Smith proves to be quick learner on the track

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By Derrick Mahone


Although Parkview swept the boys and girls championship at the Bulldog Classic Invitational hosted by Mount Zion High, there were several local individuals that did well last weekend.

There were seven individuals that won 10 events at the one-day meet at Twelve Oaks Stadium. Mount Zion three-sport standout Austin Smith was the big winner with three individual wins. The South Carolina State football signee won the high jump, long jump and triple jump events.

This is only Smith's second season of competing in track and field.

"I was definitely surprised at how well I did," he said. "It was really only my second track meet."

Although he was on the team last season, Smith rarely competed in meets because of a conflict with his AAU basketball schedule.

"I'm basically still learning how to jump," Smith said.

In winning the high jump, Smith cleared the bar at 6-foot. He won the long jump at 22-2 and was had a 45-6 in his triple jump.

He scored all 30 of his team's points.

"My goal is to do it all season, and go to state," Smith said. "I think I have a good shot."


After winning the 100-meters at Saturday's Coaches Invitational at Georgia Tech, Union Grove junior Brianna Vaughn now has the fastest time in state in that event, according to the ga.milesplit.com, a website devoted to track and field.

She ran a 11.73 seconds in the finals for a personal-best. She did an 12.0 in the prelims to advance to the finals. She was the only participant from the Southern Crescent to win an event at the highly competitive meet, but there was several other noteworthy performances.

Eagle's Landing junior Mia Adams finished runner-up in both the long jump (18-1.5) and triple jump (36-11.2).

Union Grove junior Jordan Moore was runner-up in the 110 hurdles at 13.95 seconds while Billy Wright of Eagle's Landing had a jump of 6-4 to place second in the high jump event.


Dutchtown sprinter Ciara Simms continues her early season success by sweeping the 100 and 200 at the Bulldog Classic Invitational. Simms went 11.91 to win the 100 and had a time of 24.87 for first in the 200 event.

Last week, her time of 11.97 was the fastest in the state.


Paige Rankine of Luella won the 3,200 with a time of 12.28.55, her personal-best for the season. Preston Valencia won the 1,600 at 4:48.69, a new personal-best.

Mundy's Mill's Maya Collins won the 100 hurdles (15.3) while teammate Jasmine Heath went a person-best 35-4.5 to win the shot put.

Lamont Hardy, a 340-pound lineman on the Lovejoy football team, had a throw of 48-0 to win the shot put.


Drew finished sixth in the girls and boys were fifth at last week's Patriot Invitational hosted by Sandy Creek High.

On the boys' side, Jadarius West won the 100 at 10.99 and DeAndre McBride had a time of 22.32 to win the 200. Vernezia James won the girls' triple jump at 37-0.5 for the lone girls winner.

Bradley Street had a time of 15.86 to finish runner-up in the 110 hurdles while teammate Miles Crosby went 42.22 to place second in the 300 hurdles.