The Lady Bears brought home the first place team trophy on Saturday, March 17, at the annual Roswell Relays, with solid performances across both track and field events. Both the girls' and boys' teams set records and brought home their share of medals throughout the day.
The day started out cloudy, with a chance of thundershowers, but that did not stop the events from proceeding. Field events were up first, and the Lady Bears earned points for the team win in the long jump, pole vault and discus. Ryan Jackson('20) in the last flight, placed first in the long jump, with a 17'8" jump, for her first of several gold medals throughout the day. Michaela Prevallet ('20) and Erin Greene ('18) finished in 7th and 8th in the pole vault, both clearing 9'6" with newcomer Michaela setting a personal record. Pole vault ties are adjudicated based on least numbers of attempts to clear the height, followed by fewest missed total at any tie. On Saturday, 5th-8th place all cleared 9'6", so the contest was tight. Harmoni Brown continued her great season so far with a 7th place in the discus, throwing for a mark of 84'6", besting her personal record by over 5' and being just 9" shy of the school record set two years ago.
The boys' field events were highlight by a first place, 5'10" clearance in the high jump by Connor McDaniel('19), which ties the school record set back in 2014. Connor also earned points for the boys team with a 7th place, 18'5.5" long jump. Fellow junior Turner Mignerey also brought home a medal, with a 3rd place finish in the pole vault, clearing 13' for the first time.
Racing started at 10am with the 4x1600m relays. The girls team, led by Grace Gerlach ('19) handing off to Afton Hirschi('20), followed by senior Chloe Phelps, and anchored by sophomore Ashley Sechrest, set a school record by 1 minute and 17 seconds with their time of 22:33, and averaging a 5:38 1600. They easily clinched second and brought home silver. The boys team included senior Chris Anderson, and juniors Jack Donovan, Mark VanDeWater and anchor Jack Filan. Their time of 18:51 also set a school record, with an average time of 4:43, and had the team standing on the first place position for their awards.
The 4x1600m was followed by a fun new race this year, a JV co-ed 8x200m. Each team could choose the order of their runners, and the Cambridge team edged out Cherokee at the last second for third. Cambridge's choice to run all four girls and then all four boys paid off. There was to be a planned break in races at this point, however, the weather had other plans and field events were put on hold, too. All athletes and coaches were sheltered in the Roswell cafeteria for 30 minutes to wait out a thunderstorm. Once the all clear was given, events resumed and within half an hour blue skies helped dry out the track for the remainder of the afternoon.
When racing resumed, the girls' 4x100 relay team of Taya Jackson ('19), Lexi Lay ('20), Michaela Prevallet ('20) and Ryan Jackson ('20) continued to accumulate points for the team with their fifth place finish of 49.86 seconds. This was .25 seconds behind the record set last spring. A gold medal and school record performance in the Distance Medley (DMR) came next. Sophomore Ashley Sechrest led off with the 1200m leg, followed by an incredible 400m lap by freshman Kathryn Suplee, and a two lap 800m by junior Delaney Goodell. Senior Lily Elston held off Woodland, who had beaten the girls in the 4x1600, to anchor the 1600m leg. They beat the record set a year ago by 37 seconds. The distance runners on the boys' team then won their second gold, with a win in their DMR. Carson Ertwine ('19) led off the first 1200m leg, and handed off to sprinter Jack McHale for the 400. This was followed by middle distance specialist Tanner LeeMaster('18) for 800m, and Jack Filan ('19) anchored to race his second 1600m of the day. Their winning time beat the school record, also set a year ago, by 25 seconds.
The DMRs were followed by one of only three non-relay events on the track. Ryan Jackson('20) placed second and beat her own school record by running an incredible 12.20 seconds. Both Michaela Prevallet('20) and Taya Jackson('19) earned points in the 100m hurdles, placing second and fifth respectively. Michaela's silver medal performance was just 1 second off the school record. Garrick Kourany('19) set a hurdle school record with his performance of 44.30 in the 300m hurdles.
The sprint medley relay is a 1600m race comprised of two 200m legs, a 400m and an 800m leg. The girls' team of Quiniche Peets('19), Lakina Charles('18), Lauren Harris('19) and Delaney Goodell('19) finished in 4:32 for new school record, and the bronze medal. Delaney managed to hold off Milton in those last two laps to win heat #3, but first and second were taken by teams in heats 2 and 1. The boys team didn't break the school record, but managed to add some points to the boys team total with their sixth place finish. This team was made up of sprinters Christian Graham, Ayoub Nuru, Caelen Jones ('21), and distance specialist Carson Ertwine('19) as the 800m anchor.
The final two relays for the day were the 4x800 and 4x400. The girls took home gold with new school records in both races. The 4x800 team was comprised of Clarissa Beck('19), Lily Elston('18), Julianna Finelli('20), and Isabel Suero('19) and brought home gold with a time of 10:11.50. The 4x400 relay was led off by Lexi Lay('20) handing off to Kathryn Suplee('21), and then finished by sisters Taya('19) and Ryan ('20) Jackson. Their time of 4:00.75 was supported by the Jackson sisters both running 58 second laps. On the boys' side, the 4x800 team of Kaine Dudley('21), Zach Ellison('18), Yahya Merchant('20), and Kyler Wilson('19) finished in third place to lay claim to their trip to the medal stand. For the 4x400, a medal was not to be had, but the team comprised of Jack McHale, Hayden Gardella, Evan Bell, and Tanner LeeMaster finished in 8th to secure another point towards the team total.
With a total of 7 gold, 3 silver, and 3 bronze medal finishes, along with 6 new girls' school records, and 3 new boys' school records the Roswell Relays were a great lead-in to the Fulton County Championships to be held on Saturday, March 24 and Monday, March 26 hosted by Westlake High at the other end of Fulton County.
We wish all the athletes the best as they compete for county bragging rights next weekend!