DUE TO their proximity on the calendar to the track and field postseason and where they’re located, the Jefferson Relays have served as a primer of sorts for the state meet for nearly 50 years.
That tradition continues this Saturday when the 47th annual Jefferson Relays commence at 10 a.m.
The sneak-preview opportunity is especially true for boys’ squads since all classifications of the men’s state meets are run at Jefferson’s Memorial Stadium. But the number of teams attending in recent years has waned with some region meets starting so much earlier now and coaches looking not to overload their teams this close to qualifying time.
“It’s almost too close,” Jefferson coach Tim Corbett said.
Still, the opportunity is there for those who want it. The Jefferson Relays are structured like a region or state meet, giving athletes a chance to acclimate themselves to what they might see come early May at state. The event will draw at least 18 teams from multiple classifications to the Dragons’ track. The competition will be divided into two competitions.
Group I will comprise the larger schools, including last year’s boys’ champion, Madison County. Group II includes the smaller schools including Jefferson, East Jackson, Elbert County, Hart County, North Oconee and Lovett.
Jefferson’s boys won the smaller classification title last year, led by Derrick Perkins who won the triple jump (41-3.25) and 300-meter hurdles (40.81 seconds).
The field events will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Track events start at 1 p.m., with relay events beginning at 4 p.m.
Not only do the Relays give other schools a chance to prep for state, it gives Jefferson High School a chance to acclimate itself for what will be a busy stretch of hosting big track meets.
After the Relays, Jefferson will host the Region 8-AA boys’ meet April 23 and 25 and the all-classification Georgia Games that run from May 5-7.
“Yeah, I kind of get that feeling coming in after spring break … It’ s all about to start.”
“It’s a flurry,” Corbett said.
NOTES: The meet will begin with the field events at 10 a.m. … General admission is $5 … Eighteen schools have committed to participate, but Corbett hopes to add two more this week.