McEachern boys back on top; Walton girls win Cobb County track meet
by Greg Oshust
goshust@mdjonline.com
March 27, 2012 01:04 AM | 3351 views | 5 5 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff photo by Jon-Michael Sullivan
Staff photo by Jon-Michael Sullivan
slideshow
MARIETTA — McEachern won its first boys team championship in six years, while Walton claimed its second girls title in three years on the final day of the Cobb County Track and Field Championships on Monday at Marietta High School.

Led by Amba Etta-Tawo’s victories in the 100 and 200-meter dashes and wins in both the 400 and 1,600-meter relays, the Indians scored 83 points to edge out runner-up Kell (76) and third-place Marietta (74.5) — the leader after the first day on Saturday — to win their first boys county crown since 2006.

“They’ve been working very hard,” McEachern coach Phil Hoskins said. “We’ve had some good meets to tune up for this. The (Coaches Invitational at Georgia Tech last weekend) is the best one we’ve been to. We just kind of carried it on over. We got people qualified where we needed to and we’re going to keep working and see if we can keep on making noise later in the season.”

Wheeler (67) was fourth, followed by Walton (63.5), Sprayberry (51), Pope (44.5), Campbell (42), Lassiter (35.5), Allatoona (26.5), Hillgrove (26), Whitefield Academy (21), Kennesaw Mountain (19.5), Harrison (15), North Cobb (14) and South Cobb (4).

Walton regained the girls title that it won in 2010 as the Lady Raiders scored 82 points to beat out runner-up Campbell (72) and third-place Marietta (74.50) — the leader going into Monday.

“It was a great meet, especially considering we didn’t get to run everyone we wanted to,” Walton coach Travis Gower said. “We had prom Saturday, so a lot of our kids didn’t run their prelim stuff that they would have done. So, that shows we could still come out here and do well. It’s just awesome. Every girl did a great job. It shows how deep our team is and hopefully, that carries over when it really matters and that is at region and state. I could not be more thrilled with the way the girls ran (on Monday).”

McEachern (62) was fourth among the girls, followed by Harrison (49), Wheeler and Kell (47 each), Lassiter (43), Pope (42.5), Kennesaw Mountain (42), Allatoona (34), Hillgrove (22), North Cobb (19.5), Sprayberry (12), Osborne (11), Whitefield Academy (10), Pebblebrook (4) and South Cobb (1).

Kell’s Kendell Williams claimed her third county title of the meet with her win in the girls 100-meter hurdles.

Williams, who won the high jump and long jump on Saturday, ran 13.62 seconds to beat out Campbell’s Monti Willis (14.11) and add the 100 hurdles to her list of county titles.

“I felt pretty good,” Williams said. “My form was pretty good and everything went smoothly.”

McEachern’s Etta-Tawo was also one of the multiple-event winners with his wins in the boys 100 and 200 dashes.

Etta-Tawo, a Maryland football signee, started out strong in the 100 dash, winning with a meet record-time of 10.53 seconds to edge out another Cobb football star — Hillgrove’s Kenyan Drake (10.59), an Alabama gridiron signee.

He set another meet record as well as a personal-best mark with his win in the 200, crossing the finish line at 21.17 seconds to finish ahead of Lassiter’s Alexander Reese (21.77).

“It’s good coaching, really,” said Etta-Tawo of his success. “All that hard practice pays off. I could have done better in the 100 and I did pretty good in the 200 — that was a (personal-best time).”

Etta-Tawo also helped lead the McEachern 400 relay team to victory as he joined Victor Brennan, Xavier Jackson and Jalani Wells finished first with a meet-record time of 40.95 seconds and later joined Cameron Gamble, Brandon Davis and Rajon Wright to win the 1,600 relay at 3:19.90.

Whitefield Academy’s Cameron Thornton added his second title of the county meet with his win in the boys 800-meter run.

Thornton, who won the 1,600 on Saturday, replaced his usually conservative strategy with a much bolder approach as he seized the lead at the start and was still in front as he crossed the finish line with a time of 1:52.71 — finishing ahead of Walton’s Brian Sullivan (1:56.30).

“I was outside of my comfort zone, but I knew I had to go out stronger, because it was such a strong field (of runners),” Thornton said.

Lassiter’s Marcie Merriman also won her second event of the meet as she took the girls 3.200 run.

Merriman, the winner of the girls 1,600 on Saturday, led from beginning to end and finished with a time of 11:05.08 to place ahead of Walton’s Alexa Womack (11:12.44).

McEachern’s Amber Bryant-Brock won the girls 300 hurdles with a meet-record time of 55.06 seconds.

The Walton 400-meter relay team of Tayla Carter, Cleo Holt, Michaela Greer and Sydney Griffin set a new meet record with a time of 46.86 — breaking the previous mark of 47.00 that they set in the preliminary round on Saturday.

The McEachern quartet of Bryant-Brock, Brianna Kelly, Christoni Wynn and Cierra Dunston won the girls 1,600 relay with a new meet-record time of 3:53.29.

The Lady Raiders won two other events in their march to the girls team title, with Tayla Carter winning the 100 dash (11.89) and Lia Sewell the 800 run (2:18.59), while the Campbell girls got wins from Kelli Hardnett in the 200 dash (24.73) and Monti Willis in the 300 hurdles (43.30).

Other boys winners were Sprayberry’s Michael Newton in the 400 (46.98), Kell’s Devon Williams in the 110 hurdles (14.25), Campbell’s Alan Frye in the 300 hurdles (37.75) and Walton’s Kenan Farmer in the 3,200 (9:29.11).
Comments
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Mrs. Wynn
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May 31, 2012
Go McEachern 4x4 relay team! Good job!
Track mom
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March 28, 2012
Leah Way to Go! I remember your first 800 and how much you did not want to run it. Awesome job!
OMacG
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March 27, 2012
Wow- 4 meet records set by Indian athletes. Amba has come up a whole 'nother level since last year...and separated a bit from Drake, at least at County. Two great races between two great sprinters in the 100 and 200 last spring and I hope to see two more in April. Really fun to see them go at it and amazing to see a young man Kenyan's size run that fast.

Congrats to the Mac athletes and coaches!
HarposDAD
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March 27, 2012
Great win for the Mceachern Squad! Hard work and determination.
trackguy
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March 27, 2012
What? Allatoona didn't win?! You're kidding me, right? I thought they were all the Rave- too funny!!! That's okay, you can give them all a medal and tell them how great they are when they win region against the mountain schools where most don't even have a full team.
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