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The 2021 high school track season wrapped up over the weekend.

Both the Baldwin High School and GMC Prep squads were down in Albany, which served as one of three sites for the GHSA Track and Field State Championships. Baldwin competed among 4A schools while GMC was part of the Class A-Public ranks. 

The Running Lady Bulldogs of GMC Prep had the best team finish among the local programs as they took fifth in the state with 35 points. No one was catching A-Public girls state champ Gordon Lee (102 points) or runner-up Montgomery County (92). No other local team finished in the top 10 in terms of team placement, but getting on the podium at state is no small feat and several BHS and GMC athletes earned that right. 

GMC senior De’Aisha Stephens, who has signed to run track at The Citadel, came away as the big winner at the three-day event. As previously reported in our weekend edition, she won the girls long jump Thursday and followed that up with her second consecutive state title in the 800-meter run Saturday. She broke her own school record in the two-lap race, finishing with a time of 2:22.61. That was about 10 seconds faster than the runner-up from Commerce, and 10 seconds is a lot in the 800. Stephens’ junior teammate Jada Warren finished fourth in the 800 to get herself onto the podium and also took third in the mile. Ironically enough, the top-5 finishers in the A-Public girls one-mile race were the exact same as the state cross country meet held back in the fall. GMC Prep junior Kyra Dobler finished fifth in the girls discus to get the team’s other podium placement. 

For the Baldwin boys, 11th-grader Dexter Ricks Jr. had three top-8 finishes over the weekend. He took state runner-up in the 110 hurdles, crossing the line just .09 seconds behind the winner from North Oconee. Ricks ran to a fifth-place positioning in the 300 hurdles and took seventh in the high jump to close out an impressive junior campaign. 

The Baldwin girls earned some statewide recognition as well. Freshman sprinter Madison Ruff finished fourth in the long jump (17 feet, 5 1/2 inches) and seventh in the 200-meter dash (25.29) her first year down in Albany. Her classmate Jordyn Bolston was sixth in the 400-meter (1:00.55). The Bravettes’ 4x400 relay team took sixth while the 4x800 team finished eighth. 

The GMC boys had a fourth-place finish in the 4x800 relay and a seventh in the 4x400. Senior thrower Colby Sanford had the best individual result for that team as he took third in the discus (122 feet, 11 inches). 

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