After a girls' region championship and a record number of athletes qualifying for sectionals, the Bears headed to Grovetown High School near Augusta on Saturday, May 4 to secure their right to compete at the state meet in Carrollton on May 9-11. They did not disappoint, and there will be more Bears at the state meet than ever before.
The day started with thunderstorm warnings in the forecast and an anticipated earlier start for most events. Ashley Sechrest, Clarissa Beck and Jack Filan completed the first races of the day starting just after 9:30am. Ashley finished first and will be first seed at state for the 1600m 6A race, and Clarissa finished in 8th to secure her trip to state. Jack followed Ashley's lead with an easy win, and will also be seeded first in Carrollton on Thursday night. After the race, the field events were completed before all races, giving those runners a chance to rest before running later in the afternoon in the two mile.
Three athletes represented Cambridge in field events. Junior Ryan Jackson competed at her first sectionals after injuries plagued her the last two years, and had a mark of 17'3.5" for 8th place. Similarly, senior Connor McDaniel finished in 8th place, clearing 6' along with those in 5th through 7th place and will head to state for his second year in a row. Liv Bollenbacher cleared a new personal best height of 10' for an 8-way tie for 1st place in the pole vault and will be the only freshman representing Cambridge at state.
The thunderstorms held off, and racing started again at 1:50pm. The girls 4x100 team of Michaela Prevallet ('20), Ryan Jackson, Kathryn Suplee ('21), and Grace Wolf ('20) are headed to state with their 8th place finish. After a very short rest, Ryan and Kathryn then ran in the 400m dash. Ryan finished fourth in her heat and 9th overall, missing the state meet cut-off by fractions of a second with her time of 5903. Kathryn finished fifth in her heat, with a new school record of 58.33 seconds, for 8th overall so will represent the big "C" at state in the event. Grace Wolf was the only Lady Bear in the 100, and ran a fast 12.67 seconds, but shy of qualification with a 10th place finish
Michaela Prevallet then qualified for a second event at state, this time individually in the 100mH. Her time of 15.34 earned her first place honors, and was 0.04 seconds shy of her school record. Senior Delaney Goodell ran for the win in her heat, and finished second overall in the 800 with a time of 2:22. This was followed by the 200m dash, and after just missing the qualification in the 400m, Ryan Jackson left no doubt that she wanted to get to state in another event by finishing first in her heat and second overall. Her time of 25.05 is a new school record.
Three athletes competed in the 300mH. Grace Wolf and Taya Jackson('19) secured berths at state by finishing 1st and 2nd in their heat and 3rd and 4th overall, with times of 46.26 and 46.55. Spencer Gray('20) had an off day, hitting a few hurdles and finishing in 16th with a time of 43.53, two seconds over his school record.
The two mile would be the second to last event of the afternoon, with four bears competing in the heat and humidity that seemed to have settled over the track. In the girls' race, Ashley Sechrest earned her second first place finish of the day, and Clarissa Beck fought her way to 5th place. Jack Filan also crossed the line in first, with all three moving on to state. Freshman Lyle Donovan had a stellar race, finishing in 9th and just out of qualification. He has had the best times for a freshmen in Cambridge's history, so look at for him over the next three years.
Two teams from Cambridge qualified to race in the girls' 4x400 relay. The 'A' team of Grace Wolf, Taya Jackson, Kathryn Suplee, and Ryan Jackson, all having earned individual event trips to state, will be running at state after finishing 1st in their heat and 2nd overall with a time of 4:00. The 'B' team, comprised of Grace Counsell('21), Liv Bollenbacher, Michaela Prevallet, and Delaney Goodell, raced well, and had a 13th place finish in 4:16.
In summary, we congratulate all the athletes for even making the cut to get to sectionals, and offer the best of luck to these athletes competing Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the 6A State Championship!
Clarissa Beck: 1600m, 3200m
Liv Bollenbacher: Pole Vault
Jack Filan: 1600m, 3200m
Delaney Goodell: 800m
Ryan Jackson: Long Jump, 4x100m, 200m, 4x400m
Taya Jackson: 300m hurdles, 4x400m
Connor McDaniel: High Jump
Michaela Prevallet: 4x100m, 100m hurdles
Ashley Sechrest: 1600m, 3200m
Kathryn Suplee: 4x100m, 400m, 4x400m
Grace Wolf: 4x100m, 300m hurdles, 4x400m