Campbell coach Michelle Lanier led Campbell's girls track and field team to its first state championship this season.
Not only was it the program's first state title, it was the first team championship for the school since its slow-pitch softball team won in 1994.
Led by a strong contingent of sprinters and hurdlers, Campbell bested county rival and defending Class AAAAAAA state champion Marietta by 50 points.
Lanier is still embracing the excitement.
“Since this was our first (team championship) in so many years, everyone was rooting for us the whole way through,” said Lanier, the 2019 Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year. “We were still on pins and needles, because things can happen, but once we did win, everyone was excited and super proud.”
Lanier knew she had enough depth in both sprints and hurdles for Campbell to win a title this season. But it was up to her and her assistants to keep the athletes healthy and make sure they were participating in events suited to their abilities.
There were a few scares along the way.
Campbell had injuries in both relays, but it still managed to win both events at the state meet. The Lady Spartans won the 400-meter relay in 46.13 seconds, and clocked in at 3:34.27 to win the 1,600 relay.
There were also questions regarding who would step up in both the hurdle events, but it all came together in the end. Ashton Lindley won the 300 hurdles (41.46), with Raina Perry taking third, while freshman Zionn RIce surprised the coaching staff by taking second in the 100 hurdles.
However, Lanier was more confident with what she had in the 100, 200 and 400 runs, with Lindley, McKenze Kelley and Jaleah Alston.
The Lady Spartans took advantage of their depth in the 400 with Kelley winning in 53.65 and Lindley coming in second (54.71). Kelley also did well in the 200, finishing second and Alston taking fourth.
It also helped that Campbell’s “B” teams took fourth in both relays.
“They couldn’t have done better, even if I asked them to,” Lanier said.
Campbell also scored well in the jumps, with Jada Alston third in the triple jump and Camille Trotman third in the high jump.
Campbell knew it was destined to do great things at state after coming from behind to beat Marietta to win the Cobb County Championships.
With Marietta leading by 45 points after the first day and appearing to be in control, Campbell used its depth in the sprints, hurdles and relays to overtake the Lady Blue Devils by 22 points.
Campbell pulled away when both its teams finished first and second in the 1,600 relay.
The Lady Spartans could be in contention for another state title in 2020, with only two seniors graduating. More than 10 athletes are returning, with six of them being rising seniors.