For the first time in 37 years, male student-athletes are competing in the GHSA Track and Field Championships at Albany's Hugh Mills Stadium.
Two of those young men wasted little christening their first visit for a track meet with some gold.
Pelham's Malik Mango claims the Class A-Public discus and shot put titles Thursday. As only a sophomore, Mango hopes he has a lot of growth left to go. He believes some more growth will help unlock his true potential.
For now though, he's just celebrating the moment.
"I put in the work. I gave things that most other people wouldn't give to get to this point," Mango says. "I really owe all this to my coaches and my city. They pushed me to do this, and I'm loving every minute of it.
Mango wasn't the only south Georgia state champion claiming gold at Hugh Mills Stadium Thursday. Cook's Brandon Doe won the Class AAA high jump with a jump of 6'2 on less tries.
In other areas of the state, south Georgia was still well represented on the top medal stand.
Colquitt County's Elizabeth Funderburk is your girls' Class AAAAAAA 3200m champion, after besting her closest opponent by around 5 seconds. Lee County's Akileis Leroy claimed the Class AAAAAA shot put crown with a throw of 50' 10.
Day two of the meet begins bright and early Friday morning at Hugh Mills Stadium, with the girls competing in the field finals. The boys will try to qualify for Saturday's finals in Friday's prelims.
Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.