Trojans finish fourth at state

Split frame of boy and girl doing hurdles and relays
Photo: Glenn Holmes

Following two days of sitting in first place in the Class AAAAA standings, the Carrollton High School boys' track and field team finished in fourth place when the dust finally settled late Saturday afternoon at Grisham Stadium.

As the host of the Class AAAAA-AAAAAA portion of the GHSA Track and Field State Championships, the Trojans leaned on their strength in the field to jump out to the opening-day lead, but with only one runner qualifying for Saturday's finals on the track, the other top contenders were able to make ground and eventually pass them on the final day.

Even so, the 41 points left Carrollton as a top-five finisher as Dutchtown (60) pulled away to win the team title, followed by Starr's Mill (48), Fayette County (45), Carrollton (41) and Cedar Shoals (29) among the top five.

As the lone Trojan representative in Saturday's finals, Gary Savage placed sixth in the 110-meter hurdles (14.74).

On Thursday, senior thrower Jeremiah Pierce closed out his prep career by placing first in the shot put (61-1) and second in the discus (174-4), while Joe Street turned in a second-place finish in the pole vault (14-0), followed by Trojan teammate Drew Traylor in third (13-6). Mike Higgins added a fourth-place finish in the high jump (6-4) and Robert Johnson also reached the podium in the shot put by placing eighth (46-2.75).

The Carrollton girls fell short of qualifying for Saturday's finals with several near-misses from Friday's preliminaries on the track.

Kaysi Franklin placed ninth in the 100 hurdles (15.32), while the 400-meter relay squad of Fatima Edmondson, Dajah Sheppard, Olivia Dukes and Scout Jennings came in 10th (47.42). In the 300 hurdles, Katie Dortch placed 13th (47.85), followed by Franklin in 16th (50.11).

The mile relay quartet of Dortch, Dukes, Jennings and Sheppard closed out the day with a 10th-place showing (4:00.11) in what proved to be the final race of the season for the Lady Trojans, who had a promising spring campaign behind a slew of young talent for head coach Gwen Engram.

The highlight of the state meet for the Lady Trojans was a state championship performance from freshman Payton Phillips in the pole vault on Thursday morning, as she cleared 11-5 to win her first state title at the high school level.

The Villa Rica High School boys' track and field team also wrapped up its season on Friday in the running prelims, where the quartet of T.J. Brown, Terry Joiner, Maxfield Patrick and Dushaunte Holloway came in 13th in the 400-meter dash (42.46) in a school-record time.

On Thursday, Wildcat senior standout Braxton Shackleford closed out his prep career by placing fourth in the triple jump (45-8.5).

Buford finished with 73 points to win the Class AAAAA girls' crown, while the Alexander girls (83) dominated the AAAAAA team competition by defeating second-place Harrison (48.50) by 34.5 points. Allatoona (68) won the Class AAAAAA boys' state title.