The Commerce High School boys’ track and field team made history last week, as the Tigers took home a state championship trophy for the first time since 1962 – when track meets were still measured in yards rather than meters.
At the 2013 GHSA boys’ state track and field meet (Georgia Olympics) in Jefferson, the Tigers outperformed all other class A public schools in the state, earning 58 points, and edging Terrell County (52.5) and Claxton (47.5) for the title.
While the title wasn’t exactly expected, Commerce coach Pam Canup knew there was a good chance her squad would be in contention.
“We all sort of knew that there was a chance that we could possibly be in the hunt,” Canup said. “We were thinking that if we could get out of (Thursday) with 30 points, we knew we would put a lot of pressure on the other teams.”
The Tigers did just that. After Nahum Mendoza added another six points in Friday’s 3200m run, Commerce moved up to first place heading into the final running events on a cold and wet Saturday afternoon.
“They came set and ready to go on Saturday,” added Canup. “It didn’t matter that it was raining, or that it was cold. They were focused and ready, regardless of the conditions.”
D Ramsey and Terrick Ramsey both ran times far better than where they were seeded in their respective running events. The fifth-seeded 4x100 relay team also outperformed expectations with a second-place finish.
Every single Tiger competitor placed in the top-10 in their individual events, including two individual state champions – Micah Eason in shot put, and D Ramsey in the triple jump.
Ramsey, who also placed second in the long jump, the 400m dash and the 4x100 relay, was recognized for earning the most points (28 total) out of all individuals in class A public schools.
Canup said the coaches were proud of the hard work and mental toughness of all her state competitors.
“We are very proud of what all they accomplished – not just this year, but all the years in their careers leading up to this,” she said. “They’ve been hard workers. We’ve had some good times, but when it came down to business, they were very serious.”
Of the seven Tigers who competed in the Georgia Olympics, four are graduating seniors (D Ramsey, Terrick Ramsey, Eason and Quay Little) and Canup says they will be sorely missed.
Even so, she hopes that with a state title under her belt and a growing recreation track program in Commerce, that the CHS track and field team will gain more prestige, attention and recruits.
“I think there are a lot of good kids coming up. I think the numbers will definitely increase in a few years, and hopefully next year, considering how well the boys and girls have done this year,” she said.
The CHS girls’ track and field team will look for similar results this Thursday, as it vies for the GHSA state title in Albany. Lily Mather, Hannah Crumley, Cameron Hawkins, Sydney McClure, Anna Flint, Rachel Floyd and Zooey Forrester will attempt to bring home a second state championship in just two weeks. Field events kick off Thursday, May 9 at 9:30 a.m. The event continues on Friday with running preliminaries starting at 4:00 p.m., then commences on Saturday after opening ceremonies at 11:15 a.m.
Individual Tiger results from the 2013 Georgia Olympics are: 4x100 relay team of D Ramsey, Terrick Ramsey, Jamir Walton and Quay Little, second (43.61); D Ramsey, second, long jump (21-1), second, 400m dash (50.75) and first, triple jump (44-2); Micah Eason, first, shot put (48-2.5); Terrick Ramsey, third, 100m dash (11.46); Nahum Mendoza, seventh, 1600m run (5:04.81) and third, 3200m run (11:12.75); and Jose Rodriguez, tenth, 3200m run (12:05.54).