Jabrelle Crawford’s goal has been to win the GHSA 800 meter title for three straight years.
After a strong performance last month at the Class AA meet, Crawford will have that chance next year. Crawford was the only Middle Georgia boys athlete to win an individual title at the GHSA meet after winning the 800 for the second straight year.
Crawford, a junior who also was part of Putnam County’s winning team in the 4x400-meter relay, has been named The Telegraph’s Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
“He is special, I tell you,” Putnam County head coach Robert Childs said. “He has developed into a really good track man. His goal was to win three straight state titles, and he still has a shot at that.”
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Crawford had a dominant season, winning every meet in which he competed in the 800 meters, and his 4x400 team was also perfect throughout the year. Because of that, he couldn’t rely on his competition to push him, so Crawford had to focus on himself to continue to get better.
“It’s a great feeling to win again,” Crawford said. “I knew I had a chance of winning, and I just had to keep pushing myself and working hard.”
Childs is there also to keep pushing Crawford. Crawford’s best time in the 800 has been 1:55, but the school record is 1:54.
Childs makes sure to remind him of that.
“I tell him all the time he hasn’t run good enough to break the school record,” Childs said with a laugh. “He’s driven by that.”
Childs said the plan next year is to pull Crawford off the 1,600 in meets and to let him run the 400 to help with his speed for the 800 while continuing to let him train in the 1,600. Crawford sounds like he’s ready for whatever it takes.
“I’m looking forward to trying to win again next year,” Crawford said. “I just want to keep working hard and try to win again.”
Recent All-Middle Georgia Track Athletes of the Year
2010: Travis Richmond, Peach County
2009: Aaron Allen, Warner Robins
2008: Deryan Sims, Jeff Davis
2007: James Hagins, Northside
2006: Brett Layson, Tattnall Square