The Gordon Lee Trojans and Lady Trojans entered the final day of the Class 1A public school state track championships in Albany leading the team standings.
Unfortunately, they didn't finish that way.
The Lady Trojans led by three points going into the final event of the meet, only to be overtaken by Telfair County. Meanwhile, the Trojans were clinging to a three-point lead with two events left, but both Montgomery County and Turner County would pass the Trojans in the final two races and drop Gordon Lee the third in the final standings.
The Telfair County girls, tied for fourth place with 26 points when Saturday began, finished the meet with 74 points as they scored in seven of the day's eight races. Gordon Lee finished with 65 points to earn the runner-up trophy, while Washington-Wilkes (49), Pelham (42) and Commerce (32) rounded out the top five team scores.
Telfair scored 19 points between the 4x100 and the 400 to briefly take a 45-41 lead over Gordon Lee. Neither team scored any points in the 100, but Addison Sturdivant would run a 16.49 in the 100 hurdles to finish third and set a new school-record. Telfair managed a seventh-place showing and suddenly the score was tied at 47.
Gordon Lee vaulted back into the lead after Gracie O'Neal - the favorite in the race - clocked in at 2:23.12 to win first in the 800. Telfair had two runners in the race and finished fifth and sixth to score seven points to stay within three points of the lead, 57-54.
A sixth-place showing by Telfair in the 200 would again tie the score at 57, but once again Sturdivant would put her team back in front. This time it was in the 300 hurdles as the freshman took second place and broke her own Gordon Lee school-record by crossing the line in 47.36. Sturdivant got eight points for the runner-up finish compared to just five points for Telfair and the Lady Trojans' lead was 65-61 with only the 4x400 left.
Unfortunately for Gordon Lee, their fate had pretty much already been sealed.
Telfair had two teams qualify for the 4x400 finals, while Gordon Lee did not have a team make the finals in the event. To make matters worse for the Lady Trojans, Telfair's top 4x400 team had the fastest qualifying time on Friday and they would race to the victory on Saturday, while their "B" team placed seventh.
Those final 12 points gave Telfair the state championship.
On the boys' side, Gordon Lee held a 55-43 lead over Commerce going into Saturday. Montgomery County began the day in third with 32 points, while Turner County (20 points) was tied for fifth place with Pelham.
Commerce briefly pulled within six points of the lead after the second race of the day, but got no closer. However, both Montgomery County and Turner County had Gordon Lee in their sights.
Gordon Lee got a fourth-place finish from Ian Goodwin 2:06.50 and an eighth place showing from Jake Lee 2:13.00 in the 800 as they held a 12-point lead over Commerce and a 13-point lead over Montgomery County. But with the Trojans having no qualifiers in the day's last three races, they were more or less sitting ducks.
Montgomery County picked up 10 points for the win in the 200 and added a third-place finish in the 300 hurdles to wrestle the lead away from the Trojans, 64-61. They would go on to finish second in the 4x400 and win the championship with 72 points.
Turner County came out of nowhere in the final two races. A first and a second-place showing in the 300 hurdles gave them 18 huge points going into the final relay race and the Rebels would pick up 10 more points for the win, giving them 66 total points and pushing them past Gordon Lee (61) for the state runner-up trophy.
Commerce (49) finished fourth, while Macon County (47) surged to a fifth-place finish.