By Donald Heath
Special for the Effingham Herald
South Effingham senior Cailan Howard mastered the wet track at Southeast Bulloch to win the 1600 and 3200 runs and lead the Mustangs boys to a victory at the 19th-annual Derrick Plankenhorn on Thursday.
The SEHS girls also finished first in the 14-team invitational.
The Mustangs boys held off second-place Southeast Bulloch, 113-108.5. Effingham County had 19 points to finish 10th.
The SEHS girls scored 79 points to beat second-place New Hampstead (72) and third-place Effingham County (69).
Howard, who has already signed to run cross country and track at Augusta University, wasn’t pushed while winning the 1600 with a time of 4:36.62 — almost 20 seconds ahead of his closest foe.
In the 3200, Howard won again by about 20 seconds with a time of 9:53.11.
For the SEHS boys, senior Cameron Edwards added points (high jump, 6-2, 2nd place; triple jump, 44-5, 2nd place, and long jump, 19-4, 5th).
Other top-five performances for the SEHS boys came from Victorious Smith (110 hurdles, 16.17, 2nd), Amari Branch (800, 2:12.86, 3rd), Jamari Fields (long jump, 19-5.5, 4th), Dylan Quesada (pole, 10-0, 2nd), Chase Garrett (pole, 8-6, 4th), Tanner Hughes (discus, 116-2, 4th), Kaleb Hodges (400, 53.31, 4th) and Isaiah Campbell (800, 2:15.36, 4th).
In the relays, South was second in the 4 X 400 (3:41.55) and 4 X 800 (9:01.00) and fourth in the 4 X 200 (1:34.78).
For the SEHS girls, Kylie Evans had top-five performances in three events — third in the 100 (13.42), third in the 200 (27.97) and fifth in the 400 (her season-best 1:03.78).
Other Mustang girls with top-five outings were: Mia Fitzpatrick (800, 2:42.51, 3rd), Cheyenne Ryan (1600, 5:49.15, 4th), Lily McDonald (3200, 13:14.30) and the relays (4 X 200, 1:55.27, 5th), (4 X 400, 4:24.98, 1st), (4 X 800, 10:35.15, 2nd).
For Effingham County’s girls, senior Candace Kieffer won the 1600 and 3200 with times of 5:34.65 and 11:30.75 respectively.
Senior Enna Lackey was first in the 100 hurdles (17:08), Abby McDonald (100, 13.26, 2nd), Brooke Maseda (3200, 12:49.55, 4th) and Kalyce Watson (triple, 32-3, 5th)
In the relays, ECHS won the 4 X 200 with a time of 1:52.24 and was fourth in the 4 X 400 (4:55.51).
For the Rebels boys, Levi Thomas was fifth in both the 800 (2:15.38) and the 1600 (4:59.76).
The track teams of SEHS and ECHS will be back in action on Saturday at the inaugural Rebel Invitational.
ECHS, SEHS team qualify for region tourney
The boys and girls tennis teams of Effingham County and South Effingham will begin play in Region 2-AAAAAA Tournament at Glynn Academy on Tuesday.
The finals and consolations are being held Wednesday. The top four teams at the region tournament will advance to state.