On Saturday, the Hardaway track team did something no other Columbus squad has pulled off this season.
Hardaway’s boys and girls track team took first place in their respective divisions in the Muscogee County School District Track Meet at Hardaway. The boys squad topped second-place Northside by 14.5 points, while the girls bested Shaw by 15.
“We had some (personal records) and we did really well,” Hardaway track coach Anthony Gibson said. “This was the first time the girls and boys came in first place this year. It felt really good, to be honest. Nobody usually gets first place for the boys and girls. It’s usually one or the other.”
Jozalyn Albright matched her performances from most of the season in the meet. Albright was the highest scorer among the female competitors after taking first place in the 400-meter dash and second in the 200, long jump and 4×100 relay. She also contributed to the Lady Hawks’ third-place 4×400 team.
Gibson spoke highly of Albright, who has been a captain for Hardaway the last two years.
“As long as we keep her healthy, she’s going to do well,” Gibson said. “She got first place every track meet this year except one. She’s an exceptional student and student-athlete as well.
On the boys’ side, Courtland Dixon led the way for the Hawks and ended the day as the top male scorer. He finished first in the finals of the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles. He also was part of the Hardaway 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams that took second.
Gibson said both athletes are closing in on school records and will likely break several marks en route to the state meet.
“He did really well,” Gibson said. “He hasn’t been beat this year in the 110 hurdles. When we went to Albany, he got called for a false start and didn’t get to run. Other than that, every time he’s run the 110 hurdles, he’s won.”
The local meet was the teams’ last competition before regionals begin Tuesday. For Gibson, his athletes’ performances across the board has him excited and confident he’ll see them excel on the way to state.
“I believe that’s inspirational, actually,” Gibson said. “The last week, we won overall but the boys and girls came in second individually. This time we came in first running against the same teams, so that’s definitely a confidence booster. When (the athletes) see they came in first, it mentally prepares them.”
Girls Team Standings
1. Hardaway – 128; Shaw – 113; 3. Columbus – 105; 4. Kendrick – 80; 5. Northside – 79; 6. Carver – 16; 7. Harris Co. – 14
Top 5 Girls Scorers
1. Jozalyn Albright, Hardaway – 29.50; 2. Mallory Harris, Northside – 23.50; 3. Aieriana Turner, Kendrick, 23.25; 4. Sandra Stevens, Hardaway – 21.50; 4. Yvonne Mitchell, Hardaway – 21.50
Boys Team Standings
1. Hardaway – 154; 2. Northside – 139.5; 3. Kendrick – 88.5; 4. Columbus – 66; 5. Shaw – 44; 6. Harris Co. 33; 7. Carver – 18
Top 5 Boys Scorers
1. Courtland Dixon, Hardaway – 24; 2. Juquan Milian, Hardaway – 23.50; 3. Wendell McGhee – Kendrick – 20.50; 4. Tyrese McPhatter, Harris Co. – 20; 5. Korraye Russ, Hardaway – 18
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports