MILLEDGEVILLE — Georgia Military Prep School continued its winning ways over the weekend at the Georgia High School Association’s Girls State Track and Field Championships in Albany, beinging home multiple individual honors and a fourth place team finish.
After comments from the team’s coaching staff last week hinted towards making a run at the Class-A Public team title, it was clear the Lady Bulldogs were making the trip south to bring home some hardware.
Though the five girls representing GMC Prep performed well over the course of the three-day state meet, they came up shy of the win as they settled for the fourth place with a total of 60 points.
Gordon Lee took home top honors at the championship with 81 points over Marrion County, Commerce and GMC Prep.
“We had hoped to finish a little higher than we did,” head coach Steven Simpson said. “We had a couple issues come up and a couple schools did better than we thought, but we’re pleased.
“We probably should have finished a little higher, maybe third,” he added, “but all things considered we did pretty well.”
Ending the meet as the high-point scorer for the squad was sophomore Calli McMullen, with 32 points for the Lady Bulldogs.
“She performed a lot better,” Simpson said. “She was a freshman last year and she had never run before. We sort of conned her into it, so she was on our relay team. She did really well, and she’s only a sophomore, so we’re really excited about her.”
As an individual, the McMullen finished fifth in the high jump with a leap of 4 feet 10 inches and raced to a new school best of 59.89 to win the 400-meter dash over teammate and fellow sophomore Sutton Long, whose time of 1:00.0 also bested the previous school record for the event.
McMullen also participated on both the 4 x 100-meter and 4 x 400-meter relay teams for GMC Prep, which managed to finish second and first respectively with times of 49.70 and 4:13.51, both new school records.
“Callie and Sutton push each other every day in practice,” Simpson said. “They’ve sort of helped each other get to that point to be successful.”
Also scoring big points for the Lady Bulldogs track team were Kita Aycock and Long, with 27 points apiece.
Aycock, a junior, claimed the runner-up spot in the triple jump with a jump of 33 feet 3.25 inches and eighth in the 200-meter dash in a time of 27.33, while also competing on the relay teams.
“We sort of expected her to be in the top two in the triple and the middle of the pack in the 200, and certainly be able to help both relay teams,” Simpson said. “She does a good job for us.”
Long finished runner-up to McMullen in the 400-meter dash, but also jumped 14 feet 5.5 inches for eighth overall in the long jump and running a leg on both relay teams.
Junior Keely Murner also performed well for the Lady Bulldogs in the shorter events, finishing on the podium in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 55.53, good enough for eighth overall.
Murner also ran exciting legs on the relay teams for GMC Prep over the weekend.
Wrapping up the performances for the Lady Bulldogs on the weekend is Lila Mitchell, who notched a fourth place finish in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 6:17.31 and fifth place in the 3,200-meter run in a time of 13:56.87, good enough to earn nine points for the team.
“Lila ran her best time,” Simpson said. “She knocked 30 seconds off her two mile time and improved in the mile.”
Fresh off of the state meet, Simpson believes the future of the Lady Bulldogs track and field team is bright.
“The exciting thing is, we only took five kids and we were able to score that many points,” he said. “Everybody that qualified is coming back, so we’re looking for that. Hopefully, next year we’ll qualify a few more and try to win state.”