JEFFERSON — Chestatee’s Brandon Thompson ran two races Saturday at the Georgia Olympics that would have made his friend Jack proud.
Thompson, a junior, took second at state in the 100 meter finals (10.89 seconds), followed by a third in Class AAA in the 200 (21.81) at the championship meet at Jefferson Memorial Stadium.
“It’s just an honor and a blessing to be able to come out here and compete against the top runners in the state,” Thompson said. “God has blessed me with a lot of ability to run, and it’s great to see all these guys compete.”
However, not a race goes by that Thompson doesn’t remember his closest childhood friend, Jack Sanders, who died a few years ago from cancer. When Thompson hits the starting line before every race, he points to the sky twice: Once to God and once to Jack.
From his performance at the state meet, Thompson, a first-year runner for the War Eagles, has to feel like he honored his friend’s memory well.
The Chestatee junior finished just .1 seconds off eventual state champion DeVon Lewis, of Sandy Creek, in the 100 meter final. Then in the second of his finals events, Thompson was less than half a second behind the state champion from Stone Mountain Tamaric Johnson’s time of 21.38.
“I can’t be disappointed with how I did today,” Thompson added.
Now that the high school season is complete, Thompson plans to take a couple weeks to rest and recover his legs, then resume training.
Also on Saturday, Buford had a strong showing in Class AA. Martinez Johnson won state titles for the Wolves in the wheelchair division in both the 800 (2:56.81) and 200 (37.59).
In the 400, Thomas Wilson placed fifth (50.66) for the Wolves, and Ronald King earned fifth in the 200 (22.32).
Buford’s 400-meter relay squad of Wilson, King, Joseph Lynn and Kenneth Love placed seventh (43.41).
Jackson County’s Yohan Reynolds placed seventh in both the 110 hurdles (15.73) and 300 hurdles (40.73).
In Class A, Athens Christian (63 points) won the team title, followed by Darlington (60), Wesleyan (50), Pace Academy (38) and Bowdon (33).
In Class AA, Putnam County won the team title (46), ahead of Elbert County (44), Oglethorpe County (38), Westminster (37) and North Oconee. In Class AAA, Carrollton (58) won over Westover (45), Woodward Academy (37), Drew (34) and Burke County (33).
In Class AAAA, the top five were Kell (48), Sprayberry (37), Creekside (35), Pope (31) and Marist (28). The best teams in Class AAAAA were Brookwood (40), Coffee County (34), Mill Creek (33), Wheeler (33) and Luella (32).