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Who to watch

Clayton County should have several athletes in the hunt for state titles

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Jonesboro senior Taurean Ferguson is a leading contender in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles events at the Class AAAA track and field meet in Jefferson this weekend.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Jonesboro senior Taurean Ferguson is a leading contender in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles events at the Class AAAA track and field meet in Jefferson this weekend.

Taurean Ferguson, Jonesboro

The senior will be making his last appearance at the state championships. This will likely be his last competitive track meet after signing a football scholarship to Vanderbilt, which doesn’t offer track and field. Ferguson will likely face his biggest competition from Woodland senior Xavier Gates, who has defeated him in the last two meetings.

Lovejoy 400 relay

This is sort of an all-star cast with the likes of Jarrid Williams, Tavard Cooper, Jeff Murphy and Cinwon Whitehead. Murphy was a standout wide receiver on the school’s region championship football team. Coming into the Class AAAAAA meet, the Wildcats’ foursome is seeded No. 7 with a time of 42.49 seconds. Cooper also qualified in the 100-meter event with a time of 11.24 seconds. Williams participated in Thursday’s long jump event.

Marquette Simmons, Mount Zion

The junior has had a breakout season on for the Bulldogs team. He has been ranked high all season in both the 100- and 200-meter according to ga.milesplit.com, an online publication that mentors the sport in Georgia. After the Class AAAAA Sectionals, he is seeded No. 6 in the 200. Simmons also qualified for the long jump event, which took place on Thursday. He is a member of the team’s 1,600 relay, which is seeded first in the class.

Mount Zion 1,600 relay

The Bulldogs emerged from the Class AAAAA Sectional meet at Starr’s Mill High last week with the top seed time. The foursome turned in a time of three minutes, 20.87 seconds, which is a full second ahead of Region 4-AAAAA rival Northgate. Simmons also will run the 100 and 200 events at the meet. Teammate Andrew Nsuk qualifed in the 400-meter, and is seeded No. 7 in that event. A good showing in both relays and individual events could place the Bulldogs high in the standings.

Andrew Nsuk, Mount Zion

He gives the Bulldogs another chance at scoring some points if he can make it to the finals on Saturday. Coming into the state meet, Nsuk is seeded No. 7 in the 400-meter race with a time of 49.44 seconds. The sophomore’s personal best is 49.36 seconds in the event. He placed ninth in the 800, just missing an opportunity for a second qualifying event at state. Nsuk also competes on the Bulldogs’ relay teams, which made it to state.