The Richmond Hill boys’ track team won its first ever region title last week, and several Wildcats qualified for sectionals. Additionally, two athletes from Bryan County qualified for sectionals at their region meet, also held last week.
The Richmond Hill boys were trailing Bradwell at the Region 2-AAAAAA meet before the final event, pulling off a “come-from-behind” victory by taking first and third places in the 4x400 relay. That gave the Wildcats a 180-174 margin over the Tigers.
“I am super happy for all the athletes and the program,” Coach Levi Sybert said. “We have some amazing students and parent volunteers that really made the meet work as well as it did. The athletes were able to shine at their own school for the first time ever for the region meet, with the guy’s team winning for the first time ever.”
The 4x400 team of Rakim Gonzalez, Jordan Perkins, Demond Fleming and Sam James took first with a time of 3:321.74, while the team of Jordan Mullings-Miller, Matthew Jones, Jarvis Carr and Ian Watson took third with a time of 3:29.29.
Both relay teams advance to sectionals on Saturday in Atlanta. Several Wildcats qualified in multiple events. Carr also qualified in the high jump and triple jump, while Jalen Murray and Jones will also run in the 800. James also qualified in the 400 and 200, and on the qualifying 4x100 relay team along with Matthew Clark, L’Marqez Prather and Fleming. Prather also qualified in the 100, 200 and long jump, with Fleming also qualifying in the long jump.
Gonzalez and Fleming qualified in the 300 hurdles. Murray also qualified in the 1600 along with Jacob Hedgepeth, while Hedgepeth and Rakeem Littles qualified in the 3200. Perkins also qualified in the discus.
For the girls’ team, which finished fourth overall at the region meet, Daryn Petitt and Kayla Gholar qualified for sections in the 1600 and 800. Petitt won the state title in the 800 at the 5A state meet last year.
Pettit and Gholar also qualified for the 4x400 relay along with Kalia Whyte and Tyler Walker. The 4x100 relay team of Walker, Brandi Wright, Bella Debois and Kaiyana Peoples qualified, while Debois, Peoples, Hannah Bryant and Kyra Byrd qualified in the 4x400. Also qualifying were Bryant in the high jump, Whyte and Peoples in the 300 hurdles, Ellie Skinkle in the pole vault and Rebekah Wilder in the 3200.
“We have some really strong athletes this year who were able to win multiple events,” Sybert said. “The relays really bring it all together when we have both the boys and girls 4x100s and two 4x400s per gender qualify for the sectional meet.”
For Bryan County, Malik Bostic and Kimonti Murray qualified for sections at the Region 2-AA meet in the discus and triple jump, respectively. They will compete at Fitzgerald High School on Saturday
“Although it didn't go as well as I had hoped, nearly all our athletes set personal records at the region meet,” Coach Blake Nesmith said. “Our region is really tough. The local AAA meet was going on simultaneous to ours, and our kids that finished 5th, 6th, or even 7th in AA would've won in AAA.”
Nesmith said he was also pleased with the performances of Conner Schaffer (shot put), Arielle Moody (long jump and triple jump), Kizzie Styles (400), and Kyle Hines.
“I'm especially proud of Kyle,” Nesmeth added. “He's a freshman hurdler that was a surprise finalist in the 110 hurdles. He was one of only two kids on the team that didn't miss any practices, and it's nice to see a kid rewarded for hard work.”