MILLEDGEVILLE — Putting up consistent performances all weekend, Georgia Military Prep School’s girl’s track team finished third overall at the Georgia High School Association’s Class-A Public School State Championships in Albany, Thursday through Saturday.
GMC Prep’s girl’s posted 46 points in the competition, only behind Marion County with 84 points and Gordon Lee with 61.50.
“It was about what I thought we would do. I had a good feeling we would get third on Friday when I was looking at our total points and other team’s total points and who we had qualified,” Shawn Dennis, head coach, said. “We pretty much knew, me and Coach [Andre] Warthen, but we kind of kept it to ourselves and just let the girls just go out there and compete.”
With five school records broken at the state meet, Dennis believes the team placing was largely due to everyone performing to their abilities when the team needed it the most.
“It was a collection of a lot of good performances,” he said. “When you have a team run five school records, you know they’re competing at a high level.”
Leading the charge for the Lady Bulldogs on Thursday, Kita Aycock continued her season progression in the triple jump, placing fourth in the state with a new school record of 33 feet 4 inches.
“It started with Kita Aycock in the triple jump,” Dennis said. “She actually placed fourth. She broke her school record again, so she had a good day.”
Teammates Lila Mitchell and Elizabeth Savage also provided major contribution to the team’s run for a top three place, scoring big points in the 3,200 meter run. Mitchell ran her way to a second place performance in the state with a time of 14:23.52, followed closely by Savage in third overall with a time of 14:26.97.
The duo also placed well in the 1,600 meter run on Friday, as Mitchell ran 6:18.19 for a new school record to claim third place in the event, while Savage placed sixth with a time of 6:46.00.
“Lila Mitchell and Elizabeth Savage, they went with us and they ran the two mile and finished second and third; that really helped us,” Dennis said. “We wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for Lila and Elizabeth in the mile and two mile.”
Also helping the team in the middle distance events, Sarah Margaret Mason ran a new school record with a time of 2:37.91 in the 800 meter run to place fourth in the state individually in the event.
Chobi Young competed for the Lady Bulldogs as an individual as well, placing ninth in the shot put and coming up just short of placing on the podium in her final State meet with a throw of 29 feet 10 inches.
“I was a little nervous thinking about it last week, but when I sat back and thought about it, I thought, ‘they shouldn’t be nervous. They’ve all competed on a big stage in other sports,’” Dennis said. “I don’t think they were all that nervous. They just knew they had to go out there and compete and perform.”
GMC Prep earned two more school records, as the 4 x 100 meter relay comprised of Callie McMullen, Sutton Long, Keely Murner and Aycock placed fourth in the meet with a time of 51.81 seconds. The other record came in the last event on Saturday with the 4 x 400 meter relay team that included the same four athletes taking the runner-up spot with a time of 4:18.27.
“It does great things for the program. We peaked at the right time and improved at the right time,” Dennis said. “We had three freshmen competing, so they can only get better.”
Dennis is pleased with the performance of the GMC Prep girls at the state track meet, and believes the possibility of winning the State Championship is a strong one in the near future.
“It was a great season. It was just a great track season for GMC overall,” he said. “I think next year will be even better. I think we’re about five or six girls away from competing for a state championship.”