War Eagles place in state track meet

Tyrique Mathis (center) qualified to compete in the state track meet and earned sixth in the 100-meter. Kimmie Bonner, of the Lady Eagles, also had a successful trip, earning fifth in the 400-meter. 

By Brandon Bush

brandon@msgr.com

 

Two Putnam County athletes placed in the state meet this past weekend.

The War Eagles’ track team had a handful of athletes qualify to compete in the GHSA Class AA state track meet, held at Huge Mills Stadium in Albany May 10-12. Of the group of Eagles that qualified at the sectional meet weeks earlier, Kimmie Bonner earned fifth place in the 400-meter for the Lady Eagles while Tyrique Mathis finished sixth in the 100-meter for the War Eagles.

Putnam had an efficient season in track this year, placing among the top teams in a majority of its meets even when competing against larger schools. A large part of the team will be returning next season as the War Eagles will only be losing two seniors to graduation.

“We have a lot of kids coming back,” Putnam track coach Shaun Pope said. “Our girls 4 x 100-meter were all sophomores so we’ll have them for two more years. We also have a lot of sophomores and juniors on the boys team, and a few freshmen even competed very well.”

The girls 4 x 100-meter team that Pope alluded to, featuring Bonner, Courtney Holliday, Jashanti Simmons and Marnesia Davis, made it to state by winning region in its event and finishing fifth in the sectional meet to qualify. Bonner also competed in the 200-meter and the 400-meter.

Mathis earned third in the 100-meter and fifth in the 200-meter at the sectional meet to advance on his way to earning sixth place among the best athletes in the state. Mathis was joined at the state meet by Marcus Jefferson, who qualified by placing fifth in the 100-meter at the sectional meet, and Rodney Daniel, who qualified by winning the long jump at sectionals.

“I’m proud of the kids,” Pope said. “I’m proud of their work ethic all year and the way they’ve been conducting themselves at the meets. The track program has a lot to look forward to in the next few years.”

As Putnam prepares for summer workouts across all of its sports, the offseason has already begun for the Putnam County track program as it will continue to build on the success they have achieved this season. With only two team members absent, Putnam track should still be able to send athletes to the state level next season to compete with some of the best in Georgia at their respective events.

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