April 17, 2014

All the way to the top

Dalton boys win track title in Region 7-4A

En route to the Region 7-4A track and field championship Wednesday as the host school, Dalton High’s boys team found out what a difference a year makes.

“We were sixth last year,” Catamounts coach Scott Thompson said on a day of magnificent weather following Tuesday’s nasty wind and cold. “It’s the worst finish in Dalton history.”

What happened to account for the reversal?

“We had a lot of people back,” Thompson said. “We only lost about three seniors. We had some people who stepped up in the field. From the Gordon Central Invitational which we won (earlier this month), we showed we had depth. You must have that to win a region.”

While Dalton was dominating the boys meet, scoring 131 points to finish ahead of runner-up Cedartown (82), two other local schools finished well down the ladder. Southeast Whitfield (40) settled for eighth and Northwest Whitfield (23.75) was last in the 10-school field. Heritage-Catoosa 78, Cass 68, Ridgeland 65.75, Pickens 60 and River Ridge 49.5 rounded out the top seven, while Gilmer (25) was ninth.

In the girls meet, Dalton had the best local finish, tallying 66.5 points and taking third place. Northwest (66.5) and Southeast (57) took sixth and seventh, respectively.

River Ridge (97) took first ahead of Cedartown (85). Heritage (80.50) was fourth, followed by Pickens (69). LaFayette (35.50), Gilmer (28), Cass (16) and Ridgeland (8) rounded out the field.

The top four finishers in each event at the region meet advance to the Class 4A “A” Sectional on April 26 at Carrollton High School. The top half of the field there move on to state, with the girls meet May 1-3 in Albany and the boys meet May 8-10 in Jefferson.

“We had been waiting all year for the region and winning it,” Dalton junior Kelvis Rhodes said. “We are very confident going into the sectionals.”

Rhodes responded by sharing first place in the high jump with freshman teammate Zek Cobb, with both clearing 6 feet. Rhodes also was second in the long jump (20-7 1/2), while Cobb added more points with third place in the same event (20-6 1/2).

Rhodes was also part of a third-place 4x100-meter relay unit headed to sectionals (44.4). Joining him were Cobb, Nate Mays and Austin Mills.

Dalton’s Colton Fromm was second in the 400 (53.06), Jordon McKinney added a second place in the 300 hurdles (42.32) and was also part of the fourth-place 4x400 relay team (3:37.44) that included Fromm, Angel Rodriguez and Chase White.

Rodriguez was second in the 800 (2:01.33). Other Catamounts headed to sectionals are Francisco Perez (3,200, third, 10:27.68) and Mills (100, fourth, 11.46).

Southeast’s boys had a pair of first places from Corey Barnes (400, 51.44) and Luis Perez (800, 2:00.8).

“It was a school record,” a proud Barnes said of his accomplishment. “I had been working hard all year to set the record. It showed that it paid off.”

Northwest’s boys received a pair of fourth-place finishes from Dylan Richards (800, 2:07.26), and Nick Bramblett (discus, 117-08).

Dalton’s girls had a first-place 4x100 relay finish (50.91) from the foursome of Adrianna Bryant, Presley Craig, Haley Ledwell and Mary Morrow.

Craig was second in the 100 hurdles (16.82) and Bryant finished likewise in the 100 (13.04). Macie Noles finished fourth in the pole vault (7-6).

Northwest had the distinction of fraternal twins McKinley and Analeigh Hopkins winning first places. The former took the 100 hurdles (15.87) while the latter won the pole vault (8-6).

Other Lady Bruins headed for sectionals are Chase Cunningham (pole vault, second, 8-0) and Jen Rivera (800, fourth, 2:35.40).

Southeast had a first place from Isabel Salinas (800, 2:28.07), while Anissa Sosebee was fourth in the 100 hurdles (16.93).

The Lady Raiders’ 4x400 relay, which placed second (4:23.34), featured Tori Brock, Marylee Johns, Rana Mashburn and Salinas.

• In the Region 5-3A meet at Gordon Central High School, two area athletes claimed region titles as North Murray’s Erin Robinson won the girls shot put (31-9 1/2) and Coahulla Creek’s Timmy Hooper was first in the 1,600 (4:55).

The only other local athlete who qualified Wednesday for the Class 3A “A” Sectional, set for April 26 at Atlanta’s Woodward Academy, was Coahulla Creek’s Morgan King, who took fourth in the triple jump (27-2).

The meet finishes today.

• In the Region 7-2A meet at Pepperell High School, Murray County had one individual and one relay team finish in the top four to earn spots in the Class 2A “B” Sectional on April 26 at Greater Atlanta Christian School.

Antonio Martinez finished fourth with a time of 4:58 in the boys 1,600, while the girls 4x400 relay team (Cierra Hatton, Anniston Long, Katlyn Richardson and Jenna Stanley) finished third in 4:42.

The meet finishes today.

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