March 10, 2013

Feeling much better

Willman out front on road to recovery; Bruins and Lady Bruins win team titles

By Chris Whitfield
chriswhitfield@daltoncitizen.com

— TUNNEL HILL — Two years ago, Jonathan Willman was a budding athlete at Northwest Whitfield High School, competing for the Bruins’ basketball and track and field teams.

But in the summer of 2011, Willman’s athletic career suffered a major setback when he injured his left knee in a pickup basketball game. Surgery to repair ruptured ligaments was followed by nearly a year of rehabilitation.

He missed all of his junior year, and he hasn’t been back on a basketball court except to shoot by himself or take on friends in a game of H-O-R-S-E. Instead, he has concentrated on running and jumping without the chance of getting laid out taking a charge.

It’s a decision that is working out well for both Willman and Bruins track and field — the senior led the way for the boys Saturday, and the Lady Bruins helped make it a sweep of team titles for the hosts Saturday at the Northwest Invitational.

“I have had to spend a lot of time in rehab and workouts just to strengthen my knee to get to this point,” Willman said. “It took over 10 months of rehab just to feel good enough to test it.”

He passed his tests with flying colors at the meet as he took first-place finishes in a wide variety of events. He was first in the long jump and triple jump to win the top individual boys field performer; on the track he won the 100-meter dash and was part of both the winning 4X100 and 4x400 relay teams.



“He was very apprehensive about his knee when he first came back out, and you can understand that,” Northwest track coach Chad Brewer said. “We have kind of eased him back into it, and you see what he can do. As he gets more comfortable, he will get better and better.”

Willman won the 100 with a time of 11.06 seconds and took the triple jump with a leap of 41 feet, 6-1/4 inches. His long jump was 20-8 3/4.

The Northwest Invitational featured all of the schools within Whitfield County as well as Murray County High and Heritage-Catoosa. Northwest’s boys scored 160 points to best runner-up Heritage (137.5). Dalton finished third.

For the girls, Northwest finished 15 points ahead of Southeast Whitfield and 19 points ahead of Dalton to take the title.

While Northwest won the overall title for the girls, Southeast’s Lady Raiders won what was arguably the most exciting race of the day in the 4x400 relay. Southeast’s first three runners — Wendy Perez, Isabell Salinas and Kayleen Mullins — had staked Brittany Painter to roughly a 20-meter lead for the final leg of the run, but Dalton’s Susan Meinders, who won the 300 hurdles at last year’s Class 3A state meet, was in pursuit.

Meinders steadily closed the gap on the back stretch of the track and seemed poised to overtake Painter coming out of the last turn. But Painter held off the charge and took the victory by a couple of seconds.

“I heard her coming up behind me, and I knew I had to go,” Painter said. “She is one of the most competitive runners I know, and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates giving me a big lead. That was our first time running together, and it turned out very well.”

Perez and Coahulla Creek’s A.T. Smith shared the outstanding girls field performer honors, while Meinders was the clear winner on the track after winning the 400 by more than four seconds as well as the 300 hurdles.

McKinley Hopkins led the Lady Bruins with wins in the triple jump and the 100 hurdles.

“I am very pleased with how well the girls did today,” Brewer said. “We are a very senior-heavy team, and they showed they have been in a meet before today. We have a really good shot of having a special year.”

Ketwan Burns of Heritage took the outstanding boys track performer honors.

Northwest Invitational



GIRLS RESULTS



Team scores — Northwest Whitfield 147, Southeast Whitfield 132, Dalton 128, Heritage-Catoosa 104, Murray County 45, Coahulla Creek 21.

High jump — 1. K. Richardson (H) 5.0; 2. Kayleen Mullins (SE) 4-10; 3. Maggie Kalafut (NW) 4-8.

Long jump — 1. A.T. Smith (CC) 16-6; Anissa Sosebee (SE) 15-3; 3. Keona Brinkman (MC) 13-5 1/4.

Triple jump — 1. McKinley Hopkins (NW) 33-5 1/2; 2. A.T. Smith (CC) 32-06 3/4; 3. Kayleen Mullins (SE) 30-6.

Shot put — 1. Shea Pendley (MC) 32-11; 2. Wendy Perez (SE) 31-7; 3. Juanita Starks (D) 29-9.

Discus — 1. Wendy Perez (SE) 92-06 1/4; 2. Hannah Jones (D) 70-2 1/4; 3. A. Smith (H) 68-0 1/2.

3,200 — 1. E. Poole (H) 13:04; Natalie Williams (NW) 13:08; L. Rooks (H) 13:49.

4X100 relay — 1. Northwest “A” (Macy Weeks, Taylor Sistrunk, Maggie Kalafut, McKinley Hopkins) 53.75; 2. Dalton “A” (Susan Meinders, Adriana Bryant, Massey Swanson, Cori Harolson) 54.23; 3. Heritage “A” 54.41.

1,600 — 1. S. Buckler (H) 5:44; 2. Shelby Wilson (NW) 5:49; 3. Isabel Salinas (SE) 6:06.

400 — 1. Susan Meinders (D) 1:02; 2. Kaylee Harris (D) 1:06.48; 3. Maggie Kalafut (NW) 1:09.5.

100 — 1. Adriana Bryant (D) 13.73; 2. Taylor Sistrunk (NW) 13.81; 3. Mary Morrow (D) 13.87.

100 hurdles — 1. McKinley Hopkins (NW) 16.93; 2. Anissa Sosebee (SE) 18.84; 3. Massey Swanson (D) 19.00.

800 — 1. Shelby Wilson (NW) 2:34; 2. S. Buckler (H) 2:39; 3. Caroline Duffy (NW) 2:43.

200 — 1. Mary Morrow (D) 28.88; 2. Savannah Stone (NW) 29.35; 3. B. Richardson (H) 29.63.

300 hurdles — 1. Susan Meinders (D) 48.24; 2. McKinley Hopkins (NW) 53.60; 3. Kaylee Harris (D) 55.31.

4X400 relay — 1. Southeast “A” (Brittany Painter, Isabel Salinas, Wendy Perez, Kayleen Mullins) 4:44; 2. Dalton “A” (Susan Meinders, Elizabeth Queen, Massey Swanson, Ashley Parham) 4:46; 3. Northwest “A” (Shelby Wilson, Maggie Kalafut, Shatiria Johnson, McKinley Hopkins) 4:50.



BOYS RESULTS



Team scores — Northwest Whitfield 160, Heritage-Catoosa 137.5, Dalton 104, Southeast Whitfield 97.5, Murray County 47, Coahulla Creek 18.

High jump — 1. Kelvis Rhodes (D) 6-0 (won on attempts); 2. Josh Fox (CC) 6-0; 3. T. Marlin (H) 5-10.

Long jump — 1. Jonathan Willman (NW) 20-8 3/4; 2. J. Keith (H) 20-1; Jose Loyola (SE) 18-4 1/2.

Triple jump — 1. Jonathan Willman (NW) 41-6 1/4; 2. Chaz Payne (SE) 39-0 1/2; 3. Kyle Padgett (MC) 36-9 3/4.

Shot put — 1. Raul Franco (NW) 41-2; 2. Cody Ensley (SE) 39-2; 3. Andrew Williams (D) 39-0.

Discus — 1. Jayro Perez (SE) 123-3 1/2; 2. Dylan Groves (NW) 115-1 1/2; 3. Cody Ensley (SE) 106-1 1/4.  

3,200 — 1. T. Stewart (H) 10:47; 2. Parker Cook (NW) 10:48; 3. Brody Cook (NW) 10:50.

4X100 relay — 1. Northwest “A” (Jonathan Willman, Jalen Lockett, Justin Palmer, Blake Heard) 44.94; 2. Heritage “A” 45.33; 3. Southeast “A” (Kevin Torres, Jonathan Gowan, Corey Barnes, Cody Ensley) 46.11.

1,600 — 1. Brandon Pineda (D) 4:59; 2. Parker Cook (NW) 5:03; T. Stewart (H) 5:04.

400 — 1. Ethan Fromm (D) 52.40; 2. Jalen Lockett (NW) 52.74; J. Keith (H) 52.78.  

100 — 1. Jonathan Willman (NW) 11.06; 2. Ketwan Burns (H) 11.19; 3. Kevin Torres (SE) 11.34.

110 hurdles — 1. L. Nave (H) 20.00; 2. A. Michaylo (CC) 21.05; 3. Christian Hernandez (SE) 21.09.

800 — 1. Josh Bailey (NW) 2:13; 2. Brandon Balino (NW) 2:16; Brandon Pineda (D) 2:20.

200 — 1. Ketwan Burns (H) 23.58; 2. Jalen Lockett (23.69; 3. Austin Mills (D) 24.03.

300 hurdles — 1. Seth Gabriel (D) 44.64; 2. A. Lafaele (H) 50.00; 3. Christian Hernandez (SE) 50.12.

4X400 relay — 1. 1. Northwest “A” (Jalen Lockett, Jonathan Willman, Justin Palmer, Brandon Balino) 3:47; 2. Heritage “A” 3:51; 3. Northwest “B” (Leonard Colton, Parker Cook, Brody Cook, Josh Bailey) 3:57.