But it was the field events that carried both teams in the Cobb County Track and Field Championships that took place on Saturday and Monday at Marietta High School.
Both teams won decisively with the boys besting second place McEachern by 48.5 points. The girls needed to thwart a McEachern comeback but held on to win by 22 points.
“I’m glad my team can lead us to a victory over tough meet competitors,” Marietta boys sprinter KirVonte Benson said. “We were hoping this for a long, long time. I’m so glad we came up with a victory.”
In the boys meet, Campbell took third place with Hillgove finishing fourth and Kennesaw Mountain rounding out the top five. Kell took third in the girls meet, followed by Walton and North Cobb.
The field events haven’t been as strong as the Blue Devils’ sprints, distance and relays, but Marietta’s field athletes dominated on both teams Saturday.
Charles Astin won the high jump by leaping 6 feet, 6 inches for the boys. Marcus Bennett clinched the long jump by clearing 22 feet with Jordan Marion taking third (21-7).
Trey Bartlett and Jamel Johnson took second and third in the shot put by throwing 48-3 and 47-4. But what helped the Marietta boys the most Saturday was their A and B relays finishing first and second in Saturday’s 3,200 meter relay.
“We were gambling a little bit because we doubled some up our 1,600 and 3,200 kids,” Marietta boys coach Nick Houstoulakis said. “We put everybody in the (3,200 relay) and we got 18 points out of that.”
For the Marietta girls, Janessa Jackson won both the discus (136-0) and shotput (41-9) with Kehera Wilson taking third in the shotput (38-3 ½ ).
In the high jump, Elizabeth Hartley (5-0) took second and Jacky Jones (4-10) was third. Haley Richardson was second in the girls triple jump in 34-9 ¾ for the Lady Blue Devils and Tatiyana Rayford leaped 19-0 ¾ to take second in the long jump.
“The idea was for us to get as many points as we can out of the field events on the first day,” Marietta coach Chad Christman said. “On the girls side, we knew that McEachern was loaded. We knew we had to get as many points as possible to hold them off.”
Going into Monday’s running events, the Marietta girls were leading by more than 40 points while Marietta boys held a cushion of more than 60 points.
The Marietta boys couldn’t get a lot of points in the sprint and hurdle events Monday but still manage to secure its lead, even though McEachern was gaining. Rajon White won the 400 meters for the Indians in 49.24. Cory Nicholls won the 800 meters in 1:54.24 and the Indians sealed the 1,600 meter relay in 3:21.48.
But the Blue Devils did get a late boost when cross country standouts Ben Pleak and Jake Bagwell finished second and third in the 3,200 meters in 9 minutes, 35.52 seconds and 9:44.20, respectively.
Just like the boys team, the Lady Blue Devils also had to fend off McEachern late. The Lady Indians won both the 400 meter relay and the 1,600 meter relay. Cierra Dunston clinched the 400 meters in 55.92 with Destiny Riley taking third in 58.84. Dunston also won the 200 meters (25.09) with Christoni Wynn third in 25.60.
But Marietta countered Monday with Mary Jeanne Assinzo winning the 800 meters in 2:17.98 and Rayford winning the 100 meters in 12.33.
“All I did, I kept in the back in my mind that I had to push my team,” Assinzo said. “I had to do whatever I had to do to get my team the trophy. That’s what I kept in the back of my mind.”
Kendell Williams led the Kell girls by winning the long jump (19-8), high jump (5-6), and the 100 hurdles with a meet record time 13.47.
Allan Frye helped Campbell take third with wins in the 110 hurdles (14.00) and the 300 hurdles (37.38).