The boys clinched their fifth consecutive region title, scoring 138 points to beat out Wheeler (133.5) and Walton (125).
“They put everything they had into it,” Marietta boys coach Nick Houstoulakis said. “They wanted it so bad. They did everything they had to do. When you work hard and put all you can into it, this is what happens. They did awesome.”
Woodstock (95) was fourth, followed by Lassiter (59.5), Cherokee (37) and Etowah (28).
The Lady Blue Devils joined their male counterparts as region champions with 157 points, winning their first title since 2008. They beat out Walton (148), the second-ranked team in the state.
“It was an outstanding overall track meet for the girls,” Marietta girls coach Chad Christman said. “I told them they had to compete hard against every single Walton girl, and they did. They were just hungry. They wanted it the whole meet. They were very diligent, and I told them every point counts, every place counts, every spot counts, so they went after it and got it. We believed all along that we could win the region championship. We knew (Walton) was the second-best team in the state, but we believed we could do it.”
Wheeler (111) was third, followed by Woodstock (72), Lassiter (71), Etowah (41) and Cherokee (14).
The top four finishers in each event qualified for next Saturday’s Class AAAAA sectional at McEachern.
The Marietta boys’ drive to their fifth straight region title was boosted Saturday by wins from freshman Krivonte Benson in the 100-meter dash and Gerald Cain in the shot put.
Benson won with a time of 11.02 seconds, finishing ahead of Walton’s Tyren Jones (11.14), an Alabama football commitment. Cain claimed the boys shot put with a throw of 48 feet, 9 inches.
Lassiter’s Alexander Reese began his quest to repeat as Class AAAAA state champion in the 200 and 400 dashes with wins in both of those events. Reese first won the 400 (47.30), then came back later in the day to take the 200 (21.81).
“I feel great,” Reese said. “I would like to thank my coaches for the lessons I’ve been taught. I thank everybody for helping me. This isn’t just an individual race, it’s a team race. I think I’m going in the right direction, and I hope to get better and better.”
Wheeler’s Adel Yoonis followed up Friday’s victory in the boys 1,600 with a win in the 800 (4:18.27).
The Wildcats also got a win in the boys triple jump, where Travis Redmond (45-11¼) edged out teammate Rashad Jenkins (43-9¼) after Jenkins beat Redmond in the long jump Friday.
The Walton boys got wins from Kenan Farmer in the 3,200 (9:34.10), T’Qwan Robinson in the 300 hurdles (39.76) and Camilo Herrera-Matiz in the pole vault (12-6). The Raiders’ 400 relay (42.07) also won, as did Lassiter’s 1,600 relay (3:20.69).
In the girls competition, Marietta’s Janessa Jackson completed a sweep of the throwing events with a win in the discus, throwing 112-7.
“I definitely feel like that I’m proud of myself,” said Jackson, who won the shot put Friday. “I came through and I did what I had to do. I mean, I could have done better, but I won and I’m going to sectionals, and that’s all that matters.”
The Lady Blue Devils also achieved a 1-2 finish in the long jump, with freshman Tatiana Rayford (17-2) winning the region title and Whitney Stevenson (16-10½) finishing second, while also getting a win from freshman Mary Jeanne Assinzo (2:24.75) in the girls 800.
Walton’s Tayla Carter swept the girls 100 and 200 dashes, winning the former in 11.95 and the latter in 24.55.
The Lady Raiders also got wins from Sydney Griffin in the 100 hurdles (14.50), while winning both the 400 relay (47.47) and 1,600 relay (3:59.95).
Wheeler’s Natisha Dixon was another multiple-event winner among the girls, winning both the 400 dash and 300 hurdles.
Dixon led a 1-2 finish for the Lady Wildcats in the 400, finishing at 57.98 to place ahead of teammate Lammy Sokunbi (59.54), while winning the 300 hurdles with a time of 43.85.
The Wheeler girls also got a win by Jaelyn Rice, who won the girls high jump with a jump of 5-4, while Lassiter’s Marcie Merriman won the girls 3,200 run with a time of 10:51.21.