Monroe’s Jahari Williams (left) outruns Northside-Warner Robins’ Tia Williams, right, on the final leg of the girls 4x100 meter relay in the Westover Relays on Friday night at Hugh Mills Stadium. (Staff Photo: Tim Morse)
ALBANY — Monroe High School track & field coach Billy Glanton watched closely.
He watched every event.
And he made notes — mentally and physically at the Westover Relays Friday night.
With the last track & field event before next week’s Region 1-AAAA meet, it was important for Glanton’s girls team to finish well. The Lady Tornadoes were in firm control Friday night at the Westover Relays, running away with an easy victory.
Monroe finished with 141 points, with Northside-Columbus finishing second with 76.5. Westover finished third with 72.
On the boys side, Westover used a third-place finish in the distance medley (4000 meters) to finally pull ahead. The distance medley team consisted of Martin Jones, Chris Wilcox, Demetris McCray and Jack Plowden.
The Patriots had 132.5 points, while Bainbridge finished second with 103. Monroe placed third with 56.
Friday night had the feel of a state meet. More than 20 teams competed under the lights at Hugh Mills Stadium and a large crowd watched anxiously.
“This is a good meet because it lets us see who we need to move and where … it’s almost like playing a chess match,” Glanton said. “For example, if you’ve got a person in the 800 that is just missing, you move them to the mile. If you have a third person in the 400, you may want to move that person to the 800.”
Monroe got first-place finishes from Jahari Williams in the long jump (18-feet, 2 1/2-inches), 100 meters (11.90) and 200 meters (24.64). Ashley Harrell finished first in the discus (121-10) and took third in the shot put (36-5).
Meanwhile, Chakerah Fletcher took top honors in the 300 hurdles (44.72), then she teamed with the 4x100 relay team of Kandice Clyde, Akeema Miller and Williams to finish first at 47.84.
Clyde took top honors in the 400 meters with a time of 59.64, while the 1600 sprint medley team of Arnesia Bell, Cekeya Mack, Nikeya Marshall and Zamaria Stroud took second-place with a time of 4:33.19.
Meanwhile, Deaundria Anderson earned a second-place finish in the 800 (2:31.32).
The best race of the night came in the final event when Monroe’s 4x400 relay team surged ahead late and took first-place with a time of 4:09.23, edging second-place Westover who finished at 4:11.28.
Clyde said Friday night was excellent competition and will prepare the Lady Tornadoes for their postseason meet.
“If you can beat people at this meet, then I believe you can beat anybody,” Clyde said. “We’ve just got to keep working as a team, practice hard and work together.”
Several boys events lived up to their billing. Westover’s 1600 sprint medley team of Jaelon Benjamin, Qundez Carter, Chris Divra and Tyler Sheffel set a new record in the event, finishing at 3:40.05 and breaking the old mark of 3:42.26 set by Monroe last year.
Sheffel anchored the final leg and said he was surprised to learn his team had established a record in the 11-year history of the event.
“I was trying to make my move, especially on that second lap,” Sheffel said. “I try to pull away after the first curve, then sprint it out after the second curve. We wouldn’t have done this without the team … we broke the record as a team.”
Sheffel also helped the Patriots to a first-place finish in the 800, finishing with a time of 2:00.94.
Westover got first-place finishes from Scott Sanders in the long jump (21-7 1/2), Thomas Langstaff in the pole vault (10-6), Anfernee Hill in the 110 hurdles (15.34) and Chris O’Neal in the shot put (50-1). The Patriots also benefited from a second-place finish from Antravious Parks (49-10) in the shot put.
Brenton Wimberly earned a second-place finish in the discus (135).
GIRLS NOTES: Westover’s Tiana Campbell took first-place in the girls high jump competition with a jump of 4-10, while Byshea Jackson finished second in the triple jump at 35-feet and a half-inch. Janasia Daniels earned a third-place finish in the pole vault (6-6).
Jackson also finished second in the 400 meters (1:01.21).
Albany’s Lindneshia Hudson earned top honors in the 100 hurdles, finishing with a time of 15.65.
Lee County’s Madison Daniel earned a second-place finish in the pole vault (9-0).
Dougherty’s Brittany Fowler finished fourth in the 100 meters at 12.59.
BOYS NOTES: Monroe got a first-place finish from Tymaasshyie Kendrick in the 400, edging past Westover’s Sanders to win. Kendrick finished at 49.83, while Sanders had a time of 50.61. Albany High’s Greg Williams came in a close third at 50.67.
Monroe’s 1600 sprint medley team of Jorden Bell, Daryl Brown, Nashid Bryant and Kendrick finished second with a time of 3:45.54. Brentavious Glanton earned a third-place finish in the discus (128-1), while Reshawn Robinson (10:31.95) took third in the 3200.
Albany High’s 4x100 relay team of Kalis Armstrong, Malik Dungee-Ali, Trevian Jackson and Johnathan Jefferson earned a third-place finish after running a time of 42.73.