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Track and Field: Rich, Cunningham earn top spots in sectionals

Memphis Rich and Billy Cunningham had first-place finishes for the Richmond Hill boys’ track team in last Saturday’s Class 7A sectional track meet which was held at Valdosta.

With the top eight qualifiers qualifying for the state meet, Rich, who has signed with Appalachian State, took first in the 1600 meters as he was timed in 4:21.86. Cunningham, a junior who finished second in the long jump in the region meet, turned in his best performance of the season as he soared 23 feet, four inches.

Rich will have his work cut out for him in the state meet which will be held Thursday through Saturday at Carrollton. The top eight times in the sectional held at Powder Springs were all under 4:20 whereas Cunningham was only one inch behind Brandon Dadel of Kennesaw Mountain who won his sectional.

Rich also qualified as a member of the fourth-place 4 x 800 relay team which included Elijah Pitts, Benjamin Hall and Noah Sybert who qualified in three events as he was sixth in the 1600 and seventh in the 3200. Hall was sixth in the 3200.

Other boys’ qualifiers included Kendrick Joshua (fourth) in the 300 meter hurdles, Garrett McDade (fourth) in the pole vault and Demetri Hinton (fifth) in the triple jump.

The girls had qualifiers in eight individual events and qualified three relay teams.

Freshman Julia Anastasio advanced in three events as did junior Mmekom Inyang.

Anastasio was fifth in the 800, second in the 1600 and a member of the third-place 4 x 800 team which included Adeline Aithen, Jolee Mitchell and Somaria Courtney. Inyang was third in the 100-meter hurdles, second in the shot put and in the 4 x 100 teamed with Jasmine Wood, Alexa Hamlin and Jayla Lawrence to finish third.

Jada Brown was third in the shot and fourth in the disc while Julia Wilson took seventh in the 1600 and eighth in the 3200. Kyle Kitchens-Hayes was seventh in the 3200 in 11:46.62 to Wilson’s 11:46.63.

Other girls’ qualifiers were Kinley Gibson (5th) in the 400 and Chloe Morris (6th) in the pole vault while the 4 x 200 relay team of Hamlin, Lawrence, Gibson and Kalyn Heileman was fourth.
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