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Simms leads Dutchtown to second place finish in AAAA

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Dutchtown senior Ciarra Simms won the 100- and 200-meters at the Class AAAA track and field championships in Albany. Her time of 23.8 seconds earned her best performance for that event.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Dutchtown senior Ciarra Simms won the 100- and 200-meters at the Class AAAA track and field championships in Albany. Her time of 23.8 seconds earned her best performance for that event.

By Derrick Mahone

dmahone@news-daily.com

Late Sunday night after April Tate arrived back home from running some errands, the first-year Dutchtown coach was still at a loss for words.

During the three-day Class AAAA meet in Albany, the Lady Bulldogs compiled 32 points and finished tied with Lakeside-Evans for second place behind powerhouse Southwest DeKalb, which amassed 68 points.

"It was unbelievable, it was quite unbelievable," Tate said. "I'm just at a loss for words. I'm extremely proud of the kids. It was quite an experience."

Dutchtown was proof that it's quality, not quanity, that wins in track and field. The Lady Bulldogs only had four participants to qualify for the state meet.

Senior Ciarra Simms was the catalyst that helped the Bulldogs with their highest finish ever. Simms won the 100- and 200-meters and helped the 400 relay team to a second place finish.

She had a time of 23.8 seconds in the 200 during the preliminaries, which earned her the best performance award for that event. In the finals, she won with a time of 23.96 while Briana Vaughn of Union Grove was second at 24.72 with S'Kayia Hampton running a 25.18 to place fourth.

In the 200, Vaughn was second and Hampton was fifth.

"In the 100, I wasn't as please with my time, but the 200 I was," Simms said. "Overall, I was pretty happy with winning the region and state for two straight years. I was happy with the team's finish."

Said Tate: "It has been an amazing year for Ciarra," Tate said. "It has been great to see her develop throughout the course of the season. You always know that she is going to give 110 percent and push herself and teammates to be the best."

Union Grove had 18 points to finish 10th and Jonesboro finished 12th with 14 points. Woodland had eight points to tie with Warner Robins and Woodland-Cartersville for 18th place.

All eight of Woodland's points came in a second-place finish by the 1,600 relay.

Eagle's Landing finished fifth in Class AAA, its highest finish in school history. The Golden Eagles were paced by senior Mia Adams, a Georgia State signee.

Adams was fifth in the long jump and fourth in the triple jump in addition to helping the 1,600 relay team place fourth. Kristian Austell was second in the 300 hurdles at 45.03 seconds.

Also in Class AAA, Henry County was 16th with Stockbridge placing 18th overall.

Henry County was paced by Tamara Nance, who finished third in the high jump.

Jasmine Jakes of Eagle's Landing Christian finished second in the 100 with a time of 12.63 seconds as the Chargers finished 11th in Class A with 15 points.