a great job,” Vinson said. “We’ve got five good seniors. They did a great job today, and also our younger classes. They also did good competing. It’s a good start to the season, just seeing where we are and where we’ve got to grow.”
On the boys’ side, Jefferson produced four first-place finishers: Tripp Bullock (pole vault, 13-0), Andrew Paolozzi (discus, 140-1), Robbie Head (shot put, 48-6.25) and Blake Walker (100-meters, 11.1).
“It started off great with the field events,” first-year Jefferson boys’ coach Amos Tift said. “Our shot put and discus guys go 1-2. (Andrew) Paolozzi and Robbie (Head) had a great showing … and 1-2 in the pole vault with Tripp (Bullock) and Ryder (Pagel). Then getting on the track, it just continued from there. Guys kept on doing well, showing progress. But we’ve still got a lot work to do, but I think we’ll get there.”
The team had 18 top-three finishes. Jefferson won the boys’ meet by 69 points over second-place Monroe Area.
Tift said his athletes performed as well, or better in some cases, than he expected. He pointed to second-place finishes by Kevin Wood in the high jump (6-0) and triple jump (41-4.5) and a third-place showing from Kristian Carrs in the triple jump (40-0) as examples.
“We actually had some surprises, which is always good to have in a meet like this early in the season because you always come out and you want them to do well, you expect some big performances, but you never know this early in the season,” Tift said. “But we did have a lot of guys come and do things that I was very surprised about, especially with high jump and triple jump today.”
Both teams will compete Saturday (Feb. 29) at the North Oconee All-Comers meet.