May 9, 2003
The Monroe girls track team came into this year's state meet with a game plan for winning a third straight state team title and so far the Lady Tornadoes are executing it better than their coaches had hoped.
Monroe is in second place after eight events but they have 32 points which is just where coach Octavia Jones wants them heading into Saturday's finals in the track events.
That's because three time defending AAA champion Northeast Macon is expecting to score at least 40 points in 200 and 400 meter dashes with Stephanie Smith and Moteak Sanford in both hurdle events.
The Lady Tornadoes also plan to score points eight of the nine events tomorrow.
Junior Shequita Draper started the field events by winning the long jump at 19' 1 1/4".
Her nearest competitor was over one foot behind Draper who besides leading the Lady Tornadoes to the AAA team title also hopes to earn the most points in the classification.
Shequita Draper said "Today I just wanted to go out there and win and break the state record. But I didn't but I did get first.
Draper earned herself and Monroe 10 points for her win in the long jump while Cherokee Cole added 14 points with a second place finish in the AAA discus and a third place showing in the shot put.
Rashundra Luster earned seven points when she finished tied for second place in the high jump.
The Lady Tornadoes now have 32 points after the field events and head into Saturday's track finals with entries in eight of the nine events and have double entries in four of those races.
The Westover Lady Patriots may not be in the running for the team title like last year but junior Brittany Brown earned ten points by winning the AAA triple jump.
Brown, like Draper, simply outclassed the rest of the field by almost a foot and a half with a winning jump of 37' 1/2".
It is the best jump of her career and it came on her fifth of six attempts.
Brittany Brown said "I usually get stronger on my last jumps. I don't know why it is different from everyone else but I jump better on my last jumps.
Westover's Rebecca Okashah finished fourth in the AAA pole vault and Jamila Young finished sixth in the 3200 meter run.
Another area athlete to win a state title in the field events was Irwin County's Latoya White won the AA discus title.
The finals of the remaining track events start at 1:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Hugh Mills Stadium.
Here are the team standings through 8 events
Landmark Christian 62
Schley Co. 20
Whitefield Academy 16
Jenkins Co. 12
Pace Academy 22
Greater Atlanta Chr. 21
Holy Innocents' 18
Bleckley Co. 17
Woodward Academy 21
Gordon Central 14
NW Whitfield 22
North Gwinett 18