Although he fell a few inches short of the 30-year-old state record, Westover’s Dontrevious Ousley did what he set out to do Thursday at the boys state track meet: repeat as Class AAA state champion. (John Bohn/Gwinnett Daily Post)
JEFFERSON — On Thursday, Dontrevious Ousley became only the third athlete in the 41-year history of the GHSA state track & field meet to throw the discus more than 190 feet.
That was almost expected.
Westover scored 40 points on the first day of the three-day meet to take a commanding lead in the Class AAA meet.
That was also almost expected (well, at least hopeful thinking) by the Patriots, who knew if they had any chance of winning a team state title they would have to leave the field events with 40 points.
How they got the points?
Well, no one expected that.
“You come to the state track meet and you know there could be some good things and some bad things that can happen to you,’’ Westover athletic director and assistant track coach Harley Calhoun said. “We wanted to get 40 points (on Day 1). That was our goal, and we got 40 points. But, no, we didn’t expect to get them this way.’’
The surprise of the day came from Brandon Hudson, who was seeded 16th in the 16-man field coming into the meet. It was such a shock his Westover teammates didn’t even believe Hudson when he told him he had won the state title.
“They thought I was playing,’’ said Hudson, who cleared a personal record of 6 feet, 4 inches to win the state title. “They didn’t believe me, but when I climbed up on the podium (to get my state championship trophy), that’s when they believed me.’’
Hudson cleared every height in his first attempt until he reached 6-6 to win the title and give Westover 10 points that no one expected the Patriots to get.
“I don’t think it’s really hit me yet,’’ Hudson said. “I never thought this would happen. It’s just a blessing. I prayed about it. It’s a blessing.’’
Ousley was expected to win the discus. He is the defending Class AAA state champ and became only the fourth athlete in the history of Georgia to throw more than 190 feet earlier this year. He has been ranked in the Top 10 in the nation all spring, and had thoughts of breaking the 30-year-old state record of 197-5. He was five feet short, tossing a lifetime best of 192-5.
“I was going for the state record,’’ said Ousley, who is only 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, the smallest discus thrower at the meet. “I was OK with not getting the state record. I had a PR and they told me I’m only the third to go over 190 at the state meet. That will probably hit me later.’’
Ousley, who is talking to several Division I schools, was ready for his final state meet.
“I was pumped up,’’ he said. “My adrenaline was really pumping. I threw my best throw of the day on my first throw. Being only the third (to go over 190), I thought that was special.’’
Ousley’s first-place finish was worth 10 points, and he said he knew what that meant to the team. He added he thought Hudson had his high jump win in him.
“I always knew he could do it,’’ Ousley said. “We are all rooting for our teammates to win the (team) title.’’
Calhoun projected 40 points, but he was expecting Dolphurs Hayes to win the pole vault and McKenny Martin to win the shot put. Hayes finished second in the pole vault with a top vault of 15-6. He tied the winner, but he took second because he had more attempts. That was worth eight points, however, Westover got a surprise when Alex Donnan, who was seeded 10th, finished seventh for two more points.
Martin finished ninth in the shot put, but junior Don Mills, who was seeded sixth, jumped from sixth to fourth on his final attempt with a PR 150-7 to give Westover five more points. Derrick Akins was also in sixth in the discus, but he jumped to fourth on his final throw to add five more points.
The Patriots ended up getting 15 points in the discus, 10 points in high jump, 10 in the pole vault and five in the shot put to amass the crucial 40 points Calhoun wanted for his guys to make a run at the team state title.
“We weren’t looking for anything out of the high jump,’’ Calhoun said. “But Brandon was great. It was just his day. And Don Mills and Derrick Akins got fourth place on their last throws. We just had to fight back, but we got there. We got the 40.
“It was a good day for us. We got 40 points in the field. We may never do that again. We did what we wanted to do. Now we just have to get something on the track. We felt like we’ve got a chance (to win it all). We’re right in the middle of it.’’
OTHER DAY 1 RESULTS: Monroe’s Kevin Williams was third in the Class AAA long jump (23-7), and Albany High’s Roscoe Byrd finished second in the shot put.
Terrell County’s Jatoria Jones was fourth in the Class A high jump (6-2), and Miller County’s Jacolby Jones was eighth in the Class A long jump. Baconton Charter’s Bryton Wenzel finished sixth in the Class A 1,600-meter run.