Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- In baseball, there's a 10-run rule. When it gets out of hand in football there's a running clock. It's the same in basketball, where they let the clock run.

But Tuesday evening, there was no mercy rule, no running clock at Hugh Mills Stadium, where nothing could save the teams in the Region 1-AAA track & field meet.

The only thing running was Westover.

And the Patriots just kept running and running and running.

By the time it was over, Westover had crushed the field, racking up 242 points to win its third region title in the last four years and to serve notice that when the Patriots show up at the Class AAA state track & field meet in Jefferson on May 5, they are coming with a busload.

"That's a lot of points,'' Westover track coach Harley Calhoun said. "I don't think we've ever scored that many points in a region meet. That's a lot of points ... "

Westover is that loaded.

Monroe, the defending region champ, was second with 95 points. Cairo (93) was a close third, followed by Americus-Sumter (81), Worth (59), Dougherty (18) and Crisp (4).

The Patriots will send 17 athletes to the state meet in 15 events and could make a run at Carrollton, the defending state champ.

"We've got a good young group, and they work hard,'' Calhoun said. "Our goal was to be a state-caliber team, and I think we are a state-caliber team.

"When we went to our first meet in Tifton (on March 5), I told the other coaches that I thought we had a chance to be a state-caliber team. I told them I thought we would have the pieces to be a top four team at state. We won that meet, and then we had our ups and downs, and then we seemed to come back at the (Smith & Benson meet). And then after that, we went to Macon and that Macon meet sky-rocketed us. We won that meet, and then won the Westover Relays and now the region meet. We've won three meets in a row and are headed to state.''

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Westover's last state track title. The Patriots won state in 1994 and again in 2001, and all the kids on this team believe it's their year.

After they won the Westover Relays two weeks ago, Justin Taylor, who is going to state in the triple jump and is a member of Westover's winning 4x100 relay team, said: "We want to give Carrollton a run for their money.''

Then Westover ran over everyone in the region.

Reginald Lewis, a senior who had never run track before this year, won three events and anchored the 4x100 relay team. Lewis won the 100 (10.85), the 200 (22.57) and the long jump (21-8) to lead the way for Westover.

"He had a wonderful day,'' Calhoun said. "Reggie Lewis had never run track before. I was in the weight room one day and he came up to me and asked if he could jump. I told him he would have to condition like everyone else, and he said he would.

"We put him in the 100 in the Tifton meet, just to see what he could do. Before the race, someone was talking about medals, and he said: 'We get medals?' Then he went out and won the race, and all the coaches were like, 'Whoa, who is this kid?' He has really come on for us this season. He's a diamond in the rough. He's a very humble kid who works hard and wants to compete. He's the kind of kid you want all your kids to be like.''

Lewis has come a long way this season, just like Westover.

"We've been patient,'' Calhoun said. "No one has gotten too excited talking about we're going to do this or going to do that. We've been patient as a team.''

The top two in each event advance to state, and Westover qualified in every event except the 400-meter run. The Patriots went 1-2 in the discus, the shot put, the 800, 3,200, the 1,600 and pole vault.

Derrick Akins (168-9) and Dontrevious Ousley finished first and second in the discus, and Martin McKenny (50-5) and Don Mills went 1-2 in the shot put. Dolphurs Hayes 913 feet) and Alex Donnen went 1-2 in the pole vault. Jeremy Bonner (2:01) and Cole Koster went 1-2 in the 800-meter run, and Greg Thorne and Josh Mason finished first and second in both the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200-meter run.

Jackie Childs won the 300-meter hurdles (940.03) and was second in the 110 hurdles.

Devonte Ingram was second in the high jump, and Taylor was second in the triple jump. Westover's 4x400 relay team of Taylor, Bonner, Chuck Lewis and Craig Reddix finished second.

Monroe won the 4x400 relay with Benjamin Dunnaway, Raymond Polite, Larry Bellamy and Dominique Reid. Dunnaway (50.13) and Bellamy went 1-2 in the 400, and Bellamy won the 110-hurdles (15.08) and was second in the 300-meter hurdles.

But Westover dominated just about everything else.

No mercy rule, no running clock -- just Westover running away with everything.