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Teams begin push for state meet

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Morrow senior Ayrian Evans is one of the top sprinters in the state this season. He has signed a scholarship with the University of Georgia, but before ending his career, he is hoping to win a state title.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Morrow senior Ayrian Evans is one of the top sprinters in the state this season. He has signed a scholarship with the University of Georgia, but before ending his career, he is hoping to win a state title.

Teams begin their push for the state meet this week as region track and field championships begin.

Here is a look at how Southern Crescent athletes look, going into the region tournaments:

Region 2-AAAAA

This will be sort of a mini-state meet with teams like Westlake, M.L. King and Stephenson competing in the field.

All three of the teams boast strong athletes in the sprint events. However, Luella’s Tadisha Pinder has been one of the top sprinters in the state this season. His time of 10.51 in the 100 meters is the third-fastest this season in the state, according to ga.milesplit.com. He has the fifth-fastest time in the 200.

On the girls’ side, Paige Rankine could sweep the 3,200 and 1,600 events. She has the state’s sixth-fastest time in the 3,200 and is among the top 20 in the 1,600 in the state. She is the only distance running in the region with a top time.

Region 3-AAAA

Union Grove’s Briana Vaughn competed a lot earlier this season in national meets. Last season, she was third in the 100 and second in the 200 events.

Ola’s C.J. Carr could advance to the sectionals in the sprint events and Dacosta Smith of Union Grove has a shot in the distance races.

Region 4-AAAA

This region is heavy with good sprinters. Morrow’s Ayrian Evans figures to get competition from Creekside runners Sidney Buchannon and Evan Berry, a younger brother of Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry. Tauren Ferguson, who has committed to play football at Vanderbilt, is the favorite in both hurdles events.

On the girls’ side, the race to watch is the 100 with S’kayia Hampton of Jonesboro and Lorenda Holston of North Clayton competing.

Region 4-AAA

Drew has one of the top 400 relay teams in the state and nation. The foursome Jadarius West, Timothy Barnes, Adreius McBride and DeAndre McBride are looking to go under 41 seconds. West is also a top sprinter in the state.

Eagle’s Landing Baily Roth is a national-caliber distance runner.

Region 5-A

Eagle’s Landing Christian had several participants advance from Tuesday’s subregion meet.