Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- There were no tears for Mimieux Land.

At least not Tuesday.

She had cried long and hard on Monday, the day her grandmother, Lula Spurlin, passed away.

On Tuesday, she dried her eyes and put on a courageous performance, leading Monroe's girls track & field team to a second Region 1-AAA title in a row at Hugh Mills, where Land won three individual titles and often looked in the stands to where her grandmother would always sit.

"She just wasn't my grandmother, she was the whole team's grandmother,'' Land said. "She came to every track meet. She was always there.''

Then she paused a minute.

"It was hard for me knowing she wasn't there in the stands,'' Land said. "But I know she was looking down on me.''

Land's devotion to her grandmother touched the entire team.

"They really supported me,'' Land said. "They kept telling me that she is looking down on me. It made me feel a little better.''

Land was simply inspirational. She won the long jump, the triple jump and the high jump and also ran on both of Monroe's winning relay teams.

"She showed tremendous character today,'' said Monroe assistant principal Ben Johnson. "She's awesome.''

No one at Monroe would argue. Land, only a sophomore, has had a sensational season, and is expected to be a force at next weekend's state meet back at Hugh Mills, where Monroe will try to defend its state title.

Land owns the best high jump in Georgia (5-8) regardless of class, but only needed a jump of 5-2 to win the region title. She won the long jump at 17-8 1/4 and the triple jump at 38-2.

Monroe demolished the field to win its second consecutive region title with 245 points (Land scored 35 by herself) and Westover finished second with 146 points.

Monroe dominated every running event, except the 3,200. The top two qualify for the state meet, and Monroe finished 1-2 in every sprint.

Westover went 1-2 in the 3,200 as Ericka Taylor, who won the 1,600 region title last week, won in 12:35.94 and Sachi Daughety was second. Westover also went 1-2 in the pole vault. Alysia Pitts won at 8-0, and Kayla Kirkland was second at 7-0.

Westover's Clennysha Jones was second to Land in the triple jump and high jump, and Westover's Tiffany Harris was second to Monroe's Alexandria Childs, who won with a toss of 108 feet in the discus, while Monroe's Jasmine Harris was second in the shot put.

But when the gun went off, just about everything on the track belonged to Monroe.

"It's pretty sweet when it works out like that,'' Monroe coach Octavia Jones said. "It worked out the way we had it on paper. We went 1-2 from the 800 on down.''

Monroe's Destinee Collins won the 800 (2:33.01) and Whitney Crawford was second. Davone Anduze won the 400 (1:00.9) and Jade Perry was second. Lakeisha Jackson and Ashley Johnson went 1-2 in the 100 hurdles, just like they did in the 300 hurdles, which were held last week. Jackson, the defending state champ, won the 100 hurdles in 14.81.

Maikea Davis won the 100 (12.06) and the 200 (24.74) and Alanesha McFarland was second in the 100, while Perry finished second in the 200. They even went 1-2 in the long jump as Sheniqua Young, who led Monroe in long jumpers (3-pointers during basketball season) finished second to Land.

But the day belonged to Land, who was met with some hugs after the meet.

"I really have to commend her for coming out and competing the way she did,'' Jones said. "That says a lot about her. I'm so proud of her.

"I'm proud of the team, too. This team is so close. We're like a family. When they found out they were there to support her.''