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Newton, Eastside win boys track state titles

A pair of Newton County boys’ track teams won their first ever 2015-16 GHSA Boys Track & Field State Championships this month.

The Newton Rams won the Class AAAAAA title in the state championships, which took place May 12-15, with 48 points, edging second place South Gwinnett by three points (45) after trailing by five prior to the final event.

Beginning Day 3 in eighth place, the Rams got off to a rocky start when the 4x100 relay team of Elija Godwin, Artice Hobbs, Alex Sands and Riordran Johnson failed to finish and earned zero points. Godwin then provided a 10-point spark for Newton after posting a 47.40 second first-place finish in the 400-meter dash.

Down 45-40 to South Gwinnett after 15 events, the Rams needed to finish third place or better in the final event for the win. The team of Godwin, Hobbs, Sands and Jeremiah Holloman finished 4x400 relay in 3:17.85 for second place, earning the Rams eight points and the championship.

The Eastside Eagles won their first state title in thrilling fashion. Eastside blew out the competition with a 71-point win in the Class AAAA championship, defeating second-place Marist (44) by nearly 30 points and winning six of their eight events.

The Eagles began the final day in second place with 28 points, all of which were scored by Ratayvius Jackson who won the high jump (6-feet, 8-inches) and triple jump (46-03.75) and placed second in the long jump (22-11).

The relay team of Tiaje Thomas, Jovan Brown, Matthew Brown and Eric Stokes then gave Eastside the lead after winning the 4x100 with a time of 41.87 seconds.

Brown earned 10 points for the Eagles after finishing the 300 meter hurdles in 37.62, while Stokes took home two gold medals in the 100 (10.48) and 200 meters (21.58).

The 4x400 relay team gave Eastside their final three points after finishing sixth with a time of 3:32.75.