Top athletes head to Albany in bids for state crowns
by Greg Oshust
goshust@mdjonline.com
May 06, 2010 12:00 AM | 866 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lassiter and Kennesaw Mountain will both aim for a top-four finish, and a spot on the podium, in the Class AAAAA competition of the girls track and field state championships today through Saturday at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany.

The state meet will begin today with running event preliminaries in Class AAAAA, AAAA and AA and the finals in the 1,600 (Class AAA and A) and 3,200 (AAAAA, AAAA and AA).

Friday's schedule will include field event finals in all classifications, as well as finals in the 1,600 (AAAAA, AAAA and AA) and 3,200 (AAA and A) and running event prelims in AAA and A.

The meet will conclude Saturday with running event finals in all classifications.

Led by its dynamic duo of Julienne McKee and Gabrielle Piper, Lassiter is aiming for a spot on the podium as one of the top four finishers in Class AAAAA.

McKee is a strong contender in the long jump and triple jump, while Piper is expected to contend in the long jump and 100-meter dash. Both McKee and Piper will lead Lassiter's 400-meter relay team as well.

"We're going to be strong in the jumps and (400 relay)," Lassiter coach Jim Reichenbach said. "If we can do as well as we're capable of, we can get a top-four finish."

Emilie Moore will compete for Lassiter in the pole vault.

Like Lassiter, Kennesaw Mountain will rely mainly on its strength in the field events.

Ivana Osanyimbi will be one of the top contenders in the triple jump, while the Lady Mustangs' other hopefuls include Daina Levy in the shot put and discus, Amber Hallman in the shot put and Brooke Colson in the pole vault.

"We have some very good athletes in the field events, so we can do very well," Kennesaw Mountain Cindy Faulkner said.

Kell's Kendell Williams could sweep both hurdles titles in Class AAAAA as the freshman standout is a favorite in both the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles.

Other county contenders in the AAAAA competition are Walton's Mara Canning and Caroline Sullivan in the 800, Canning in the 1,600, North Cobb's Lauren Hutchinson in the pole vault, Pope's Sarah Hutchinson in the triple jump and Campbell in the 1,600 relay.

In Class AAAA, Hillgrove's Melanie Mainor is one of the top contenders in the high jump. The Lady Hawks will also be represented by Lydia McAliley in the 1,600 run and their 1,600 relay team.

Jessica Brown will compete for Allatoona in the 3,200.

Whitefield Academy will bring a contingent of three athletes to Albany to compete in the Class A competition, led by reigning Class A state discus champion Briana Jones, who will compete in both the discus and shot put.

Jones will be joined by teammates Janey Fugate (300 hurdles) and Janie Hampel (high jump).

North Cobb Christian will be represented in the Class A competition by Morgan Woodward (long jump) and Emily Buwulda (800).
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