Swainsboro High School spent the past weekend at the state track championship in Rome, Georgia. The outcome was not a team championship, but the efforts by the Tigers were.
Going into the tournament, the Lady Tigers were given little chance to win the team championship. The Tigers were only participating in 6 of 18 events. However, several athletes, including freshman Aa'Caylah Murphy made their presence known.
On day one, Thursday, Aa'Caylah placed 6th in the long jump and 8th in the triple jump. Hannah Howard was also a participant in the long jump.
On Saturday, the Lady Tigers placed 7th in the 4x100 relay (Hannah Howard, Aa'Caylah Murphy, Tim'yielah Worthen, and Jalaya Freeman). The 4x200 relay team also placed 7th (Tanyia Williams, Hannah Howard, Jayala Freeman, and Kiara Moss). Tanyia Williams, Jalaya Freeman, Dezaria Jordan, and Kiara Moss also participated in the 4x400 relay. Tanyia Williams participated in the 400 meters.
In the boys’ division, the Tigers entered the tournament with an outside chance to win the team title. They were participating in 12 of 18 events. The Tigers lacked participation in the distance running events, which would prove pivotal. Mt Vernon Academy and Bleckley County were the early favorites due to their team balance and depth, specifically in the distance running events.
The Tigers performed well on Thursday, Day 1, in the field events. DeMello Jones finished 3rd in the high jump and third in the triple jump. Ty Adams placed 2nd in the triple jump and 4th in the long jump. Da’rius Phillips placed 4th in the discus, and Elijah Holley 6th in the shot put. After day 1, the Tigers were in front with 33 total points. Athens Christian was in second place, and Mt Pisgah was third.
Day 2 (Friday) mainly was qualifying preliminary events. After Day 2, Swainsboro had 33 total points, Athens Christian 31, and Mt Pisgah 29.
Saturday, Day 3, would be the pivotal day. Although in the lead, the Tigers faced an uphill battle as they only competed in 3 events while others behind them had 5-6 events left to complete. DeMello Jones got the day off to a good start. Jones won 1st place in the 100m, giving the Tigers 10 points. Qin Brown finished second, adding eight more points. The last event for SHS to make an impact would be in the 4x100 relay. The Tigers won this event last year and had a better time earlier this season. Unfortunately, Ty Adams injured his hamstring during the race, and the Tigers could only manage to place second and gain eight additional points. Most teams would have been happy with second place, but it was disappointing to this group of competitors. The Tigers finished the day with a total of 59 total points.
Mt Pisgah scored 22 more points in the remaining events to take the lead and win first place with 70 total points. Athens Christian finished second with 60 points, and the Tigers finished third with 59 points.
Other Tiger athletes participating were Jonorian Foots, Dorien Foots, LaMarcus Webb, Gabriel Hinkins, and Schuyler Coney.
Not enough can be said about this group of athletes and coaches. Many were on the football team that finished as state runner-up and the basketball team that went to the final four. They are winners, and this season ranks at the top of the most successful seasons in Tiger Athletics. The seniors can take a few days to relax before they leave for college. The underclassmen have a few hours to rest before heading into spring football, AAU basketball, travel baseball/softball, summer camps, and summer conditioning programs.
Thank you to all these Tiger men and women who represent Swainsboro and Swainsboro High School with class, dignity, and extreme competitiveness.
Final-Boys Standing: Mt Pisgah Christian Academy-70; Athens Christian Academy-60; Swainsboro High-59; Bleckley County-54
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