Rome junior Jenna Tilton rounds a turn while in the lead of the 3200m race at the Floyd County Invitational Track Meet at Pepperell High, April 9, 2013. Tilton went on to win the race. (Brittany Hannah/RN-T)

Brittany Hannah

Every track and field team aims to do well on the big-time region and state stages, but there’s nothing quite like taking the top spot from your local rivals.

Tuesday night, the Darlington boys team and Rome girls team earned those bragging rights, as they came out on top at the Floyd County Invitational at Pepperell High.

The teams competing were Rome, Darlington, Pepperell, Model, Coosa and Armuchee.

For the Rome girls team, the win was in question until the final announcement, as the Lady Wolves were teetering on the edge of victory with the Darlington Lady Tigers, who earned second.

“Wow,” said Rome girls track coach Debbie Grist of the win. “Our girls did great. They stepped up. We probably had some PR’s out here, and I’m just so proud of them. They stepped up when they needed to.”

Of the Lady Wolves who stepped up was Jenna Tilton, who was the workhorse for the Lady Wolves, as she ran the 3200 meter, the 1600 meter and was a part of Rome’s A-team for the 4x400.

Tilton won the 3200 with a time of 12:18, placed second in the 1600 with a time of 5:37, and her 4x400 relay won with a time of 4:22.

“I had really sore legs from (doing both the 3200 and the 1600),” said Tilton. “It’s hard to double in both of those.

“(This win) is just great,” she added. “Our girls team hasn’t been able to really come out on top in a while. It’s really refreshing, and we’ve got a young team, so that’s promising.”

Rome’s girls track team includes just five seniors and two juniors, a characteristic that Grist said she feels hopeful about for years future seasons.

Alex Cox from Darlington likewise contributed big to his team’s victory with four event wins.

Cox won the 400 meter dash with a time of 51.40, the 800 meter run with a time of 1:59.80, pole vault at 12 feet and was a runner on Darlington’s 4x400 meter relay team which finished first with a time of 3:33.

Despite all his personal success in Tuesday’s meet, Cox said team success is the No. 1 reason he goes hard in every event.

“Many people think track isn’t a team sport,” he said, “but it is, because every person has to give their best in every event to be able to do something like we did tonight.

“We had so many great performances all around, that it would be hard for me to give a shout out to everyone who deserves one without taking like an hour to do it, because everyone ran and jumped fabulously today.”

Of those outstanding performances was Miles Bearden’s first-place finish in high jump.

Bearden — who can’t even attend track practice because of his double role as a Darlington baseball player — broke Darlington’s school high jump record with a jump of 6’7”.

“Miles (Bearden) is kind of defying logic in that practice makes perfect, because he’s not practicing,” joked Darlington boys track coach Alan Parish. “He’s a great baseball player, and he comes out and high jumps for us and came out today and got 6’7” and broke the school record from 1978, so it’s been incredible.”

With this meet coming a week before the region event, it was a perfect way to gear up for the stiff competition the local teams will face next week.

“(This win) is a good confidence booster,” said Tilton, “especially going into region and especially for our relay teams.”

“We were state runner-up last year, and our goal is a state championship,” said Parish. “We’ve got region next Tuesday and Wednesday, and I feel really strongly that we’ll get two guys (into sectionals) in just about every event.”

First-place finishers in the girls meet were: Rome’s Shunterria Griffin (100 meter dash and 200 meter dash), Pepperell’s Tymeshia Dozier (400 meter dash), Darlington’s Kinslee Clevenger (800 meter run and 1600 meter run), Rome’s Tilton (3200 meter run), Darlington’s Alea Vick (100 meter hurdles), Darlington’s Emily Swafford (300 meter hurdles), Rome’s Team A (4x100 meter relay), Rome’s Team A (4x400 meter relay), Rome’s Tassie Dupree (high jump), Pepperell’s Desin Bankson (long jump), Darlington’s Anna Loyd (triple jump), Model’s Carla Clemmons (shot put) and Darlington’s Terar Stewart (Discus throw).

First-place finishers in the boys meet were: Darlington’s Ian Winder (100 meter dash), Model’s Jared Pepper (200 meter dash), Darlington’s Cox (400 meter dash, 800 meter run and pole vault), Darlington’s Avery Cypress (1600 meter run), Rome’s Mike Castellanos (3200 meter run), Coosa’s Cordarious Fuller (110 meter hurdles), Rome’s Thad Barrett (300 meter hurdles), Darlington’s Team A (4x400 meter relay), Darlington’s Bearden (high jump), Pepperell’s Quaderious Morgan (long jump), Darlington’s Chandler Duggan (triple jump), Rome’s Arius Ofum (shot put) and Pepperell’s Hayden Owen (discus throw).

The Region 7-AA meet, which Pepperell, Model, Coosa and Armuchee will compete in, will take place at Pepperell on Monday and Tuesday.

Rome’s region meet will take place at New Manchester on April 16 and April 18.

Darlington’s region meet will be at Mt. Pisgah on April 16 and April 17.



Listed below are the top three finishers from each division in the Floyd County

Invitational track and field event which took place Tuesday at Pepperell High.



Boys 100 Meter Dash

1. Ian Winder Darlington 11.50

2. Fred Askew Rome 11.70

3. Thad Barrett Rome 11.72

Boys 200 Meter Dash

1. Jared Pepper Model 22.91

2. Ian Winder Darlington 23.26

3. Richard Sullivan Rome 23.98

Boys 400 Meter Dash

1. Alex Cox Darlington 50.65

2. Jared Pepper Model 51.22

3. Chandler Duggan Darlington 52.90

Boys 800 Meter Run

1. Alex Cox Darlington 2:09

2. Avery Cypress Darlington 2:10

3. Christian Stevens Model 2:11

Boys 1600 Meter Run

1. Avery Cypress Darlington 4:52

2. John Shows Rome 4:53

3. Spencer Fields Darlington 5:01

Boys 3200 Meter Run

1. Mike Castellanos Rome 10:30

2. Spencer Fields Darlington 10:40

3. Jared Deaton Darlington 11:14

Boys 110 Meter Hurdles

1. Cordarious Fuller Coosa 16.73

2. Tracy Long Rome 17.18

3. Richard Sullivan Rome 18.87

Boys 300 Meter Hurdles

1. Thad Barrett Rome 45.90

2. Arius Ofum Rome 46.26

3. Chris Edwards Darlington 46.48

Boys 4x100 Meter Relay

1. Rome ‘A’ 43.99

2. Pepperell ‘A’ 45.15

3. Model ‘A’ 45.38

Boys 4x400 Meter Relay

1. Darlington ‘A’ 3:40

2. Darlington ‘B’ 3:43

3. Rome ‘A’ 3:51

Boys High Jump

1. Miles Bearden Darlington 6-07

2. Tyler Thompson Coosa 6-04

3. Fred Askew Rome 5-10

Boys Pole Vault

1. Alex Cox Darlington 10-00

2. Hugh Duggan Darlington 9-06

3. Mark Green Pepperell 9-00

Boys Long Jump

1. Q Morgan Pepperell 20-00.50

2. James Brown Model 20-00.25

3. Reeves Brown Darlington 19-00.00

Boys Triple Jump

1. Chandler Duggan Darlington 41-07.50

2. Kaelon Lawrence Rome 39-04.25

3. Tracy Long Rome 39-02.00

Boys Shot Put

1. Arius Ofum Rome 43-08.50

2. Jay Ware Coosa 42-06.00

3. Chance Bragg Pepperell 40-10.00

Boys Discus Throw

1. Hayden Owen Pepperell 119-00.00

2. Marcus Beard Armuchee 112-00.00

3. Daroem Parks Rome 109-04.50


Girls 100 Meter Dash

1. Shunterria Griffin Rome 12.99

2. Taknisha Peyton Coosa 13.45

3. Jacrisa Ware Pepperell 13.65

Girls 200 Meter Dash

1. Shunterria Griffin Rome 26.40

2. Takneshia Peyton Coosa 27.31

3. Tymeshia Dozier Pepperell 27.46

Girls 400 Meter Dash

1. Tymeshia Dozier Pepperell 1:02.76

2. Elizabeth Mullenax Coosa 1:03.92

3. Rebecca Mullenax Coosa 1:05.48

Girls 800 Meter Run

1. Kinslee Clevenger Darlington 2:32

2. Natalie Shoemaker Armuchee 2:33

3. Rebecca Mullenax Coosa 2:34

Girls 1600 Meter Run

1. Kinslee Clevenger Darlington 5:38

2. Jenna Tilton Rome 5:45

3. Elizabeth Bressette Rome 5:53

Girls 3200 Meter Run

1. Jenna Tilton Rome 12:24

2. Lauren Hooper Darlington 12:58

3. Isabella Schlitz Rome 13:06

Girls 300 Meter Hurdles

1. Emily Swafford Darlington 50.56

2. Cachara Redwine Rome 52.27

3. Brittany Strickland Rome 54.28

Girls 4x100 Meter Relay

1. Rome ‘A’ 50.84

2. Pepperell ‘A’ 51.29

3. Coosa ‘A’ 52.73

Girls 4x400 Meter Relay

1. Rome ‘A’ 4:22

2. Darlington ‘A’ 4:38

3. Coosa ‘A’ 4:39

Girls High Jump

1. LaTastreia Dupree Rome 4-08

1. Rebecca Mullenax Coosa 4-08

Girls Pole Vault

1. EJ Newberry Darlington 8-00

1. A. Hines Pepperell 8-00

3. Alison Acker Armuchee 7-06

Girls Long Jump

1. Desin Bankson Pepperell 15-11.50

2. Jacrisa Ware Pepperell 14-11.00

3. Timia Reynolds Model 14-10.25

Girls Triple Jump

1. Anna Loyd Darlington 32-07.50

2. Elizabeth Mullenax Coosa 31-11.50

3. Jacrisa Ware Pepperell 31-02.00

Girls Shot Put

1. Carla Clemmons Model 38-09.50

2. Terar Stewart Darlington 33-02.00

3. Casey Padgett Pepperell 30-11.00

Girls Discus Throw

1. Terar Stewart Darlington 98-11.50

2. Maddie Brown Coosa 74-11

3. Casey Padgett Pepperell 68-08