By Donald Heath
Special for the Effingham Herald
SAVANNAH – The Effingham County boys' and girls' track teams warmed up for the postseason ahead with a final regular-season competition at Savannah Country Day on April 20.
The Region 2-6A Track and Field Championships were held on April 25. Top four at region advanced to the Sectional on May 6 at Apalachee High School in Winder.
And the top eight at Sectionals move on to the Class 6A state championships in Rome, Georgia, May 11-13.
At SCD, Cory Dekle won the triple jump with a distance of 42 feet, 6 inches. Robbie Velasquez won the 800 with a time of 2:08.74 and Brooke Maseda captured a first-place finish in the 3200 with a 12:45.75.
At region, sprinters Jeremiah Chance and Dakarai Walker and Dekle will be runners to watch, joining Timmy Brown on the school's record-setting 4 X 200 relay team with a time of 1:29.75.
Chance is also within .06 seconds of the region's best time of 22.16 in the 200, according to Athletic.net. Dekle's PR of 42-11 in the triple is second in the region.
South Effingham also had several region hopefuls led by distance runner Tyler Phillips, who was looking to double in the 1600 and 3200.
Mustangs Amari Branch and Devin Hallman were expected to have a tight race in the 400 with Glynn Academy's Cedric King. Branch and King both had times of 51.31 this season. Hallman was a .01 of a second back at 51.32.
In girls’ competition, SEHS' Riley Browne had the best high jump in the region at 5-6. Aubrey Edge and Allie Grassi entered with the best pole vaults at 9-0 and 8-6. Edge was seventh last year at state with a school-record vault of 9-9.
ECHS boys, girls advance to Sweet Sixteen at state
The Effingham County boys defeated Houston County 3-0 and the Rebel girls nipped Tift County 3-2 in the first round of the Class 6A state tennis playoffs.
South Effingham's girls saw their season end with a 3-0 loss to Lee County.
Both ECHS teams played Marist's boys and girls on April 25 in the Sweet Sixteen.
In the boys match with Houston County, No. 2 singles player Braden Williams won 6-0, 6-0 and No. 3 singles Jace Hinely won 6-1, 6-0.
The No. 2 doubles team of Weston Summers and Bay Luke finished with a 6-1, 6-1 victory. No. 1 singles Caleb McElveen and No. 1 doubles Gabe Jagan and Drew Greene were ahead when their matches were stopped because their teammates had clinched the win.
ECHS' girls score wasn't decided until No. 2 singles player Colleen Cunningham held on for a three-set 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win.
Also earning team points were No. 1 singles Riley Metzger with a 6-2, 6-2 victory and the No. 2 doubles team of Morgan Kieffer and Emma Maseda with a 6-4, 6-4 win.
SEHS, ECHS golf teams compete in area tourneys
Postseason play begins for the boys and girls of Effingham County and South Effingham on May 1 with the Area 1-6A competition at the Jekyll Island Golf Club on Jekyll Island.
The top two teams in Class 6A's four areas (eight teams overall) advance to Sectionals on May 8 at Mirror Lake Golf Club in Villa Rica and the top four teams at Sectionals move on to the state championships May 22-23 back at Jekyll Island.