ATLANTA — After staking a 37-point lead following seven events Wednesday, the Campbell girls fought off a furious rally from defending champion Westlake and finished tied with the Lady Lions for the Region 2AAAAAAA track and field championship Saturday.
Both teams finished with 195 points to share the title. East Coweta was third with 63.5 points, while Pebblebrook (60.5 points), Newnan (43) and Wheeler (33) rounded out the scoring.
The Westlake boys also took home another title. The Lions defended their crown by coming back from a 32-point deficit to beat East Coweta 163-158. Wheeler was third with 90 points, followed by Newnan (86), Campbell (59) and Pebblebrook (52).
The region title was the first for the Campbell girls since they tied Harrison for the Region 4AAAAA title in 2012. The Lady Spartans won that region outright in 2011.
“At the end of the day, our girls are region champions,” said Brian Smith, the director of Campbell’s track program and coach of the boys team. “Even though it’s a tie, this is the first time the girls have beaten Westlake for the title, and as a coaching staff, we’re very proud of them.”
The top four finishers in each event advanced to next week’s sectional at McEachern.
Campbell dominated Wednesday’s field events, and Kirsten Eason won the 3,200-meter run to give the Lady Spartans their wide margin, but a series of unfortunate events derailed Campbell’s hopes of an outright win Saturday.
The day started off on a sour note when Campbell’s “A” team in the 400 relay dropped the baton and failed to finish the race, denying the team at least one point. The Lady Spartans also dropped the baton in last year’s 400 relay.
“We left some points out there, and I hate that,” coach Michelle Lanier said. “We’ve been fighting those kinds of mistakes all season. Just run the race. It’s disappointing.”
Later in the day, Raina Perry, one of Campbell’s leaders in the 300 hurdles, fell to the ground hitting a hurdle as she ran the curve. Seeded second, Perry returned to the race and placed sixth overall, contributing to the team score.
“We just have to learn from it and hope we can turn things around,” Lanier said. “The championship was ours to win, but we did just enough to tie.”
Joining Campbell’s field event qualifiers were Jaleah Alston (100, 200), Jada Alston (100), Ashton Lindley (200, 400), Jameah Alston (400), Makylah Jones (800, 1,600), Kylan Rice (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles) and Camille Trotman (100 hurdles). Easton also advanced in the 800, while the Lady Spartans’ “B” teams in the 400 and 1,600 relays also qualified.
Wheeler advanced Damilola Shodeinde in the 100 hurdles, while Crystal Jones and the 400 relay team qualified for Pebblebrook.
The Wheeler boys crowned champions in Javaughn Moore and Alex Dyck. The top-seeded Moore won the 100 (10.58 seconds) and 200 (21.53), while Dyck defended his region title in the 3,200 (10:25.41).
“My main goal the whole meet was to get the sprint double-double,” Moore said. “I had a left hamstring injury early in the season and missed a couple of meets and had some slow times, but I worked hard to get back, and I’m very confident going forward. My training’s been good, and I’m bouncing back.”
Dyck’s right foot injury also had him sidelined for much of the year. Saturday was his second race of the season, and it could not have come at a better time.
“I’ve been biking mostly with my rehab, and it took me a month to come back,” Dyck said. “I didn’t think I’d win (Saturday), but managed to pull it out. Once I realized I was in front, I made it hard for people to catch up.”
Wheeler also qualified Javan Smalls (400), Ausahan Thomas (800) and Daniel Reis (3,200), as well as its 1,600 relay team.
“Overall, we did a real solid job,” Wheeler coach Leticia Beverly said. “We expected Javaughn to win the 100 and 200. He just gets stronger as the days get hotter.”
Campbell advanced Jaderious Thomas (200), Kellen Brown (3,200), Giovanni Alfred (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles) and Nicholas Harris (110 hurdles), as well as its 400 relay “A” team.
Pebblebrook qualified Badi Varner (400), Justin Swann (800) and its 1,600 relay “A” team.