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Perry looks to defend her title

By Doug Gorman

Last year, Riverdale's Tia Perry won the Class AAAAA state championship in the 400-meter dash.

Starting today in Albany at the girls state track meet, she will have the chance to defend her title and compete in three other events.

She not only will compete in the 400 but has also qualified for the 300-meter hurdles, an event she placed third in last year.

The Clemson signee also is part of Riverdale's 400 and 1,600-relay teams.

Other members of the 400 and 1,600 relay teams competing at state are Nicole Davis, Dominique Thurman, Centauria Olds, Shalondan Hollingshed and Amy Williams.

Several other Riverdale athletes also qualified for state including Jessika Johnson in the high jump, Morgan Joseph in the long jump and Miranda Allen in the triple jump.

Riverdale is coming off a Region 4-AAAAA championship and the Lady Raiders also won the Clayton County track title this year.

The Mt. Zion girls are sending several athletes to state with Shaka Dennison leading the way.

Dennison will compete in five events, including the 100, 200, 400-meter relay, the 1,600-meter relay and the long jump. Teammate Cherell Lawson will compete in four events including the 200, 400 and the 400 and 1,600-meter relays.

Other Mt. Zion athletes going to state include Jene Patterson in the 300 hurdles, Fallen Preer in the pole vault and Kim Gooden in the 400-meter dash and the 400-meter relay.

Mt. Zion won the Region 2-AAAAA meet last week.

Morrow is sending three girls to state including Nicola James in the 800, Pam Thompson in the 300 hurdles and Janitra Shields in the pole vault.

Mundy's Mill's Laide Onikoye will compete in the 800 and teammate Texeira Whiteside will compete in the 100-meter dash.

The Mundy's Mill 1,600-meter relay team of Onikoye, Whiteside, Christian Hunnicutt, Denika Ezell, Brittany McGhee and Phylicia Loving will also compete at the state meet.

Lovejoy's Shayla Springfield qualified for state in the shot put.