The GHSA Region 7-A Public track and field championships were held locally inside Braves Stadium Monday and Wednesday.
The meet featured GMC Prep and Hancock Central among other schools as athletes competed not only for team and individual region championships, but also the right to represent their schools at sectionals.
Warren County came away with both the boys and girls team titles, but plenty others qualified to keep their seasons going.
GMC Prep senior De’Aisha Stephens was the big winner for the Bulldogs. The Citadel track signee won the girls long jump Monday by leaping 17 feet, 10 inches to grab her first 2021 region title. The event she’s best known for though is the 800-meter. It was easy to see why once the race started Wednesday as she shot out to a huge lead that only widened as the two-lap event wore on. She crossed the finish line at 2:25, which was good enough to break her own previous school record ahead of next week’s sectional. Stephens won the 800 at state two years ago and likely would have repeated in 2020 if the pandemic had not canceled the state meet.
Joining the speedy senior in earning at least one individual region title were Kyra Dobler in the discus (89 feet, 5 inches), Maria Knapp in the 3200 (14:36), Nakyla Dixon in the shot put (28 feet), Jada Warren in the 1600 (6:00) and Colby Sanford in the boys discus (121 feet, 2 inches). Warren also finished in second behind Stephens in the 800-meter to punch her ticket to sectionals in that event. The GMC boys had a couple region runner-ups as well with Caleb Aycock taking second in the 200-meter dash while Alex French, Justin Wallace, Walker Bloodworth and Brandon Cobb took second in the 4x400.
The Hancock Central individual region champions and their events were: Qeontavious Ivey in the boys 100-meter dash (11.19); Devvin Ivey in the boys 400-meter dash (52.40); Brons Kent in the boys 800-meter (2:19); the 4x100 relay (44.50); the 4x400 relay (3:46); Qeontavious Ivey in the boys long jump (20 feet, 10.5 inches); and Marquavious Lawrence in the boys shot put (37 feet, 10 inches). The Hancock boys finished one point behind Warren for the team region title, but the Bulldogs from Sparta still figure to be in the team state championship picture with so many top performances and many more qualifiers. The next step is the sectional meet, which is scheduled for May 8 at Banks County High School.