DWS’ Tarah Young leaves the field in the dust during the 200 finals. She also won the 100 and anchored both relay teams to lead the Lady Knights to the region title running away.
ALBANY — They held the GISA Region 3-AAA track & field meet at Hugh Mills Stadium on Wednesday.
Well, that’s the official name of the meet. Might as well call it the Deerfield-Windsor Meet.
DWS dominated both the girls and boys meets, running away with both and qualifying someone in every event for next weekend’s GISA state track & field meet — right back at Hugh Mills.
The Deerfield girls outscored the next two teams combined, winning the meet with 99 points. Tiftarea was second with 37 and Southland finished third with 26 points. The boys did the same thing, scoring 144 points; Tiftarea was second (53) and Southland was third (44).
“We had a good day and feel real good about going into the state meet next week,’’ DWS boys coach Craig Rhodes said. “I feel we are very solid. This team has a lot of depth and our quality is really good. We have quality guys who can score at the state meet, the elite guys who can score.’’
The Knights last won the state title in 2009, but this team might be the next to do it. The Lady Knights are coming off their first state title and were a bit of a surprise Wednesday after losing so much talent last year.
“We lost five seniors,’’ DWS girls coach Allen Lowe said. “But we have had a lot of younger girls step up this season and we had a lot of (personal bests). We definitely have a shot next week.’’
Tarah Young and Libby Greene led the Lady Knights, who won their 10th consecutive region title, and Kh’Ron McClain and Jay Barber led the Knights, who won their 12th consecutive region title.
Young won the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and anchored both winning relay teams. She also finished second in the long jump and finished with 15 1/2 points to win the girls high-point award for the meet.
Greene was right there, too. She won the long jump, the triple jump and the 100-hurdles, and ran on DWS’ No. 2 relay teams that finished second to Deerfield’s No. 1 teams as the Lady Knights went 1-2 in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
“There was a lot of pressure on us at the beginning of the season because we lost five seniors who were basically our team last year,’’ Greene said.
One of those leaders was Young’s sister Amber, who led DWS to the state title.
“I think losing so many people from last year’s team was getting into our heads and really messing with us,’’ Tarah said. “It took us a while to realize we could do it without them.’’
Greene and Young said it hit them last week.
“When they put all the numbers together last week and showed us where we are, we realized we can do this, we can win region — we can win state,’’ Greene said. “We can do this.’’
Young believes a second state title is within their reach.
“We definitely have a shot,’’ she said.
So do the boys.
McClain, who was the high-point individual winner with 19 points, and Barber dominated the meet on Wednesday. McClain won the triple jump, the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash and anchored the 4x100 winning relay team and ran the second leg of the 4x400 relay team. Barber won the long jump and finished second to McClain in the 100 and 200. He also ran on both winning relay teams.
Rhodes knows it will take points from all over the track and field to win a state title, but he has that kind of team.
“We don’t talk about individuals. We talk about team,’’ he said. “Kh’Ron and Jay had real big days (on Wednesday), and we have a lot of people who have worked hard to make this team successful. We talk about team in everything we do. Individual awards are great, but they don’t put a banner on the wall. It’s all about the team. They feel that way. They want a ring.’’
McClain said that’s the dream — to win the team title.
“We have all the pieces to do it,’’ he said. “We just have to stay focused and do what we did (on Wednesday) and don’t put any pressure on ourselves. When the season started, I knew we would be good, and I believe we have a chance to win the state title next week.’’
The girls scored early when Gabby Burt won the shot put and Cheyenne Colvin finished third. Colvin also finished third in the discus. Sarah Jones won the pole vault, and Greene won the long jump and triple jump, while Young was second in the long jump, and McKenna Jones finished third for DWS.
Mary Warrington, a freshman, won the high jump and Mahsa Rooster, an eighth-grader, was third in the high jump. Greene won the 100 hurdles and Warrington was third. Warrington also finished third in the 300 hurdles. Young won the 100 and 200, and Samantha James was third in the 100 and second in the 200 for the Lady Knights.
Alex Holloway, an eighth-grader, won the 400, and Mary Crisp finished third. Virginia Moore was second in the 1,600, while Madison Sauls was fourth and DWS went 1-2 in the 800 when Moore won the race and Lindsay Lewis, an eighth-grader, finished right behind her.
McClain and Barber had plenty of support in the boys meet. Jason Battle and Chap Ivey went 1 and 3 in the high jump, and Battle was second to Barber in the long jump, while Ivey was second to McClain in the triple jump.
Matthew Fox and Nick Michas went 1-2 in the discus, and Arron McNutt and Dallas Margeson went 1-2 in the 110-hurdles. Margeson was second in the 30o hurdles, and McNutt was third in that event.
Chris Boswell and Dee Barber went 1-2 in the 400, and Marcus Guthro won the 800 and finished third in the 3,200. Alex Miller and Will Cahoun went 2-3 in the pole vault.
Southland’s girls were led by Chris Shattles, who won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, and the Southland boys were led by their young distance runners — freshman Wright Calhoun, the reigning Herald Player of the Year for cross country who won the 1,600 and 3,200, and eighth-grader Billy Calcutt, who was second in the 3,200 and third in the 800.