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Drew, Woodland girls win first county track titles

Jeff Hurndon Photography
Woodland’s Nicole Findura was second in the high jump event as the team won its first Henry County championship in school history.

Jeff Hurndon Photography Woodland’s Nicole Findura was second in the high jump event as the team won its first Henry County championship in school history.

All season, the Drew boys track and field team has been receiving some statewide and national recognition.

At the same time, the girls’ team has quietly gone about its business.

At the Clayton County Championships on Monday, the Lady Titans were in the spotlight.

After the public address announcer read off the final scores at Twelve Oaks Stadium, there was a loud cheer as the Lady Titans won their first county championship.

“It means a whole lot because the girls have been at work,” Drew coach James Davis said. “It was really a surprise because they didn’t think they would be able to put out like that.”

It was a year of firsts on the track scene in the Southern Crescent area. Two days before Drew’s historic win, the Woodland girls track team captured their first Henry County Championship at Eagle’s Landing Christian.

“I’m really thrilled,” Woodland coach Symonte Stokes said. “They really put forth a lot of heart. We are a well-balanced team.”

Drew only had two individual county champions and the 400 relay title. Ghnerya Hicklen won the 200 meters and Shian Williams won the discus.

Tiffany Barnes was second in the 200 and third in the 100 event. Vernezia James was runner-up in the 100 hurdles, long jump and triple jump.

“Maybe they (girls team) felt they needed to prove themselves,” Davis said. “They went out at the county meet and did their thing.”

Drew’s boys team has a couple sprinters that have top times in the state, in addition to its 400 relay team that at one point this season had the top time in the country.

“I think with them working together, they push each other,” Davis said. “They really like to see each other do well. We are two teams in one that are only separated by gender.”

Woodland compiled 140 points with two county champions — Miyah Davis and Sylvia Wilson. Davis won the shot put event while Wilson was first in the 100 hurdles. Wilson also finished third in the 200.

The Lady Wolfpack had two runners-up with Deshae Richard (100 hurdles and 300 hurdles) and Nicole Findura (high jump).

Michaela McGhee was third in the 800 and Richard placed third in the triple jump. The 400 relay and 1,600 relay each had third-place finishes.

“I think this will give the team tremendous momentum going into the region meet,” Stokes said. “Our confidence level is pretty high.”

Lovejoy’s boys won the county title for the second straight year though it was coach Dwight Calloway’s fourth straight title. Prior to coming to Lovejoy last season, he coached Riverdale to two straight county titles. Drew’s boys finished runner-up, its best showing at the county meet.

Luella won the boys title with Union Grove taking second.