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Robust field of Hall County athletes going after track and field state championships this weekend
Track and field
Cherokee Bluff's M'Kaylah Jackson win the 100 meter dash during the Hall County championships on Friday at Cherokee Bluff. Photo by Paul Sasso MV Photo Concepts

With the quality and quantity of talented high school track and field athletes from Hall County, ample individual state championships are almost inevitable. 

Flowery Branch leads the way with 21 athletes qualified to take part in the Class 4A state meet in Albany, which includes both preliminaries and those already in the finals. 

Meanwhile, Gainesville is sending a large contingent of 14 who are already in the finals for their respective events in Class 7A at McEachern High in Powder Springs. 

In Class 3A, Cherokee Bluff (14) and North Hall (13) will also both be well represented, also at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany. 

Chestatee’s boys are sending six runners to state, but have a realistic possibility of bringing home multiple championships. 

The War Eagles are paced by Luke Gaddis and Gavin Grater in the 1600 and 3200-meter runs. 

Caden Brooks, Garrett Grater Aaron Retana and Noah Peters will take the track in the 3200-meter relay for Chestatee.

Meanwhile, Cherokee Bluff has ample representation, particularly with girls runners. M’Kaylah Jackson will take part in the 100 meter and 200 for the Lady Bears, while Hannah Cheek and Saiyana Jones will run in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles, respectively. 

Adison Myers will run the 1600 and 3200 for Cherokee Bluff, while Avery Jones will try to score points in the shot put. 

The Lady Bears will have a team try to make the cut in the 400-meter relay, while the Cherokee Bluff boys are part of the field in the 3200 relay. 

For Gainesville, distance runners, individual and for the relay events, comprise more of its opportunities to score points. The Red Elephants boys and girls have teams in the field for the 3200 relay. For the Gainesville girls, junior Ashley Thompson will be one of the best in the field for the 1600 and 3200, and is also part of its 3200-relay squad. 

Ashley Sosa will have a solid shot at making the podium in the 3200, her coach Richard Corbett said, and is also on the 3200-relay team for the Lady Red Elephants. 

John Jessup and Donangelo Marshall are both in the pack for the 800 from Gainesville, while Dorean Whitehad (boys discus) and Ariah Jeffers (girls triple jump) are also expected to put on a good show. 

At North Hall, expectations are high for their distance runners Caylee Wagner and Andrew Jones, both seniors who will run the 1600 and 3200, and freshman Abi Moore, who is doing the 1600 and 800. 

Running relays for the Trojans will be Elissa Oliver, MaKayla Jones, James Bennett, Bradley Hernandez, Ian Harris and Ellijah Jernigan. The Lady Trojans are ranked No. 1 in the state with Wagner, Jones, Oliver and Moore in the two-mile relay.

Field competitors for North Hall are Simon Seid (pole vault), Jeremiah Telander (high jump) and Clay Stover (triple jump).

State qualifiers 

(Preliminaries and finals)

Class 7A

GAINESVILLE BOYS: Aiden Ayala (3200 relay); Elias Ballard (400 relay); Chammarion Bush (400 relay); Markelle Cheek (400 relay); Malik Drinkard (long jump and 400 relay); George Henry Ewers (3200 relay); Danial Gallagher (3200 relay); John Jessup (800 run and 3200 relay); Quadtrellis Johnson (110 hurdles and 400 relay); Gavin Lee (3200 relay); Donangelo Marshall (800 run and 3200 relay); Johnny Nunez (3200 relay); Shamar Rucker (400 relay); Dorean Whitehead (discus); Quez Sims (400 relay).

GAINESVILLE GIRLS: Ariah Jeffers (triple jump); Emely Mejia-Martinez (3200 relay); Ami Silva (3200 relay); Ashley Sosa (3200 and 3200 relay); Ashley Thompson (1600 and 3200); Avery Vlassis (3200 relay).

Class 4A

CHESTATEE BOYS: Caden Brooks (3200 relay); Luke Gaddis (1600, 3200 and 3200 relay); Garrett Grater (3200 relay); Gavin Grater (1600, 3200 and 3200 relay); Noah Peters (3200 relay); Aaron Retana (3200 relay); Jonathan Torres Cruz (3200 relay).

EAST HALL BOYS: Isaiah McClary (discus).

FLOWERY BRANCH BOYS: Clay Anderson (discus); Jacob Dixon (1600 relay and 3200 relay); Steve Faubert (1600 relay and 3200 relay); Jonathan Gonzalez (1600 relay and 3200 relay); Ryan Gruss (1600 relay); Nathaniel Horton (1600 relay); Kei Martin (3200 relay); Jack Ramsey (3200 relay); TJ Ramsey (3200 relay); David Renard (1600 run and long jump); Truman Repke (3200 relay); Carlos Rodriguez (800 run and 3200 relay); Drake Smitherman (1600 relay).

FLOWERY BRANCH GIRLS: Bella Brick (800 and 1600); Julia Hargrove (3200 relay); Ashley Heath (3200 relay); Alexis McGruder (discus and shot put); Skyler Seeber (3200 relay); Madelyn Taylor (3200 relay); Hannah Thigpen (pole vault and 3200 relay); Sadie Watson (3200 relay).

Class 3A

CHEROKEE BLUFF BOYS: Ryhs Baker (800 run and 3200 relay); Kyle Boyd (3200 relay); Collin Cabera (3200 relay): Austin Click (3200 and 3200 relay); Caleb Giles (3200 relay); Lucas Stephens (3200 relay).

CHEROKEE BLUFF GIRLS: Amerae Beverly (400 relay); Hannah Cheek (100 hurdles); Carson DeMars (3200 relay); M’Kaylah Jackson (100 run, 200 run and 400 relay); Saiyana Jones (300 hurdles); Olivia Owens (400 relay); (Amelia Dovie 3200 relay); Sydney Fisher (3200 relay); Avery Jones (shot put); Eva Martin (3200 relay); Lauren Perry (400 relay); Adison Myers (1600 and 3200); Isabella Nestor (3200 relay).

NORTH HALL BOYS: James Bennett (3200 relay); Adam Eberenz (3200 relay); Ian Harris (3200 relay); Bradley Hernandez (3200 relay); Elijah Jernigan (3200 relay); Andrew Jones (1600 and 3200); Jarrett Latty (discus); Kevin Santana (3200 relay); Simon Seid (pole vault); Clay Stover (triple jump and 110 hurdles); Jeremiah Telander (high jump); Jaycob Wagner (3200 relay).

NORTH HALL GIRLS: MaKayla Jones (3200 relay); Abi Lomas (3200 relay); Abi Moore (800 run and 1600); Elissa Oliver (3200 relay); Caylee Wagner (1600 and 3200).

WEST HALL BOYS: Tilil Blackwell (shot put). 

Class A private schools

LAKEVIEW ACADEMY BOYS: Hayden White (discus).

All preliminary and finals qualifiers can be found on the official website www.ghsa.net. State championships for Class 7A are Thursday-Saturday at McEachern High in Powder Springs. Class 5A is at Grisham Stadium in Carrollton. Class 3A and 4A are at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany. Class A private schools are also at McEachern High in Powder Springs. 

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