Cartersville Track & Field Athletes Compete at State Championships
While Bartow County didn’t produce any individual state champions on the opening day of the GHSA track and field championships, local athletes still produced plenty of state-placer finishes Thursday.
In total, three Bartow athletes combined to put up four top-five finishes and nine top-eight showings.
Cartersville’s London Shaw led the way with a runner-up result in the Class 4A shot put. The senior’s throw of 40 feet, 1 inch came up just two inches shy of the title-winning throw by Chapel Hill’s Kassidy Amerson-Fox. Shaw also concluded her high school career as a state-placer in the discus, finishing seventh in the event with a throw of 111 feet, 8 inches.
Adairsville senior Nakiyah Washington placed inside the top-five in both shot put and discus at the Class 3A meet, which took place in Albany along with the 4A competition. Washington wound up third in the discus (123 feet, 3 inches) and fifth in the shot put (37 feet, 9.5 inches).
In a mild upset, Woodland’s McKenna Trapheagen had to settle for third place in the Class 5A 1600-meter run at Carrollton. The junior entered the race with the fastest seed time, roughly five seconds ahead of Veterans’ Mackenzie Walls.
However, Traphegean and Walls, who finished fourth, were beaten to the finish line by McIntosh’s Kayla Rose and Miller Grove’s Emoni Coleman. Rose easily won with a time of 5 minutes, 2.26 seconds, but Coleman (5:08.12) barely edged Trapheagen (5:08.98) for runner-up.
Woodland’s Rylee Evans missed out on the top-five by a half-second, but she still turned in a personal-best of 5 minutes, 22.73 seconds to earn sixth. Both Trapheagen and Evans are scheduled to compete in the 3200-meter run Friday.
Woodland also had a sixth-place showing in the girls high jump, as Grace Webb managed to clear five feet to tie South Effingham’s Alex Brown. The Wildcats’ Sydney Molinaro, who won the high jump at sectionals, finished in a three-way tie for 10th — with 4 feet, 10 inches being the highest bar cleared.
Another Woodland girl, Skylar Chappell wound up seventh in the 5A discus. The senior’s hurl of 116 feet, 6 inches was enough to earn her state-placer recognition.
Also at the 5A meet, Skylar Chappell, a Woodland senior, wound up seventh in the discus with a hurl of 116 feet, 6 inches; Cass’ Brandon Martin came in seventh in the high jump, matching his seed with a best of 6 feet, 2 inches; and Woodland’s Brooke Cooper placed 11th in the pole vault, as she topped out at 8 feet, 6 inches.
The 5A boys pole vault, which included Cass’ Stephen Smith, and the 4A boys 3200, featuring Cartersville’s Parker Breedlove, were also scheduled for Thursday. The former event was pushed back until Friday, while the latter’s results (or postponement) were unknown at publication time.
Along with the girls 3200 and boys pole vault at the 5A meet, other competitions scheduled to be completed Friday also include: 5A boys 400-meter preliminaries (Woodland’s Jeven Reliford), 4A boys 1600 (Cartersville’s Bill Archer) and 4A boys pole vault (Cartersville’s Nick Bebko).
The finals for the 5A boys 400 is planned for Saturday, although the entirety of the weekend schedule could be altered by inclement weather.
Outside of Cass senior Stephen Smith repeating as Class 5A pole vault champion, the second day of GHSA track and field championships was all about the distance runners, as far as Bartow County was concerned.
At the same 5A meet that saw Smith defend his title, Woodland junior McKenna Trapheagen finished second in the 3200-meter run in 11 minutes, 11.65 seconds with teammate Rylee Evans, a freshman, coming in fourth with a time of 11:34.10 Friday in Carrollton.
Trapheagen and Evans placed third and sixth in the 1600-meter run the day prior, giving the pair of Wildcats two state-placer finishes apiece. Thanks in large part to their combined 22 points, the Woodland girls finished Friday with 26.5 points to sit in first place overall in 5A.
With a lead of 5.5 points over second-place Veterans and 7.5 over third-place Rome, it’s unlikely the Wildcats will be able to hold the lead through the competition’s final day. Today’s action will include the relays and the shorter distance individual races, events in which the Wildcats had no qualifiers.
Even still, the Woodland girls will certainly place high as a team. The boys, on the other hand, failed to produce any points with their lone qualifier, Jeven Reliford, unable to reach the 400-meter dash finals. Reliford finished his preliminary heat in 49.85 seconds — 0.82 seconds behind the eighth-place qualifier.
Over in Albany, Cartersville wrapped up its time at the Class 4A meet with Bill Archer finishing 10th in the 1600. The sophomore wrapped up his stellar year with a personal-best time of 4 minutes, 32.67 seconds. Canes teammate Parker Breedlove, who recently signed with the Reinhardt cross country team, wound up 15th in the 3200, finishing in just under 11 minutes.