When the 2014 track and field season began for Lamar County, there was no shortage of eager determination for Qua Searcy and his teammates when it came to winning a state championship.
The Trojans had finished fifth the previous years state meet, and the boys squad had many of the same athletes who were part of a Lamar County football program that lost to Lovett in the GHSA Class AA championship game and was defeated in the semifinals the year before.
Going down in the Dome, it hurts a lot, Searcy said. We had to do anything we could to get a state championship.
The Trojans, notably their seniors, were indeed driven toward ending their high school careers with a state championship. That motivation came to fruition last month as Qua Searcy led the Trojans to the GHSA Class AA title, the first championship of any sport in school history. Searcy claimed first place in three events and placed second in another en route to the Trojans winning the championship by 20 points ahead of the next closest team, Greater Atlanta Christian.
Searcy is The Telegraphs All-Middle Georgia Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
He won the triple jump and long jump at the state meet and finished second in the high jump. He also joined football teammates Lance and Lawrence Austin on the Trojans 4x100 relay squad that also won its event. Filling out the relay team were Ray Lyons, Josh Heflin and Tyler Scandrett.
The Trojans 4x100 relay team actually put up its best performance in its state meet preliminary race. A time of 41.51 seconds set a GHSA Class AA state meet record. In the final, a time of 41.77 was still good enough to claim first place by nearly a second.
We went out there and tried hard, ran hard, and we won, Searcy said.
All three will remain teammates this fall as members of Georgia Techs freshman football class.
Qua, along with Lance and Lawrence Austin, made up their minds at the beginning of the season that they were not going to be denied a state championship, Lamar County track and field head coach James Abrams said. That speaks to the type of competitors that they all are.
Searcy showed that refusal to lose multiple times during the state meet.
Due to last year, it gave us a big drive to win, Searcy said. It gave us a big urge to compete hard and win and try to come out on top in every event.
The Trojans claimed the top spot in three events thanks to Searcy.
His distance of 45 feet, 10.75 inches was good enough to win the triple jump. A 23-4 attempt earned him first place in the long jump.
Searcy nearly claimed first place in the high jump with an impressive height of 6-8, only to come in second by 2 inches to Keyth Fightmaster of Calhoun.
Obviously, any time that someone scores 32 points in the state track meet, you are dealing with a special athlete, Abrams said.
Searcy and his teammates will leave high school having set a high standard across multiple sports and having energized the fan base surrounding the school.
It is Searcys hope that the success of the past few years is only the beginning.
Its been special, Searcy said. I hope it drives other classes to do better than we did.