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Ring bearers
Newton track celebrates championship 2011 accomplishments
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Days before school reconvenes for the 2011-12 year, Newton honored its boys' track team and the Class AAAAA championship 4x100 meter relay team one last time in a banner and ring ceremony Thursday.

Head track coach Cortez Allen passed out championship batons to members of the team to honor the most recent 2-AAAAA region championship. The boys' track team won the region championship for the second consecutive year in May.

"This is the special part of athletics," Allen said. "Being a former athlete in high school and college and being a part of championship-caliber programs, I know there's nothing like this day."

The two-time state champion relay team also received their championship rings. Darius Dean, Akeem Hunt, Tyler Long and Chris Dickerson captured the school's second consecutive state championship at the Class AAAAA meet in May. The quartet's time of 41.79 bested McEachern's time of 41.980.

Long, Dickerson and Hunt graduated in May as two-time state champs in the 400 meter relay. They were a part of last year's team along with Bart Lindsey that brought the school's first track state championship when they ran a blistering 41.67.

Hunt along with Christian Croone and Devon Mann, alternates on the 400 meter team, and Thomas Miller also finished third in the 4x400 or 1600 meter relay at the state meet. Hunt finished second in the long jump as well while Miller placed fourth in the 800 meters and seventh in the 1600 meters.

"The fact that we were able to come back and repeat as state champions is a great feat," Allen said. "We are really proud of our guys and the work they put in. This one was much more difficult. Going around a second time is hard. We had a lot of stuff go on this year but we stuck together as a team — as a family and we trusted in each other and went on to repeat as state champions."