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Local girls bound for state track meet
by Chase Wallace
May 07, 2013 12:35 PM | 2612 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal -- Dunwoody 4x400 relay team, from left, freshman Molly Jackson, senior Monika Nwajei, junior Asya Yavuncu and junior Erika Banks.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal -- Dunwoody 4x400 relay team, from left, freshman Molly Jackson, senior Monika Nwajei, junior Asya Yavuncu and junior Erika Banks.
After three months of practice and meets, region championships in late April and a heated round of sectional qualifying two weeks ago, 33 local girls were left standing in their quest to achieve individual track and field glory.

Those 33 elite athletes are now putting in the final preparations for the state’s biggest event, the Georgia Olympics — to be held Thursday through Saturday at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany.

DeKalb’s strongest local pull in Albany will be in Class AAAAA, where 15 individuals — including seven from Dunwoody — will make the trek south in hopes of reaching the podium.

The Lady Wildcats, who won a 6AAAAA championship over M.L. King, will be led at the state meet by Erika Banks (100-meters, 200), Lauren Jackson (400, 800) and Alex Cameron (1600, 3200) who each qualified in multiple events. Erin Berger (pole vault) and Asya Yavuncu (400) also qualified along with both the 4X100 (Madison Beecher, Jackson, Banks, Yavuncu) and 4X400 relay groups (Banks, Jackson, Monica Nwajei, Yavuncu).

Joining Dunwoody’s seven in class AAAAA will be Nuri Lee (long jump), Nadia Lee (long jump, triple jump) and Amber Johnson (shot put) of Tucker, distance specialists Jennifer Cora (1600, 3200) and Hayley Keady (1600, 3200) from Lakeside, and Stephenson shot putters Amber Davis and Ashandria Henry.

Defending AAAA state champion Redan will take their own bus-full of athletes to Hugh Mills Stadium, qualifying the maximum of four relay teams.

Tanzanie Brown, Miyah Golden, Draneisha Griffin and Zindzy Jones make up the Raider’s 4X100 ‘A’ team, and Crystal Gray, Akilah Haynes, Jade Johnson and Shequilla McClain comprise the ‘B’ Group. Brown, Golden, Gray, and McClain will team together on the 4X400 ‘A’ team and Promise Clark, Haynes, Destiny Reid and Kimberly Robinson are the 4X400 ‘B’ team.

Competing as individuals, Gray (200, 400), Reid (800), McClain (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles) and Griffin (long jump, triple jump) give Redan a balanced lineup in their quest to repeat as state champions.

In class AAA, Decatur will be represented in three individual events and one relay. Briana Cook will let the discus fly while sprinters Chelsea Hall (100) and Alaina Cook (100 hurdles) will join Elizabeth Avumah and Onyx Simpson on the Bulldogs’ top-ranked 4X100 relay team.

Druid Hills hurdler Dominique Sullivan (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles), Chamblee’s Sidney Holmes (100 hurdles, triple jump) and Anna Figueroa (800) of Paideia will also make the trip to Albany as their school’s lone representatives.

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