Cody Barger and Brandon Lawson finished first and second in the 1600-meter run to led the North Hall boys track team to a Day 1 total of 50 points and first place in the Region 8-AAA track and field championships Friday at Lanier High in Sugar Hill.
Gainesville currently sits in second place with 42 points, while Oconee County is in third with 37. Franklin County (34.5) and Monroe Area (34) round out the top five teams.
The 1,600-meter was the only track final of the day, with preliminary races being held in the other events and the finals scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Monday in Sugar Hill.
Host Lanier, which managed just 14 points in the field events on Day 1, North Hall and Monroe Area placed the most runners in the finals, and each will look to make a region-title run. The top two finishers in each event qualify for the state meet.
Barger and Lawson will be joined at state by Patrick Chappell (second place, shot put) and Drew Bryant (second place, discus). Barger set a new personal-best time of 4:22.08, as did Lawson at 4:32, despite the cold conditions.
Gainesville had several second place finishers, including Trey McKeithen in the triple jump (43 feet, 1 1/4 inches), which was just short of Lumpkin County's Taylor Guthrie, who took first place at 43 feet, 3 1/2 inches. Senior Desmond Hamilton and Patrick McKibbon also placed second for Gainesville. Hamilton with a long jump of 20 feet, 4 3/8 inches, and McKibbon with a shot put toss of 42 feet, 11 3/4 inches. Johnson's Kyle Stacey placed first in the shot put, with a throw of 43 feet, 5 1/4 inches.
In the discus, Notre Dame football signee and Monroe Area senior Stephon Tuitt used a throw of 137-feet to take the region title. North Hall freshman Drew Bryant was second with a throw of 123-feet.
Day 2 of the Region 8-AAA championships are Monday at Lanier in Sugar Hill.