Wheeler girls maintain cushion to clinch Region 5AAAAA title
by Greg Oshust
May 01, 2011 12:00 AM | 3152 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wheeler’s Natisha Dixon clinched the 400-meter dash and was part of a 1-2 finish of two Lady Wildcat teams in the 1,600 relay, boosting Wheeler to its first region championship in 10 years.
Wheeler’s Natisha Dixon clinched the 400-meter dash and was part of a 1-2 finish of two Lady Wildcat teams in the 1,600 relay, boosting Wheeler to its first region championship in 10 years.
WOODSTOCK - The Wheeler girls maintained their first-day momentum, winning their first region team title in 10 years following the 5AAAAA track and field championships Saturday at the Wolverine Den.

The Lady Wildcats led after the opening day of competition Friday and remained atop the team standings at the end with 157 points.

Walton (136) was the runner-up, followed by Marietta (115), Lassiter (86.5), Woodstock (63), Etowah (41) and Cherokee (23.5).

Greg Mitchell, who coached Wheeler to its only other region title in 2001 during his first tenure at the school, was happy to follow up his team's county title earlier this season. He's back in east Cobb after spending the last four years as a track coach at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

"It's just a wonderful feeling. God has blessed us to be in this position," said Mitchell, who also led the Wheeler girls to four straight region runner-up finishes from 2002-05. "I was the head coach at Wheeler for seven years, and I coached at Morehouse the past four years, so just coming back from that time at Morehouse is just a blessing to be in this position. We've made history. This is our second region title ever, and we won our first-ever Cobb County championship as well. I'm just proud of the way everybody stepped up."

The top two finishers in each event qualified for the state championships May 12-14 in Albany.

Wheeler got wins from Netalia Anderson in the triple jump and Natisha Dixon in the 400-meter dash, as well as both their 400 and 1,600 relay teams.

Anderson jumped 35 feet, 9 inches to win the triple jump, the second region title won by the junior after winning the long jump Friday.

Woodstock's Ashley Wallace (33-1 ) was the runner-up, with Walton's Maya Kittell (32-10 ) third.

Dixon and teammate Morgan Love swept the state-meet berths in the 400 dash, with Dixon winning the region title in 57.76 seconds and Love (58.50) placing second.

Lassiter's Marshara Fross (1:00.56) was third.

Wheeler also took both state spots in the 1,600 relay, with its "A" team finishing first in 4:03.91, ahead of its "B" squad (4:06.53).

The Lady Wildcats also won the 400 relay with a time of 48.04 to finish ahead of Walton's "A" (48.28) and "B" (52.00) teams.

Walton's Tayla Carter swept the 100 and 200 dashes, setting personal-bests in both races.

Carter won the 100 dash with a time of 12.21, surpassing her old mark of 12.29, to finish ahead of Marietta's Whitney Stevenson (12.55) and Wheeler's Anderson (12.61).

The Walton junior also took the 200 with a time of 25.10, with Wheeler's Morgan Love (25.79) second and Woodstock's Maya Ramsey (26.32) third.

"This was my goal just to get a good, little time in for state," Carter said. "I worked so hard this season and I just feel blessed to come to state this year."

Marietta's Bre'anna Crockett swept the hurdles events with wins in both the 100 and 300.

Crockett won the 100 hurdles in a personal-best 15.06, winning by a large margin over Woodstock's Maya Ramsey (15.52) and Walton's Michaela Greer (15.63).

The Marietta junior, who won Friday's 300 hurdles preliminaries after falling during the race, won the finals of that event with a time of 45.61. Wheeler teammates Dixon (47.22) and Jasmine Hargett (48.85) were second and third, respectively.

"It was definitely an improvement from the prelims, when I fell in the 300 hurdles, but I came back and I'm proud of it," Crockett said.

Lassiter's Marcie Merriman was the other multiple-event winner of the weekend as she added a title in the 3,200 run to the one she earned in the 1,600 on Friday.

Merriman ran a time of 11:12.50 to finish ahead of Wheeler's Allison Brackin (11:34.15) and Walton's Alexa Womack (11:46.99).

Marietta won two of the three field events contested Saturday, with Akeia Miles winning the discus throw and Maggie Henderson the pole vault.

Miles threw a personal-best 107-9 to win the discus, with Cherokee's Mattie Hester (101-11) second and Lassiter's Shannon Dopson (99-11) third.

Henderson also set a new personal record as she vaulted 9-0 to win the pole vault. Joyce Poh of Walton had the same mark, but Henderson won on fewer vaults missed.

Walton's Lia Sewell won the 800 with a time of 2:20.41, while Wheeler teammates Sam Kiblinger (2:20.42) and Alla Yoonis (2:22.19) were second and third, respectively.
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