January 22, 2020

Brave track athletes advance to State Sectionals

(Franklin, GA) — Heard High hosted the Region 5-AA Track Championships at HCMS this week and several Braves earned spots at next weekend’s GHSA Class AA State Sectionals.

Senior Holly Moreland set new school records in the 1600M and the 3200M this season

The two-day event began on Tuesday with field events and closed out Thursday with the majority of the running events.

The Lady Braves finished as Region 5-AA runner-ups for the second consecutive year falling just short on team points to Region Champion Lamar County.

The Lady Braves scored 133 points while the Trojans came up with 138.

The Brave male athletes came in fourth place with 77 points with the Trojans claiming the Region 5-AA crown at 165 points.

The top four finishers in each event earned the trip to Gordon Central High School in Calhoun next Saturday (4/28) for the state sectionals and if they can earn top four spots there, each athlete would advance to the Class AA State Championships May 10-12 at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany, GA.

Leading the way for the Lady Braves was once again senior long distance runner Holly Moreland. Moreland established a new Heard High School record in the 3200 Meter at 13:02.90 and now owns the school record in both the 3200 and the 1600 as she took home region titles with first place finishes in both events.

Moreland also earned a spot at sectionals along with Sophia Long, Miranda Harbin, and Hermonie Garza by finishing third in the 4×400 relay.

Sophia Long had an outstanding region meet as well scoring sectional appearances in a team high four events. Long finished second in the Triple Jump, fourth in the 400M and teamed with Harbin, Garza, and Shania Jackson for a third place finish in the 4×100 relay.

The only other Region 5-AA Championship went to field event specialist Tori Caldwell who won the top prize in the Pole Vault with a mark of 7-06.00. Caldwell also finished a strong second in the High Jump with a mark of 4-10.00.

Freshman Hermonie Garza punched her ticket to sectionals in three events by claiming second place in the Long Jump with a mark of 14-11.00 to go along with qualifying in both relay events.

Another strong performance was turned in by true freshman Beth Taylor in the Discus Throw. Taylor’s mark of 101-09.00 earned her second place and a slot in Calhoun next week.

Senior Lacey Hindman is heading to sectionals after finishing third in the 3200 Meter.

Other sectional qualifiers earning spots with fourth place finishes were Harbin in the 100 Meter Hurdles, Rachel Butler in the 300 Meter Hurdles, Morgan Kay in the Triple Jump and Alyssa Brown in the High Jump.

In the male competitions, several Braves also earned trips to the sectionals including freshman distance runner Ethan Lawson. Lawson qualified to move on with a strong second place finish in the 3200 and a fourth place finish in the 1600.

Jartavious Thornton qualified for sectionals in both hurdle events Thursday

Another strong finish by a freshman was Bailey Scarborough who came in second place in the Pole Vault with a mark of 9-00.00 to cash his ticket to Calhoun next week.

Rounding out the male qualifiers with fourth place finishes were freshman Tae Gray in the Long Jump, Micaiah Austin in the Shot Put, Mack Smith in the Discus Throw, and Josh Caldwell in the Pole Vault, and Jartavious Thornton in both the 110M and 300M Hurdle events.

Thornton also teamed up with Gray, Tray Dunson, and Austin to qualify in the 4×100 relay.

Overall, head track coach Cory Shelnutt was pleased with the efforts of all of his athletes and assistant coaches.

“I couldn’t be prouder of how our girls competed — we could have don a little better in the field events but we had a couple of hiccups Tuesday that we just could not recover from it” said Shelnutt after the meet. “I also could not be prouder of some of these boys just laying it on the line and competing. We had more to qualify this year for sectionals than last year which is a good sign for our program.”

“The best news is our roster is full of freshman and sophomores which means our future is very bright,” adds Shelnutt. “I want to give a special thanks to my assistant coaches Tyler Napier and Kayla Ousley for helping me managing these nearly 40 kids day in and day out since January — I can’t say enough about the work they’ve done.”

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