The second day of the GHSA girls state track meet turned out to best one so far for the Flowery Branch High girls track team.
The Lady Falcons advanced to the state finals in all the events they entered but one, while Kiara McCue-Woods secured eight points for Flowery Branch with a second-place finish in the 3200-meter Thursday in Albany.
“As a program we made giant leaps today,” Lady Falcons coach Jimmy Sorrells said. “We’re not trying to win a state championship, but we’re going to points on the board, and that’s really never happened.”
McCue-Woods’ second-place finish comes a day after she finished fourth in the 1,600-meter finals. The junior’s time of 11 minutes, 24.820 seconds was 20 seconds behind Riverwood’s Bret Daniel, who also finished ahead of McCue-Woods in the Class AAA state cross country finals last November.
White County’s Jessie Dotson finished third behind McCue-Woods with a time of 11:42.210.
“I feel really good (about the finish),” McCue-Woods said. “I really pushed myself today to make up for yesterday’s fourth-place finish.”
With no events left in her schedule, McCue-Woods will cheer on her teammates in the five events the Lady Falcons will compete in today. They currently sit tied for sixth in team points.
Flowery Branch’s 4x100 team finished third in their heat with a time of 49.270 to reserve a spot in today’s final. It marks the first time the Lady Falcons have made it to the finals in a sprinting event.
“These are big steps in our program,” Sorrells said.
Two of the 4x100 team’s runners, Sam Salyers and Erika Rucker, will have a busy day today, each competing in two individual events. Rucker finished first in her 200 heat (25.120) and third in her 100 heat (12.280) to advance to the finals.
Salyers punched her ticket to the finals with a second-place finish in the 100 intermediate hurdles heat (15.580) and third place in the 300 low hurdles (46.33).
In Class AA, Dawson County’s Madalyn Walters finished fifth in the 1,600 with a time of 5:29.100, securing four points for the Tigers.
In field events, Jefferson’s Marcayla Hester finished fifth in the Class AA triple jump with a distance of 35 feet, 6 inches. Gainesville’s Hailey Solomon finished seventh in the discus with a throw of 105-9.