The GHSA track and field sectionals were held at various sites across the state over the weekend.
Athletes were vying for the right to compete at state this weekend, and both Baldwin High School and GMC Prep will be well-represented at the championship event.
The Baldwin girls led the way with 13 runners, jumpers and throwers advancing to Albany, site of the 4A championships. Nearly every Bravette that qualified will compete in multiple events, giving them a legitimate shot at a team state title. Freshman sprinter Madison Ruff punched her ticket in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, long jump and 4x400 relay. Sophomore Jazmine Walker is still alive in four events as well, qualifying in the high jump, long jump, 4x800 relay and 4x400 relay. Joining those first two names will be freshman Jasmine Williams who will move on in the 800-meter, 1600-meter, 4x800 and 4x400. Ashley Johnson and Amilliana Simmons both qualified in the 800-meter, 4x800 and 4x400. Heaven Simmons, another freshman, finished well enough in both hurdle events and is also part of the 4x800 relay team that will compete for state. Senior Nykeisha Thornton is on both relay rosters while Ashanti Williams is a member of the 4x400. Jordyn Bolston advanced as part of the 4x400 relay and finished a tight 400-meter race in fourth to move on in that event as well. Four more Bravettes qualified in single events — Victoria Martin in the triple jump, Morgan Ruff in the shot put, Christa Saulsbury in the discus and Jamilah Sessoms in the pole vault.
Eight Baldwin boys will compete at state across nine events led by junior Dexter Ricks Jr. He finished second in both hurdles and made the cut in both the high jump and long jump, so he’ll have a shot at putting up major individual points at state. Emanuel Dixon will run the mile, 800-meter and 4x800 relay. Joining him on that relay team are Datwon Copeland, Roderick May, Jaden McNealy and Amir Gilmore, who also qualified in pole vault. The Baldwin boys will have two throwers at state as both Garrison Holland and Omarion Fraley qualified in the discus.
A few members of the GMC Prep track teams will also head down to Albany this weekend for the Class A-Public state championships. The Bulldogs are led on the girls side by senior De’Aisha Stephens who is looking to repeat as state champ in the 800-meter. The Citadel track signee qualified first at sectionals by more than 12 seconds and is also moving on in the long jump. Stephens will be joined in the 800 by junior Jada Warren who also punched her own ticket in the mile. Junior Kyra Dobler is headed to state in both the discus and shot put to round out the GMC Prep girls qualifiers. The GMC boys are sending Colby Sanford in the discus and relay teams that will run the 4x400 and 4x800 this weekend.
Both the Class A-Public and 4A state championships will be held Thursday through Saturday at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany. Admission is $7 per day.