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Buford boys, White County girls win at Region 7-AAA meet
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DAWSONVILLE — The Buford track and field team outpaced the competition and ran to a decisive Region 7-AAA boys championship, defeating second-place finisher North Hall 162-135 on Thursday afternoon at Dawson County High.

The Wolves were led by junior Thomas Wilson, who took first place in the 200- (22.61 seconds) and 400-meter dash (51.24), and was part of the winning 400 (43.73) and 1,600 relay teams. Justin McCray took first place for the Wolves in the 110 hurdles (17.54) and also placed second in the 300 hurdles.

“(Our coaches) have done an (absolutely) phenomenal job with our team, not only from a physical standpoint, but also from a mental standpoint, preparing them for this meet,” Buford coach David Snell said. “We knew everything in track comes down to the region meet, because the region is where you advance.

“Our kids have bought into our way of working and our way of training, and it’s a little bit different. It’s real hard, but it’s paid a whole lot of dividends. We’ve got competitive kids. They like to perform and they like to compete, and I’m blessed to be here.”

North Hall picked up a pair of victories in the distance events, with Quintin Miles winning the 800 (2:03.80) and Witt Nix taking the 3,200 (9:48). White County’s Tucker Cook placed first in the 300 hurdles (42.11).

In the girls meet, White County defeated North Hall 158.5-139.

The Lady Warriors were led by junior Kaitlyn Gearing, who took first place in the 200 (26.96) and 400 (1:01.31), and was the anchor of the winning girls’ 1,600 relay team (4:14).

Kaitlyn’s sister, freshman Jenna Gearing, helped out the Lady Warriors by winning the 3200 (11:23.28). She was on the winning 1,600 relay team as well. White County also picked up a win in the 800 by Kristen Mitchell (2:25.25).

“Halfway through our season, we had a feeling that we had a chance at winning (the region championship)” Lady
Warriors’ coach Heidi Dotson said.

“The girls did exactly what we asked them to do. We said ‘you need to be this place, and get this amount of points’. Just instilling that confidence in them that they could place first, second or third.”

West Hall showed its speed in the sprints, taking first in the 400 relay (49.6). Maia Caldwell-Booker added to the Lady Spartans’ win total in the 100 (12.58) and LeNiesha Kearse placed first in the 100 hurdles (15.22).

North Hall’s Nana Awuku won the 300 hurdles (50.20).

The top four finishers from each region event move on to the Class AAA Sectionals next Saturday at Southeast Bulloch High in Brooklet.