Monroe relay team looks to win back to back championship titles

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Published: May. 11, 2023 at 7:33 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - It’s state championship week for the Monroe High School track and field team, and the golden tornadoes’ boys 4x200m relay team is looking to bring home some more hardware.

In last year’s state meet the squad finished in first place, setting a new record in the 4A class with a time of 1:28.71. This year the golden tornadoes are running in a new classification. They’ve moved down one to 3A and they know the competition isn’t going to make going back to back easy.

“It’s harder. The competition is harder,” said the relay’s third leg Johnny Cauley.

Along with the new classification, the record-breaking relay team has added one new face into the mix; Justin Burns. While three of the legs remain the same, the newcomer has been running first leg. Although this is his first year running track, he feels he was the perfect addition to the team.

“It’s a great bond because we’ve been together since middle school so it wasn’t anything new when I came out here. It was just you know go to work. We joke a lot but when it’s time to run we lock in,” said Burns.

With adding a new person into the mix, there’s always a few things that need to be worked on. The relay’s second leg Tykerrius Washington shares what his team had to overcome this season to make it to this point.

“Sometimes we mess up on handoffs and we had to practice a lot on handoffs to get it right.”

The relay team’s fastest time this season was a 1:28.62 which they clocked at the region meet at Hugh Mills last month. To go back to back in state championships they will have to beat Carver Columbus who’s fastest time this year was a 1:27.56.

The time difference, just a little over a second but that doesn’t mean anything to Monroe’s anchor leg Usir Bey. He feels with the state meet being at their home track that gives his team the upper hand over the competition.

“This our house, we been practicing here all year so our team knows the track the best so home field advantage,” said Bey.

The 4x200m relay prelims will begin tomorrow night at 6:00pm and the finals on Saturday starting at 12:50pm.