Local track and field teams participate in sectionals this weekend

Published 10:52 pm Friday, April 26, 2019

A host of local athletes are punching their ticket into this year’s track and field state meet this weekend at sectionals.

Valley leads the way again for all local schools by unofficially qualifying 23 athletes going into Saturday.

“We’re trying to get our program to where we don’t just do well at sectionals, at state this year,” Valley head track and field coach Ronnie Hall said. “We’re trying to keep this thing going for a number of years to come. We do have a good group of athletes that will be returning next year, and I know this year is not done, but we’re looking to build a program that is going to turn out athlete-after-athlete that’s going to compete at a high level every year.”

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Jayla Lancaster, D’asia Stephens, Ajah Jones, and Caneshia Winston qualified for State in the 4×100. Josh Glider qualified for state in discus. Both the Valley girls and boys 4×800 teams qualified for state with athletes including Kendall Godfrey, Darcee Wright, Brynia Gibson, Omesha Boozer, Quinn Vega, Jaiden Phillips, Romel Jackson and Patrick Pigg qualified for state.

Dominic Whitlow qualified in the 110-meter hurdles by finishing in second in the event on Friday. LaMeisha Todd qualified in shot put.

Jacquez Trammell qualified in the triple jump by finishing first in sectionals on Friday. Trammell was also a part of the 4×100 team that qualified on Friday alongside Whitlow, Josh Heath and Donreco Glaze.

“I’ve been very impressed with his performance since I’ve been at Valley,” Hall, who’s been at Valley for three years, said of Trammell. “I had the pleasure of coaching him in basketball in middle school. He’s nothing short of a super athlete. I’m one of his biggest fans, and I get to coach him. I expect him to win a championship this year in at least one individual event, maybe two. Before he’s done, there’s no telling how many championships he will have. He’s that good.”

These next two weekends will also be the final for Valley senior athletes like Glaze, Whitlow, Pigg and Daniel Etherton, whose javelin events will happen on Saturday at sectionals.

“[I want them] to continue to work hard, and have a sense of pride in what they’re doing,” Hall said. “They already know that I’m proud of the work that they’ve been doing, and they have been working hard. If they continue to do that, there’s no reason that they shouldn’t get what they’ve been working hard for all year.”

The Valley track and field program also sent many athletes to the state meet last year, but this year the program’s goal is to win state championships, Hall said.

Lanett has a group of individuals who qualified to participate in Saturday’s finals at sectionals.

“Overall, it was a really good meet,” Lanett head track and field coach Terrance Price said about Friday’s performance. “[Saturday]’s going to tell the tale, though. We have a big day on Saturday and hopefully, we can qualify quite a few kids for state and come away with one of those first or second-place trophies on Saturday. That’s the goal, that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The Panthers girls and boys 4×100 team will run in Saturday’s final and the girls 4×800 came in second on Friday.

One day after signing her letter of intent to play basketball at Wallace State Community College this fall, Makaiya Broughton won the high jump on Friday, Breanna Glaze finished third in the event.

Zameron Boozer won the boys high jump. Price said that he likes Boozer’s chances to win the state title in the category this year.

“[On Friday], he was pretty close to jumping 6-6, but he scratched out at 6-4,” Price said. “He finished second last year. The winner and he scratched out on the same height, but the other guy had one fewer attempt. We’re hoping that it will work out this year.”

Tyreke Baker won the boys 1600-meter run. Baker is one of the surprises that Price has seen this year after replacing the Class of 2018.

“They’re overachieving,” Price said. “Tyreke Baker, this is his first time running track. He stands a good chance to win the 3200-meter run on Saturday, he won the 1600-meter today. He’s a big point for us.”

Many other athletes from Beulah and LaFayette should also be in contention for qualifying for state this weekend. 

Angelica Calloway, LaTravious Wilson, Makel Patrick, Cara Wood, the girls 4×800 all qualified for state from Beulah on Friday. All of the aforementioned athletes had personal bests on Friday, according to Beulah head track coach Sabrina Milligan.

“It’s awesome, we’re picking the right time to peak,” Milligan said. “We had a season-best in the boys 4×800, season-best in the girls 4×800, the girls took almost 40 seconds off their time. Angelica PR’d in the 400, same thing with Wilson, and he’s also in the finals for the 200-meter dash. It’s good that we have kids trying to do their best.”

Beulah is missing many of its senior athletes this weekend due to the school’s prom on Saturday.