April 25, 2008
Albany -- The field events at the GISA Track and Field State Championships took center stage Friday at Hugh Mills Stadium.
Deerfield's Andre Young competed in track for the first time this year, and won the AAA long jump, with a leap of 21' 3".
It's the first state championship for the Knights hoops star.
"I never got it in basketball, but I got it now in track, so it feels pretty good," said the Clemson signee.
Young's Teammate Tony Zenon placed second in the AAA long jump.
In the girls Class-A discus, Terrell Academy's Julie Davis won her second state title, shattering the state record with a throw of 108 feet, and bettering the old mark by 3 1/2 feet.
Davis said, "I had no idea, my coach didn't even tell me. He told me after I did it, but it's a sweet feeling."
Westwood teammates Riley Anderson and Jordan Newsome finished 1-2 in the Class-A boys Pole Vault.
Tiftarea's Alexia Sumner set a new state record with a height of 10 feet in the AA girls vault.
Westwood's Brett Shiver tied the Class-A boys long jump state record with a leap of 21 feet.
"It's awesome man," says Shiver. "Tied a state record. It's the best feeling in the world, just about."
Sherwood Christian's Stephen Cannady and Southland's Sean Kobs battled in the high jump arena, literally raising the bar, until Cannady would finally prevail with a jump of 6 feet, 5 inches.
"I was definitely nervous, it was nerve wracking," says Cannady. "It feels good. I practiced hard, and did it."
Deerfield's Ivy Puckett finished state runner-up in the AAA girls high jump.
The Knights John Smith was a state champion Pole Vaulter in the GHSA last year, and was looking to accomplish the feat again this year in the GISA with Deerfield.
Smith came into the event with a vault 2 1/2 feet better than anyone else in the field.
After waiting around for over two hours to compete, the senior set a new state record on his first vault, clearing 14 feet, 4 inches.
Smith continued to raise the bar, increasing the new record to 15 feet, before coming up short on his attempt at sixteen feet.
The Knights state champion said he was a little disappointed with his height, but the senior says he can't be too disappointed.
"Winning is winning, I guess," says Smith. "I can't complain. I like winning, but I wish I could have jumped better than what I did."
Smith has college scholarship offers from both Auburn and Georgia.
Deerfield's Kelly Conway was looking for her second state title of the week, and eighth of her career, after winning the 1600 meter run Thursday.
The sophomore went into the 800 as the six-seed, but would win another state championship, finishing in a time of 2:21:84, one second off the state record.
"I'm still really pleased, because that was a personal record for me," says Conway. "I would have been something extra to get the state record, but I can just shoot for that next year."
The sophomore will go for her ninth state championship Saturday in the 3200 meter race.
Randolph-Southern's Trae Rice won the AA boys discus at 132-feet, 9-inches.
Terrell Academy's Morgan Donaldson took first in the girls Class-A long jump at 15-feet, 10 1/2 inches.
Brookwood's Kira Huntley won the shot put state title with a throw of 34-feet, 4 1/2 inches.
Tiftarea's Wes Carter won the Class AA boys long jump state championship.