East Hall’s Kerry Mata is a Class AA state champion.
The senior Viking won the 300 meter intermediate hurdles with a time of 39.08 seconds on Saturday at the Georgia Olympics in Jefferson.
Mata, who last year placed fifth in the same event and was slowed by injury, said he entered this season with the mindset of staying healthy. In addition he knew he had to improve on his start time.
“I’ve kind of slacked off at the beginning of races,” Mata said. “I’ve been working hard in practice on my sprinting, because I wasn’t worried about the curve or the final turn. I was just slow accelerating.
“I felt confident once I started that I was going to win the race. I never saw anyone on my side or felt anyone beside me.”
It was also a day that Buford’s C.J. Moore will not soon forget. He too won a Class AA state title with a time of 10.89 seconds in the 100-meter run, followed by running a leg in the Wolves’ state runner-up 400-relay team (42.184), joined by Seon Jones, Michael Fortson, Eric Barr and Ronald King.
In Class AAA, North Hall’s Brandon Lawson finished seventh in the 800 (1 minute, 59.72 seconds). The place matched his finish in the 1,600 from Thursday. The Trojans finished seventh overall in Class AA with 24 points. West Hall’s Jason McCurdy was seventh in the 400 (50.33).
In Class A, Riverside Military’s Steven Pulhar was eighth in the 400 (52.38).