Weather doesn’t hinder hurdler
by Carlton D. White
cwhite@mdjonline.com
May 05, 2013 12:20 AM | 2308 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Allan Frye
Allan Frye
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JEFFERSON — Despite persistent rain and wind, Cobb County athletes collected four more state championships, and Hillgrove flexed its muscles with a second-place finish following the conclusion of the boys state track and field championships.

Campbell’s Allan Frye swept the Class AAAAAA 110- and 300-meter hurdles. Last year’s Class AAAAA champion at 300, but a runner-up at 110, Frye won both events this time around, clocking in at 14.46 seconds at 110 and 38.74 at 300.

Both times were the fastest out of all classifications, earning Frye best performer accolades in each event. He was also named the most outstanding performer in Class AAAAAA.

“It’s a blessing,” said Frye, a senior who plans to run at Norfolk State next season. “I’m staying humble. I just want to roll these performances over to my college years. I was trying to go for the (state) records, but with the weather conditions and all of that, it just didn’t happen.

“But I’m happy with these trophies. The best performances and outstanding performer mean a lot. I just want to represent Campbell and Georgia the best way I can.”

Joining Frye as champions were Walton’s Brian Sullivan and Marietta’s KirVonte Benson.

Sullivan won the Class AAAAAA 800 run in 1:54.52, while Benson came out on top in the Class AAAAAA 100 dash in 11.03.

“I’m really happy,” said Sullivan, who was also the best performer of his event. “It’s my first state title, and it was tough to out there with all of the wind and rain. When the 800 gets down to the wire, you have to make decision and I did and pulled away. It’s a short race and you have to know when to go.”

Benson won his race by .13 seconds over Hillgrove’s Demetrius Duggans.

“It feels really good to win a state championship,” the sophomore said. “It’s a huge honor to compete against some of the best in the state. I’m glad I was able to make Marietta proud, and hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to come back here next year and defend my title.”

A state title was definitely on the mind of Hillgrove coach Antoine Prince.

His Hawks trailed Mill Creek by eight points in the Class AAAAAA standings entering Saturday and had enough finalists to earn the championship. Hillgrove, however, wasn’t able to get enough of the placements it needed and wound up second with 43 points, behind Mill Creek’s 59.

“I’m disappointed in our second-place finish when we had an opportunity to win a state championship,” Prince said. “We’re still excited about our great season and the great strides we made, and I’m proud of our athletes.

“But the finishes we got weren’t what we expected, and that’s what’s disappointing. We’re a young school, so getting second is quite an accomplishment. To use some football terminology, things happen on the track, and that’s why you play the game.”

Six Cobb County teams finished in the top 12 of Class AAAAAA. In addition to Hillgrove, Walton (34) was third and Campbell (27) was seventh, while Marietta (22.33), McEachern (21) and Harrison (20) filled slots 10-12.

Walton proved that a team doesn’t always need depth to do well. The Raiders had three athletes competing in five events and still earned a spot on the podium.

Sullivan’s teammate, Kenan Farmer, won the 3,200 Thursday and the two distance runners finished second (Farmer) and third (Sullivan) in Friday’s 1,600.

“It’s great that we got on the podium,” Walton coach Travis Gower said. “The state meet rewards the top kids and we had two of the best at their events.

“I wasn’t expecting us to get fourth. I just wanted what was best for my kids individually and it just worked out for them. They took advantage of the events they were in.”

Saturday’s other top performances in Class AAAAAA included Campbell’s Dante Johnson (third, 300 hurdles, Duggans (third, 200) and McEachern’s Cory Nicholls in the 400 (second) and 800 (third).

Pope, which finished third in Class AAAA last season, fell to 14th in Class AAAAA, but it got a boost from when Patrick Fleming placed third in the 800 (1:56.81), one day after winning the 1,600.

McIntosh was the Class AAAAA champion with 40 points, just ahead of Cedar Shoals (38).

North Cobb Christian’s John Towne placed in four events in the Class A private-school competition. After finishing third in the triple jump and second in the long jump Thursday, his time of 11.26 in the 100 was good enough for fourth. His 1,600 relay team finished eighth.

“Overall, I think I did pretty well,” Towne said. “I got kind of weary competing. Making it to state in four events is kind of tough. After I got my jumps done, though, I got into it and excited for the rest of my events.”

Whitefield’s Robby Keough was second in the 800 (1:57.86) on Saturday. He was also the runner-up in the 1,600 on Thursday.

Athens Christian (122) won the team title, well ahead of Landmark Christian (59.5).
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