The Newton boys’ track team won Region 2-AAAAAA and the girls’ finished second in a continuation of strong performances by both Rams teams.
It was the third region title in the last five years for the boys’ team and the second, second-place finish for the girls in that same time period.
The girls finished in first place in the 4 x 100, led by Shay Lawrence, Keri Washington, Brianna Hayden, Mercedes Booker, Deandrea Mackenzie and Micah Sneed.
The girls also finished first in points for the day with 46.
Mikayla Jackson broke a school record in the hurdles finishing in 45.04 seconds.
The boys were led by Alex Grady and Darante Carter, with Carter breaking school records in both the 110 and 300 hurdles. Carter finished in 39.36 seconds in the 300 hurdles. Malik Franklin broke the triple jump record with 46 feet, 2 inches.
That region success should carry to the state playoffs, where coach Cortez Allen expects to find plenty of Newton participants.
“We expect to send four to seven girls and three to 10 boys” Allen said.
The girls’ State Track Championships will take place in Albany, with the boys’ in Jefferson, but both will be Allen’s last at Newton as he takes over the MLK football program next season.
“It was a total delight, there are a very memorable amount of kids in the program” Allen said. “I am very proud of how far we have come.
"Three years ago we didn’t even have hurdles, but thanks to Coach Keila Thomas for starting up a Booster Club we have those now. The hurdles are here to help our track athletes become better.
“Even though we still have a long way to go, my goal was to leave the program better than how I started with it. I feel I have done that.”
The teams will compete in next Saturday’s state sectionals at Mill Creek High School in Gwinett County, starting at noon.
“I expect the teams to come out, give their best effort and perform great” Allen said.