JUST AS they’ve done for most of the year, East Jackson’s Cale Pirtle and Jefferson’s Mason Hamrick topped the field over weekend at the state sectionals.
Pirtle won both the 1,600 and 3,200-meter races at the Class AA East sectionals in Barnesville to qualify for the state meet in Jefferson May 10-12. Meanwhile, Hamrick – only a sophomore — continues to position himself for what he hopes is a second consecutive Class AA pole vault title with a first-place finish at sectionals.
Pirtle ran a 4:39.33 in the 1,600 meters to win that race by .23 of a second over second-place JaCorey Carson of East Laurens. He prevailed in the 3,200 meters more easily as his time of 10:14 was 23 seconds faster than that of second-place finisher Irving Melo.
Pirtle is one of four East Jackson athletes headed to state. The others are Jeff Chandler (second, shot put, 46-10), Montell Reynolds (eighth, 300-meter hurdles, 41.47 seconds) and the lone East Jackson girls’ representative, Santana Davis (sixth, shot put, 32-6).
As for Hamrick, he recovered from a second-place finish last week at region with a career-best 14-foot vault in the pole vault to finish first at sectionals.
Hamrick will look to become a two-time champion next weekend at the familiar confines of Memorial Stadium when Jefferson hosts the boys’ state track meet.
Joining him will be Jefferson teammate James Howard, who vaulted a 13-0 to finish second in the pole vault, and Carson Newman, who placed fifth in the discus with a throw of 133-11.
FIVE JHS GIRLS QUALIFY Jefferson sent six girls to sectionals, and five of them qualified for state this weekend in Albany.
The girls were led by Reese Bowles who finished second in both the 1,600 meters (5:45.19) and the 3,200 meters (12:32).
Other Lady Dragons securing a spot at state were Holly Baron (sixth, 800 meters, 2:37.85), Sasha Parker (sixth, 3,200 meters, 13:28.20), Rebecca Stoudenmire (second, pole vault, 11-6) and Abby Carson (sixth, pole vault, 7-6).
REYNOLDS LEADS JACKSON CO. Jackson County will have one representative at the boys’ state competing in two events as Yohan Reynolds finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles (15.52 seconds) and third in the 300-meter hurdles (39.97 seconds).