FPD spent the day comfortably in second, while Fitzgerald engaged Greater Atlanta Christian in some lead-swapping all day.
There was little suspense for the Vikings down the stretch, and they finished second in the GHSA Class A private school boys track and field meet in Jefferson.
Fitzgerald spent much of the meet in first place in Class AA and watched that slip away in the final event of the day. Fitzgerald didn’t have a team in the 4x400-meter relay, the final event of the day, and Greater Atlanta Christian did, needing only to finish better than last to win the meet. The Spartans won the event, topping the Purple Hurricane 81-72 for the title.
The battles began immediately in the 4x100, with Athens Christian nipping FPD by almost half a second in Class A private and Greater Atlanta Christian edging Fitzgerald by about a quarter of a second in Class AA. Athens Christian’s lead over FPD was 10.5 points, and Fitzgerald’s margin over GAC was four.
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Hancock Central vaulted into serious contention in Class A public with a first- and second-place finish in the first event of the day, trailing Terrell County by 18.
Athens Christian began to pull away quickly, thanks to a 1-2 finish in the 400 with FPD’s Barron Jones third. That upped the margin to 22½ points. A 2-3 finish in the 110 hurdles helped the Vikings, but only a little, since Athens Christian won the event.
The Eagles were able to maintain that margin through 13 events and pulled away with 13 points in the 200, taking a 95.5-64 lead en route to the 120.5-71 win. FPD remained far ahead of third-place competitors, Athens Academy settling in there, 26 points behind the Vikings.
Fitzgerald’s lead evaporated early, thanks to a win by Greater Atlanta Christian in the 400, putting the Spartans ahead by two. GAC gained a double-digit lead and then lost it when Fitzgerald’s Trey Graham and Gerald Morgan went 1-2 in the 110 hurdles, and the Spartans didn’t score, dropping them to eight points behind.
Fitzgerald then fell into a seven-point deficit after GAC scored 15 points in the 200. The lead changed hands again, with Fitzgerald up by a point with one event left. But the joy didn’t last.
Three Middle Georgia teams joined Fitzgerald in the top 10: Vidalia in seventh, Bleckley County in ninth and Lamar County in 10th.
Hancock Central started the day in second place in Class A public and didn’t stray far for very long, falling to third late behind Turner County.
Four area teams finished in the top 10 in Class A public: Hancock-Central, Montgomery County in fourth, GMC in fifth and Twiggs County in sixth. And Washington County was ninth in Class AAA.
Three individuals and one relay from Middle Georgia stood atop the medal stand Saturday.
Jaquivus Cannon of East Laurens won a tight Class AA 100, by 2/100ths of a second over Greater Atlanta Christian’s Darius Slayton and by 4/100ths over Vidalia’s Nathan McBride. Trey Graham of Fitzgerald took the Class AAA 110 hurdles, just ahead of teammate Gerald Morgan. Washington County’s Quintaveon Poole took the Class AAA 200.
Hancock Central’s 4x100 relay team of Ladarius Brown, Tachalla Lewis, Romeris Culver and Sonate Reynolds won a Middle Georgia-heavy field that include six point-getting teams.