GUYTON — Jumpers, sprinters and mile runners will represent the South Effingham track and field team this weekend in the Class AAAAA state meet in Jefferson.
The Mustangs earned nine berths in all but eight only eight athletes will make the trip — Alex Brown (high jump), Meghan Kilpatrick (1600), Cheyenne Ryan (1600), Hans Ames (3200), Cam Edwards (high jump), Jonte Gantt (100-meter dash), Stephen Kraeling (high jump) and Sam Williams (800).
In last weekend’s sectional, Gantt finished with a time of 10.96 in the 100-meter dash, Hans Ames went 10:33 in the 3200 and Stephen Kraeling cleared 6-2 in the high jump. Still, it was a tough weekend as head coach Laura Soles fought to manage the emotions of her team.
“Jonte was kind of holding back at region so I am glad he made it through sectionals,” she said. “Hans didn’t do very well in the mile but I knew he would do well in the two-mile. I’ve been to state enough to know you have to prepare them at that venue.
“My devotion was on dealing with jitters and getting rid of doubt.”
With it being the first go-around for some, Soles took time to help her team feel at ease in its new surroundings and prepare it for what will be stiff competition in the finals.
“Meghan has been there before,” Soles said. “She knows how to compete in the event. Cheyenne is a freshman. I kept telling her you’re going to have to slow down. You’re going to get tired. It’s a lot emotionally. She starts on the soccer team so I told her to do her best.”
Soles realized this is a perfect teaching opportunity for other young Mustangs who aim make it to the state meet one day.
“I went to the AD and asked if I could take some freshman so they can see what state looks like and he agreed,” Soles said. “They need to see what real competition is like.”