Raising the total to nine county athletes that made it to the state level in track, runner up Lady Skin Kimberly Williams was added as a participant when a second place finisher from Savannah Country Day bowed out. Williams won a seventh place medal for a 4-feet, 6-inch high jump in a competition where the top eight won a trip to the podium.
Coaches from both ends of the county say all four competing girls showed a strong performance May 1-2 at the ladies state tournament in Albany.
Here is how they placed: Mitzi Cross (BCHS) placed fifth in both the 100 and 200 meter runs, Janelle McKinney placed 14th in the 800 meter run and Heather Vaccaro came in 16th in the discus throw (85 feet).
First year BCHS girls head track coach Major Charles Davis said he is pleased with this season and the next should be even better.
"I was happy way it turned out for this young inexperienced team," Davis said. "This is a good sign for the program. Kimberly is only a freshman, so she’ll be back. Mitzi won’t be back, but the very capable Ashley Jones, who was out this season, will replace her as a sprinter. Bridget Bacon, another freshman who did very well this season, will be back. I’m very excited about next year."
Richmond Hill coaches say the girls just wrapped up a much improved season. Nobody advanced last year versus Vaccaro and McKinney this year.
"They performed well in state," Head Coach Jimmy Hires said. "McKinney is just a sophomore who has two more years to improve. Being at the state meet should make her better prepared and hungry for a top placing. Meanwhile, we have several more young, up and coming athletes on the team."
Assistant Coach Levi Sybert also said the girls did well and that it was McKinney’s second best time of the year at 2:35.
"There was an overwhelming difference between the competition we’ve faced this year and that of the state finals," Sybert said. "The boys have a little bit better shot for a placing this weekend. They are individually ranked higher and have a bit more experience."
The RHHS track state competitors this year represent each grade seeing how Shaquille Walker is a freshman, McKinney is a sophomore, David Cassidy is a junior and Vaccaro is a senior.
Vaccaro is slated to attend Milligan College on a softball scholarship next year.
The BCHS and RHHS boys finalists, along with the rest of the state’s best, compete in the state meet this weekend. Look for results next week.