Kell star adds two more titles to track career
by Greg Oshust
goshust@mdjonline.com
May 05, 2012 01:38 AM | 2417 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kell's Kendell Williams
Kell's Kendell Williams
slideshow
ALBANY — Kell’s Kendell Williams added two more state titles to her already impressive collection of track and field medals Friday.

The junior won the Class AAAA long jump and high jump on the second day of the girls state championships at Hugh Mills Stadium.

Lassiter’s Marcie Merriman and Kennesaw Mountain’s DeVon Johnson added state championships of their own in the Class AAAAA competition — Merriman in the 3,200-meter, Johnson in the triple jump.

Williams got the day off to a strong start with her win in the long jump. She leaped 20 feet, 8½ inches to finish nearly 3 feet ahead of the runner-up, Statesboro’s Alisa Jenkins (18-2).

Williams’ jump established a new AAAA state meet record, easily erasing the old mark of 19-10¾ set by Pebblebrook’s Tameisha King in 1999. It was also the best mark of the day in the long jump among all five classifications.

“It was unbelievable,” said Williams of her long jump performance. “I just felt very good (Friday). My legs felt real good.”

Williams continued her dominance in the high jump, where she jumped 5-8 to win easily over Woodland-Bartow’s Briana Brown, Lambert’s Savannah Smith and Ware County’s Brittany Ealey, who each jumped 5-2.

Williams’ high jump was another all-classification high, but she wasn’t completely satisfied.

“The long jump was phenomenal, but the high jump wasn’t quite as good as I hoped for,” she said. “I don’t know what it was, but it just wasn’t as good I could have done.”

Williams appears to be a sure bet to win a third title today, and eighth of her career, in the 100 hurdles after setting a new AAAA meet record with a time of 13.39 seconds in the preliminary round.

In the Class AAAAA 3,200 run, Merriman was among a group of four runners leading the way in the early laps before she began to pull away about midway through the eight-lap race.

The Lassiter junior was in control the rest of the way and crossed the finish line with a time of 10 minutes, 51.69 seconds. Alpharetta’s Rachel Thorne (10:54.78) was second, while Walton’s Alexa Womack (11:00.05) was fourth.

Merriman’s time of was the best time of all five classifications in the 3,200.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “This is what I’ve working towards all season, and to finally achieve this is incredible.”

Johnson added to Cobb County’s state title collection with her win in the AAAAA triple jump, jumping 38-5½ to edge out Valdosta’s Donjhae Jones (38-1½).

Johnson’s victory in the triple jump helped propel Kennesaw Mountain to a share of the Class AAAAA lead after the field and distance events. The Lady Mustangs are tied with Brookwood with 22 points each, while Westlake (21) is third and Marietta (18) fourth.

Lassiter and Walton are the other local teams in the top 10 of Class AAAAA, with the Lady Trojans (13) seventh and the Lady Raiders tied with Tift County for ninth with 12 points.

Williams’ victories in the long jump and high jump gave Kell 20 points, tying the Lady Longhorns with Rockdale County for second place in the AAAA team standings behind Southwest DeKalb (30).

Pope (12) is also among the top 10 in ninth place.

Allatoona is also is in strong shape heading into the final day of the Class AAA competition, with the Lady Buccaneers sixth at 19.5 points. Monroe-Albany leads the team standings with 39 points.

Marietta’s Janessa Jackson finished second in the Class AAAAA shot put with a throw of 40-1½, finishing behind Windsor Forest’s Jade Stokes (44-4½). Jackson also placed sixth in the discus with a throw of 116-7.

Campbell’s Monti Willis and Kennesaw Mountain’s Jordan Shealy were the runners-up in the AAAAA long jump and pole vault, respectively.

Willis jumped 18-1 in the long jump to finish second behind Valdosta’s Storm Phillips (18-2½), while Shealy tied Tift County’s Katelyn Utley in the AAAAA pole vault (11-0). Utley was awarded the state title based on fewer vaults missed.

Shealy’s teammate, Kristi Frank, was fourth in the AAAAA pole vault, while Marietta’s Elizabeth Hartley was fifth and Walton’s Katie Frey placed sixth.

Pope’s Molly Schenck finished fourth in the AAAA 3,200 run with a time of 11:15.73, while teammate Monica Phillips was fifth in the AAAA shot put (39-2) and eighth in the AAAA discus (115-2).

Allatoona’s Dessaa Legros placed in her two events in the AAA competition, finishing seventh in the high jump (5-2) and eighth in the triple jump (36-2). The Lady Buccaneers also got a fifth-place performance from Emily Dunn (5:25.38) in the 1,600 run, while teammates Emma Batch and Dana Cole were sixth and seventh in the AAA pole vault (9-6) and shot put (37-0), respectively.

In the AAAAA high jump, Wheeler’s Jaelyn Rice and Marietta’s Hartley both jumped 5-2, but Rice ended up tied for sixth and Hartley was eighth due to number of jumps missed.

McEachern’s Alexius Waldon placed sixth in the AAAAA long jump at 16-7, while Whitefield Academy’s Morgan Landers was sixth in the Class A triple jump (34-3).

The state meet will conclude today with the running event finals, beginning at 1 p.m. \
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