GUYTON — The South Effingham track and field team is sending four athletes to the next level.
Robyn Cummings will further her track career at Augusta University while Trent Bailey, Jonte Gantt and Sam Williams will head to the University of South Carolina-Beaufort. The athletes are excited to start their new journey and the future USCB Sand Sharks are relieved to know that they will be running alongside each again.
Each one, however, has a different purpose.
“When I was in tenth grade, I had a couple friend that went to USCB,” Gantt said. “During the summer, I got in touch with the coach and he told me about the nursing program there and that made me want to go there. Plus, it’s in a different state and I kind of didn’t want to stay in Georgia.”
“I think it’s good (we will be running together) because I didn’t plan to go to USCB,” Williams said. “(My teammates) said we could keep the trio together and they convinced me to go with them.”
“I’ve known Sam since seventh grade and I met Jonte last year,” Bailey said. “We bonded on the 4x400. We have a baton with our names on it so I am excited to be going to USCB with them.”
Gantt competed in the 100 meters, 200 meters and the 4x100-meter relay while Bailey and Williams ran the 400, 800 and 4x400 relay. Gantt chose USCB over Troy while Williams entertained interest from Wingate.
The former Mustangs leave behind a lot of memories. The one that sticks out the most for Bailey is the hard work ethic South Effingham head coach Laura Soles instilled in him.
“At practice, Coach Soles would make us run until we couldn’t run anymore,” he said, “but that helped up prepare and get faster.”
For Cummings, closing out her career at South Effingham was bittersweet. The senior didn’t get a chance to earn a spot in sectionals due to an injury but is humbled to be part of the Jaguars family.
“It’s epic,” Cummings said. “This is what I’ve been doing since middle school.”
And for Cummings, the academic side of things also played a big part in her choosing the Jags.
“I wanted to go somewhere that had my major, which will be biology,” Cummings said. “I’ve wanted to go to Augusta because, with my major, I have a higher chance of getting into the Georgia College of Medicine.”
Cummings competed in the 4x400, 4x100, 400 and the 200. Cummings tied the school record in the 400 with a time of 1:01.