Morrow juniors Ayrian Evans (left) and Adolphus Gray rest on the infield after placing first and second, respectively, in the 400-meters at the Region 4-AAAA champions Tuesday at Twelve Oaks Stadium.
When Dwight Callaway took over as track and field coach at Lovejoy this season, he promised the school athletics director that it would only take him one season to turn the boys team into a region contender.
Callaway made good on that promise Tuesday when the Wildcats won the Region 4-AAAA championship at Twelve Oaks Stadium. Mundy's Mill won the girls' region championship in a meet that came down to the final event.
"I'm definitely pleased with the progress this team has made throughout the season," said Callaway, who led Riverdale to the Region 4-AAAAA championship last season. "The athletics director told me that it would be at least two years before we made progress, I told him a year. The kids worked hard to get to this point."
Lovejoy amassed 154 points with Creekside finishing second with 94 points and Morrow was third with 87 points. On the girls' side, Mundy's Mill had 120 points with Creekside getting 111 for second and
Jonesboro was third with 71 points.
Going into the meet's final event, Mundy's Mill held an 11-point lead over Creekside. The Lady Tigers 1,600-meters relay team of Maya Collins, Kenya Collins, Chelsea Johhnson and Klondra Brown won the event to seal the championship.
Mundy's Mill had four athletes in five events to qualify for the state meet next month in Albany.
"My girls worked extremely hard for this," Mundy's Mill coach Tyra Cummings said. "I'm extremely pleased."
Cummings said her team is only made up of 12 participants, but they were able to also win the county meet earlier this season.
The Lady Tigers got plenty of scoring out of the Collins sisters. Kenya Collins won the 100 hurdles at 15.89 seconds with sister, Maya taking second at 15.91 seconds. Maya won the 300 hurdles while Kenya placed first in the long jump with a leap of 17-feet, 8.50 inches.
Also scoring for Mundy's Mill was Jasmine Heath, who was first in the discus (108-10) and second in the shot put (35-11). Johnson won the triple jump (36-4.5).
In addition to Kenya Collins, three other athletes were dual winners at the two-day meet. Ayrian Evans of Morrow won both the 400 and 200 races. S'Kayia Hampton of Jonesboro swept the 100 and 200 and
Lovejoy's Lamont Hardy took first in the shot put and discus.
Evans had a personal-best time of 47.04 seconds to win the 400 with teammate Adolphus Gray taking second.
"I'm very pleased that we were able to go first and second in that event," said Evans, who placed sixth last season at the Class AAAAA state meet. "Adolphus did a great job."