By Donald Heath
Special for the Effingham Herald
RICHMOND HILL -- South Effingham track and field coach Laura Soles doesn’t know how many hotel rooms to reserve for a future trip to John’s Creek.
But that dilemma will be cleared up after Wednesday's Region 2-AAAAAA Track and Field Championships at Richmond Hill.
Boys and girls teams from SEHS and Effingham County will be in action in the seven-school meet. The meet gets underway with the field events at 9 a.m.
The top four individuals in each event, along with athletes from Region 1, 6 and 7, advance to Sectional A in John’s Creek on May 8.
The top eight from sectionals move on to the Class AAAAAA state championship on May 13-15 in Carrollton.
“Hopefully, they’ll be focused because this is what they’ve been working for,” Soles said.
The Mustangs and Rebels gave a preview of what to expect at the region meet after running in the Papa’s Pizza Apex Invitational at Richmond Hill on Friday.
SEHS boys and girls 4 X 800 relay teams -- (boys, Jacob Mitchell, Cailan Howard, Tyler Phillips and Gavin Vanness; girls, Cheyenne Ryan, Brianna Barber, Mia Fitzpatrick and Lily McDonald) -- set school records with times of 8:36.25 and 10:45.81 respectively.
In the 3200 Friday, Howard had a personal-best time of 9:51.78 while finishing second.
For the Mustang boys, Cameron Edwards has had a good spring and should be among the region leaders in the high jump, triple jump and long jump.
Jake Kerns has been among the region leaders in the shot put and discus.
For SEHS’ girls, Alex Brown could advance in three individual events. Normally a 100 and 200 sprinter, she ran the 400 at Richmond Hill and posted a time of 1:01.37, just .13 of a second off the school record. She is also one of the top high jumpers in the region.
ECHS has several girls to watch as well. Candace Kieffer is among the best long-distance runners in the state, but Richmond Hill’s Reese Wilson posted the best time in the 3200 this spring so they’ll square off in a highly anticipated showdown.
Rebels freshman sprinter Roneisha Goss has improved throughout the spring and won the 200 and placed second in the 100 at Richmond Hill on Friday.
Abby McDonald will be a favorite to finish in the top four in the 100, pole and discus. According to Athletic.net, McDonald has times and distances among the top three in the region in each event.
ECHS’ 800 runner Megan Hilton set the school record with a time of 2:22.23 -- also the top time in the region -- at Savannah Country Day on March 31.
Senior Skyllar Hoenshell has been among the top four in the region and ran a 1:01.29 at the Apex Invitational.
Hoenshell runs a leg in the Rebels' competitive 4 X 100 and 4 X 400 relay teams.
And hurdler Enna Lackey has the region’s second best time in the 100 hurdles and teams with Goss, McDonald and Hoenshell in the 4 X 100 relay.