By Donald Heath
Special for the Effingham Herald
GUYTON — South Effingham track and field athletes have made it a spring filled with school record-breaking performances. Now they will put their efforts on display today at the Region 2-AAAAAA Championships.
The Mustangs will be joined by Effingham County at the seven-team region boys and girls meets at Bradwell Institute.
“It’s a competitive region with Richmond Hill and others so we’ll have to be at our best, but I think we can make a good run,” said SEHS boys and girls coach Rico Campbell as his athletes put in extra work during a practice over spring break.
The top four individuals in every event advance to Sectional A (Regions 1,2,3,4) at Valdosta High School on May 7. The top eight at Sectional A join the eight best from Sectional B (Regions 5,6,7,8) to move on to the Class AAAAAA Track and Field State Championships in Carrollton on May 12-14.
Senior Cameron Edwards, the defending triple jump state champion, will be among the SEHS athletes to watch. Edwards placed in the top eight at state in the long jump and high jump last season as well.
This season, some new Mustangs have entered the school record books and could be high finishers at region. Senior Cailan Howard ran a school-best 9:44.52 in the 3200 at the Alley Invitational at Richmond Hill. Chase Garrett and Dylan Quesada had top marks of 10-0 in the pole vault at Mustang Madness and the Derrick Plankenhorn Meet respectively.
Victavious Smith set a record in the 300 hurdles with a 42.03 at the Bob Hayes Invitational and Amari Branch, a transfer from Effingham County High, ran a record 51.09 in the 400 at the South Effingham Invitational.
On the girls side, Aubrey Edge set a school record in the pole vault, skying to heights of 9-6 on two different occasions, first at the Plankenhorn meet.
On Friday at the Apex Invitational at Richmond Hill, two more SEHS records fell. Smith broke the 110 hurdle mark with a 15.77 and the girls 4 X 200 relay (Edge, Christeon Lewis, Madison Mills and Caroline Motes) posted a school-best 1:50.42.
Edge also tied her record of 9-6 in the pole vault.
Tyler Phillips and Cheyenne Ryan also have school records in the 1500 (not run in region competition) at the Marietta Distance Carnival in February. Phillips, who is recovering from a stress fracture, will not run at region.
Effingham County could have several athletes making an impact at the region as well. Senior Candace Kieffer is among the area’s best in the 1600 and 3200. Kieffer set a Rebel record in the 1600 last season while winning with a time of 5:14.69.
Abby McDonald (100 and shot), Roneisha Goss (200 and high jump) and Enna Lackey (100 hurdles and 300 hurdles) have had high finishes throughout the season.
Levi Thomas (800 and 1600) should lead the Rebel boys.