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TRACK: More than 30 Newton County athletes set to compete in state championship meets
Eastside Track
The Eastside boys 4x400 relay team of Keenan McDonald, Demetrius Williams, Antonio Macek and Jeff Haynes have momentum going into the Class AAAA state meet after winning first place in sectionals last week. -Submitted Photo

Thirty-two Newton County athletes will take part in three different GHSA state track meets this weekend, starting with field events on Thursday and finishing up on Saturday. 

Eastside leads the pack with 14 athletes participating in the Class AAAA state games in Albany, while Newton qualified 12 and Alcovy six. Athletes had to finish in the top eight in last week’s sectionals competitions in order to punch their tickets to the state meets. 

For the Eagles’ boys, Jeff Haynes will compete in the 200 and 400 meters Friday after finishing in third place (21.97 seconds) and sixth place (49.97 seconds) respectively during sectionals. Antonio Macek’s 3rd place finish in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 40.16 seconds qualified him for the state meet as well. 

Both Eastside’s boys relay squads advanced and the 4x400 relay squad consisting of Keenan McDonald, Demetrius Williams, Antonio Macek and Jeff Haynes has momentum after winning first place in sectionals with a finishing time of 3:19.91 The boys 4x100 relay team of Jovan King, Giovanni Macek, Jordan Rogers and Jeff Haynes took fifth in sectionals with a 42.77-second result. 

In the high jump, it’ll be Daniel Jackson and Jordan Rogers who tied for fourth in sections with 5-foot-10-inch jumps. And Jae’Lon Sands with compete in the discuss. 

On the girls’ side, it’s the 4x400 relay team of Armani Holloway, Jazmine Rice-Brunskill, Darnaya Pitts and Aralyn Everett.

It’ll be an all girls state meet slate for Alcovy with freshman Giah Thomas competing in the 400 meter dash, Elaina Housworth looking for gold in the long jump and triple jump and Jovita Dave competing in discus after finishing eighth in sectionals. 

Housworth’s qualifying was especially sweet, given the fact that she’d been battling a nagging injury during the stretch run of the season. But with some rest, she’ll be looking to be closer to 100 percent for Thursday. 

At Newton, it’s Laliyah Sterling qualifying after placing sixth in the 100 meter dash in sectionals last week. She’ll also compete for a state crown in the 200 meters after finishing eighth last week. Additionally, Kimura Saurer will run the 400 meter dash at state, and Anaya Arnold will compete in the 800 meter run. 

The 4x100 meter relay team of Kaylah Allen, Sterling, Celene Stringer and Hannah Bodus qualified for state after finishing in seventh place at sectionals last week with a finishing time of 48.12. Meanwhile, the 4x400 meter relay team of Arnold, Bodus, Sauder and Stringer clocked a state-qualifying time of 4:01.00, good for eighth place at sectionals. 

Arrionne Hickson will also compete in state for the Lady Rams after placing sixth in discus at sectionals. 

For the Newton boys, Darius Green will be the only boys athlete to compete individually as he snagged third place in 100 meter dash last week with a state-qualifying time of 10.62 seconds. Green is also part of the third place sectionals finishing Newton boys 4x100 relay along with Tyrell Floyd, Exavier Lockett and Robert Lewis. They finished with a 42.15-second qualifying time. 

Eastside is competing in the Class AAAA finals at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany. Alcovy and Class AAAAAA will travel to Grisham Stadium in Carrollton and Newton to Valhalla Stadium in Rome.