Representing Georgia Military Prep School well on Friday and Saturday, the Bulldog boys and girl’s track teams placed top three in their respective competitions at the Region 4-A Championships in Athens.
Snagging the overall title, the Lady Bulldogs track team produced strong showings in all events, demonstrating great depth amongst state-contenders.
“We expected it to be a good year with both teams, especially with the girls. Once we saw all the girls who came out, we knew we were going to have a good team,” Shawn Dennis, head coach, said. “They just had to put in the work and go get it, and they did.”
After encouraging performances in the 1600 meters on Friday from Lila Mitchell, who placed first, and Elizabeth Savage in third, GMC Prep was set up for a good run for the Region title on Saturday.
“When we came in first and third, we knew we were set up pretty well for Saturday,” Dennis said. “We knew if we had a good day, some of the people would do better than they’ve been doing.”
Mitchell also earned an individual title in the 3200 meters, followed by Savage in second place overall, as both girls qualified for the state championships in the 1600 and 3200 meters.
Also continuing to lead the team individually was Kita Aycock, as she picked up a runner-up spot in the triple jump and third place in the 200 meter dash, while also running on the third place 4x100 meter relay team comprised of Aycock, Sutton Long, Calli McMullen and Keely Murner.
With one of her best performances this season, Murner also placed second in the 800 meters, followed by Sarah Margaret Mason in third.
Long performed well on Saturday, placing third in the triple jump and helping the runner-up 4x400 meter relay team including Mason, McMullen and Murner set a school record in the event.
“Calli McMullen, Sarah Margaret Mason, Keely Murner, Sutton Long — they ran a great race and came in second and broke the school record, all in the same day,” Dennis said. “That was great for us and great for them.”
Other qualifiers for the girls include Taylor Wooden in the 300 meter hurdles and Chobi Young in the shot put, as both athletes placed fourth overall in their events.
On the boy’s side, GMC Prep came away with a strong third place showing on the weekend, led by Taylor Payne who qualified for all five of his events.
Payne finished first overall in the long jump, second in the triple jump, 400-meter dash and 4x400 meter relay, which also included Quatavius Brisco, Markel Jones and Malik Bradley, while finishing fourth in the 4x100 meter relay with teammates Quan Wright, Colby Lawrence and Jones.
“Taylor Payne just had an amazing day,” Dennis said. “He qualified for the Sections in all five of his events. He had a great day.”
Also scoring well for the Bulldogs, Will Archer earned the individual title in the 800 meters and a fourth place finish in the 1600 meters.
“Will Archer, he’s one of my mid- and long-distance guys. He went out and finished fourth in the mile and won the whole thing in the 800 [meters],” Dennis said.
Other top performances included third place showings from Brisco in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, as well as Lawrence in the long jump.
“Last year, we took four boys and four girls to state, and this year we have 15 going to Sectionals. If we could get all 15 to state that would be great,” Dennis said. “We’re expecting to do well; it’s just, we’ve got to go out there and have a good day. It’s good competition, but I have faith in them to go out and perform well.”
GMC Prep track and field will be back in action Saturday for the Sectional Meet hosted by Landmark Christian School beginning with the field events at 10 a.m.