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Clayton County runners do well at regionals

Mount Zion senior Marquett Simmons won the 200-meters and the long jump event at the Region 4-AAAAA Championships while finishing runner-up in the 100 event. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

Mount Zion senior Marquett Simmons won the 200-meters and the long jump event at the Region 4-AAAAA Championships while finishing runner-up in the 100 event. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

Track and field participants from around the county had a good showing at their respective region championships this week.

Next stop, the sectionals as participants try to qualify for next month’s state championships.

Mount Zion won the Region 4-AAAAA title at Starr’s Mill High in Fayetteville with a strong performance on the track.

As expected, the Bulldogs were led by senior Marquett Simmons, who won the long jump at 22-feet and the 200 meters in a time of 22.08. He was second to Creekside standout Evan Berry in the 100 event.

Mount Zion teammate Kirklin Varnado was second in the 200 event and third in the 100.

Andrew Nsuk of Mount Zion won the 400 meters in 48.86 seconds and was runner-up in the 800. Jonathan Ross was also a double winner for the Bulldogs as he swept the hurdles events.

The top eight finishers from each region advances to next weekend’s Sectional meet, with the top four advancing to state. The girls state meet will take place May 1-3 in Albany while the boys meet will be May 8-10 in Jefferson.

Forest Park dominated on the girls’ side at the region meet. The Panthers, who won the county championship last month, emerged from the region meet with four individual champions in five events.

Bria Matthews won the long jump (18-6) and triple jump (39-2) while finishing second in the 100 with a time of 12.71 seconds.

Ashley Epps won the 400 with a time of 58.68 seconds and was second in the 200 (26.03). Imani Richards won the high jump with a leap of 5-feet, four inches.

Lauren Epps won the both hurdles events. The Panthers swept both relay events.

In the Region 2-AAAAAA meet, Lovejoy’s Toni Edwards was the lone girls champion. She won the 300 hurdles in 46.96 seconds at Twelve Oaks Stadium.

On the boys side, Brandon Williams of Lovejoy won the 200 event (21.57) and was runner-up in the 100 (11.28).

Austin Gray of Morrow finished runner-up in the 1,600 and 3,200 events. The Lovejoy 400 relay team won.

In the 4-AAAA meet at Eagle’s Landing, two runners from the county won championships.

Artemus Mitchell of Jonesboro had a time of 11.19 to win the 100 meters while DeAngelo Harris of Riverdale ran a 50.7 in the 400 for a win.