The state meet for boys track and field took place this past weekend in Albany and resulted in one medal-winning performance when Richmond Hill High School junior David Cassidy placed eighth in the 3200 meter run in a competition where the top eight win a trip to the podium.
Five total county athletes earned the right to participate at the state meet – two from RHHS and three from BCHS.
In a recorded time of 10:35, Cassidy won his state medal by matching the time he won the Region 3-AAA title for the 3200 two weeks prior. He moved from ninth to eighth place by eliminating a 15 meter gap in the last 150 meters of the race. Cassidy also earned the right to compete in the 1600, where he turned in his second best time of the year to earn a 14th place spot.
Wildcat freshman Shaquille Walker turned in his second best time of the year for the 800 meter race at 2:06 to come in 13th place in the state meet. The only time he ran the 800 faster was when he won the Region 3-AAA title in 2:03.
"Shaquille’s time really wasn’t too far off from the top eight finishers," Coach Jimmy Hires said. "I’m extremely proud of both these boys. With their help, the program really improved this year. They’ll both be back next year, so we’re in great shape."
"All in all, the state meet was a very positive experience for the RHHS track team," Assistant Coach Levi Sybert said. "With the experience that is gained from participating in a meet like this, there are great opportunities to grow and succeed in the coming years. David Cassidy proved this by coming back smarter and more driven on his second effort at the state meet. I expect to see the same type of progress with the other athletes next year."
Bryan County High School saw Region 3-A champ Taylor Lucas throw the shot put 44 feet, 6 inches, Region 3-A champ Mike Mitchell throw the discus 99 feet, 6 inches, and Willie Deloach long jump 19 feet, 9.75 inches.
Coach Blake Nesmith said he was a bit disappointed that neither of the three place in the top eight, but that he was proud of them for making it this far.
The program is losing graduating seniors Lucas and Mitchell, but Deloach has two more years in which to improve.
"Willie is just a sophomore, and I think seeing the level of competition at state will help him prepare next year and work a little harder," Nesmith said. "He’s got the ability to be a champ; he’s just got to develop the work ethic necessary for that to happen."