Competing at the state track meet is no small accomplishment.
When you consider only the top two athletes from each event advance from region, then just making it to state is something to be proud of.
Barrow County was represented by three young men at last week’s state meet in Jefferson, the annual destination for those who excel in track.
This past week saw John Siggers and Skyler Lowe of Winder-Barrow High School, along with Tim Simonton of Apalachee High School test their skills against the best of the best. Only Siggers, who competed in the 110-meter hurdles, is a senior, thus his career came to a close on the big stage.
For Simonton and Lowe, however, talk of next spring and making it back to Jefferson was something both athletes spoke of after competing in their respective events. (Simonton threw the discus for coach Matt Sorrells while Lowe ran the 3,200-meter event for coach Sam Stovall and the Bulldoggs.)
For me, covering the state track meet in Jefferson has become something of a tradition. If my ever-aging memory is correct, I have attended the event every May since 1998. I have been there covering various schools and various athletes, but the magnitude of this event has never been lost on me.
I realize that as I watched Simonton Thursday. It was obvious he was a little nervous, but how could he not be? The AHS athlete would eventually finish 10th overall, overcoming some of the state’s best athletes as well as a few butterflies.
In talking with Simonton, one finds a down-to-earth young man who was simply happy to be representing his school and team. Something tells me a return trip will be in his future concerning the state meet.
Lowe’s performance was nothing short of remarkable considering he is a just a freshman. To run at a steady pace around the track eight times is something I certainly admire as my running days (yes, at one time I could actually get from here to there without falling over) are long behind me.
Now that he has an idea of what competing at state is like, don’t be surprised to see Lowe improve on his 12th place showing before all is said and done in his high school career.
And what more can be said about Siggers, who battled some personal adversity to finish as one of the state’s elite in the 110-meter hurdles. With his high school days now at the final hour, Siggers will begin a new adventure which certainly garners my admiration: he has joined the United States Marine Corp.
Three young men and three standout student-athletes certainly represented their schools, programs and community well.
As we continue to be overwhelmed with negative news from our home base, how great is it to see something positive like what happened at the state track meet in Jefferson last week.
With these three representing our future, perhaps there is hope overall. A tip of the hat goes to each one of them for all they accomplished and will accomplish in the future.
Chris Bridges is the sports editor of the Barrow Journal. Send comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.