MILLEDGEVILLE — Lighting up the track last weekend at the Georgia High School Association’s Girls State Track and Field Championships in Albany, Calli McMullen established herself as one of the best performers in the Class-A Public division by scoring 32 points for the Georgia Military Prep School team.
McMullen, in only her second season competing in track and field, took home top honors in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.89 and finished fifth in the high jump after clearing 4 feet 10 inches.
The sophomore also competed on the state runner-up 4x100-meter relay team and the champion 4x400-meter relay team.
“Our expectations were for her or Sutton [Long] to win it, and the other one come in second,” head coach Steven Simpson said. “We were a little concerned because she didn’t win the area. We just had to make sure to keep her calm and relaxed.
“We’re definitely excited about it,” he added. “She lived up to the expectations and she was able to handle it.”
Still new to the sport, McMullen has drastically improved since her first year with the Lady Bulldogs.
“As a freshman, she really didn’t want to run track,” Simpson said. “She had a little bit of success last year, and decided to come back this year and try to compete for a state title. She’s one of those kids that has a good work ethic, and doesn’t like to lose. Because she’s never run track, she doesn’t have any bad habits so she’s very coachable.
“She wants to do the right thing and make sure she’s doing it the right way,” the proud coach added. “A lot of it, especially in a race like the 400, comes from that internal motivation that you can’t coach.”