Track and Field blog: Westminster, Blessed Trinity sweep region titles ahead of state sectionals

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The 2022 GHSA Track and Field State Championships are less than a month away (May 12-14) and those will be held at four separate locations, with A Public and 4A (Hugh Mills Stadium), A Private and 7A (McEachern), 3A, 6A and Adapted (Grisham Stadium) and 2A and 5A (Kinnett) divided into the different venues. The County Championships meets took place three weekends ago and this past weekend with Alexander sweeping the Douglas County Championships and now the Region/Area schedule is consuming the remainder of week’s schedule ahead of the Sectionals that will take place the following weekend on May 7.

Today’s blog will summarize results from this week’s Region championships across the state. In Region 7-5A, Blessed Trinity swept the region with the girls (251) outscoring Woodland and Calhoun’s 110 scores and the boys (202.50) topping runner-up Calhoun (170).

In Region 5-3A, Westminster completed a sweep. The girls outscored second-place Greater Atlanta Christian 238 to 145 and the boys topped Sandy Creek 193.50. The results were much closer out of Region 6-7A, where the Lambert girls edged second-place West Forsyth 175.50 for the title and the South Forsyth boys took the region with a 165.50 score to West Forsyth’s 162. The Region 6-5A championships were held at Lakeside Stadium in Atlanta and Midtown placed second in boys (142) and girls (114.50), while the Jackson girls (176) and Chapel Hill boys (173.33) won the crown. In Region 3-6A, Lakeside-Evans (165) took the girls title and placed second in the boys (159), while Heritage-Conyers took the boys title (194) and earned a runner-up finish in the girls (152).

Athletes across the state have performed at a level that has put Georgia on the map nationally this season and last week’s blog highlighted the incredible rise to prominence by Brunswick junior high jumper Riyon Rankin. Rankin finished the 2021 track season with a third-place 6-foot-6 leap in the high jump at state, which was shy of his season-best of 6-foot-8. A bronze finish as a sophomore was a promising result and Rankin has surpassed that mark this season in spectacular fashion.

Rankin’s breakout campaign started in March when he cleared 7-feet at Glynn Academy’s home meet. That jump remains the best jump by a varsity athlete anywhere in the nation this season.

“It’s just dedication to wanting to be great,” Pirates head coach Brian Edwards told The Brunswick News.

The track season started just two weeks after the basketball season and Rankin opened the year with a 6-foot-8 jump at the Richmond Hill meet. Just two meets later and Rankin set this year’s national best and coach Edwards is proud of how Rankin has dedicated his time and energy into maximizing his abilities.

Rankin matched his own record this past weekend and cleared 7-0 again to win the Region 2-6A high jump—granting him more attention and opening up opportunities to possibly represent the United States in the Olympics if his trajectory continues.

As for the other standout performances this past weekend. Ridgeland’s Logan Montgomery took the Region7-4A championship in the shotput with a 65-2, marking the fifth best throw in state history and Dunwoody’s Alon Rogow cleared 16-1 in the pole vault to take the Region 7-7A title. On the track, Southwest DeKalb 4x400 meter relay team clocked a blazing 3:14.33 to take the Region 5-5A title and the Panthers will have their sights set on the state championship next month.

On the girls side, Jonesboro’s Yahnari Lyons dominated the Clayton County Championships by taking first place in the 100 meter dash, 110 hurdles and the 200 meter dash (11.69, 13.90, 23.80) and Westlake’s Collen Branch took the 200 and 100 meter dash at the Region 4-6A championships with a 23.79 and 11.96. Branch bested Lyons by a hundredth of a second in the 200, while Lyons got the faster time in the 100. These two super starts will likely square off in the Class 6A championships.