Track and field
• Corey Barnes, Southeast Whitfield: The junior began the season as a competitor in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, but he made a successful shift into the 400 for the benefit of the Raiders — and himself. He set a school record in the event this year with his best time of 51.20 and was first at the Region 7-4A meet with a time of 51.44 to secure a place in the Class 4A “A” sectional. There, he came up short of advancing to state, but he had several strong performances during the regular season, finishing first at the Gordon Lee Invitational, second at the Northwest/Southeast Invitational and fourth at the Dalton Rotary Ronnie McClurg Invitational. This is his first all-area selection.
• Sadoth Fraire, Coahulla Creek: The Daily Citizen’s All-Area Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year last fall, the senior also had a successful “final run” on the track this spring. He set school records in both the 4x400 relay and the 3,200, and in the latter event he claimed the Region 5-3A title with a time of 10:42.77. He went on to place seventh in the 3,200 with a time of 10:38.98 at the Class 3A “A” sectional and clocked a time of 10:19.02 at state. This is his first all-area selection.
• Hayden Gross, Dalton: A participant in both discus and shot put, the junior excelled most in the latter event. He finished first at the Northwest/Southeast Invitational, where he was the Most Outstanding for field events; other strong regular-season finishes came at Gordon Central’s Warrior Invitational, where he was second, and the Cats’ Dalton Rotary Ronnie McClurg Invitational, where he was third in a very strong field. His best shot put of the postseason came at the Region 7-4A meet, where he was third with a distance of 49 feet, 8 1/4 inches. He was sixth at the Class 4A “A” sectional (47-9) and 10th at the state meet (48-7 1/4). This is his first all-area selection.
• Tim Hooper, Coahulla Creek: A junior who transferred last summer from Cherokee County’s River Ridge, Hooper claimed the Region 5-3A championship in the 1,600 with a time of 4:55.30 and took second in the 800 with a time of 2:05.26. Although he came up short of earning a spot in the state meet in the 800, he did advance in the 1,600 after taking seventh with a time of 4:44.57 in the 1600 at the Class 3A “A” sectional. At state, he clocked a time of 4:50.58. This is his first all-area selection.
• Nate Mays, Dalton: A junior who transferred from Gordon Central, Mays was versatile enough to compete in both sprints (100, 200, 4x100 relay) and discus and shot put. He was one of only two field performers from area schools to reach the state meet — teammate Hayden Gross was the other — where he finished seventh in shot put with a distance of 50-9. He earned his invitation to state with a fourth-place finish at the Region 7-4A meet (44-2) and an eighth-place finish at the Class 4A “A” sectional (47-6 1/4). Mays is also expected to contribute for the Cats during football season — the heavily recruited outside linebacker already has Division I scholarship offers to consider. This is his first all-area selection.
• Jordon McKinney, Dalton: While the sophomore standout didn’t advance to state in any event, he was the area’s strongest all-around performer in track and field this season and scored more than 15 percent of the Cats’ points as they won the Region 7-4A meet at home. He took second in triple jump and the 300 hurdles and was fifth in the 110 hurdles and helped both the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams place. Also a standout on the football field, even as an underclassman he has already proven himself one of the area’s most athletic performers. This is his second straight all-area selection.
• Luis Perez, Southeast: Great things would seem to be in store for Perez if his outstanding freshman season is any indication. A distance runner who competed in the 800 and 1,600 — he was chosen for The Daily Citizen’s All-Area Boys Cross Country Team this past fall — he missed out on a trip to state after coming up short at the Class 4A “A” sectional, but he turned in an outstanding Region 7-4A meet to reach that sectional meet. At region, he took first in the 800 with a time of (2:00.80) and was second in the 1,600 (4:43.07). During the regular season, he finished first in both events at the Gordon Lee Invitational and Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe’s Warrior Invitational, was second in the 800 and first in the 1,600 in the Northwest/Southeast Invitational and was fifth in the 800 and fourth in the 1,600 at the Dalton Rotary Ronnie McClurg Invitational.
• Honorable mention: Dalton — Zek Cobb (Fr.), Kelvis Rhodes (Jr.); Murray County — Antonio Martinez (So.), Servio Martinez (Sr.); Northwest — Nick Bramblett (Sr.), Dylan Richards (Sr.).