CHICKAMAUGA - Spring Break may have kept some teams away, but a smaller list of participating schools made for a very competitive 59th Annual Gordon Lee Invititational on Thursday afternoon.
Both the girls and boys' meets wouldn't be decided until the end, but when the final lap was completed, it was the Southeast Whitfield girls and the Coahulla Creek boys claiming narrow victories.
The Lady Raiders finished with 117 points, edging out Armuchee and host Gordon Lee, who tied for second with 110 points. LFO (73) was fourth, followed by Coahulla Creek (61), Ridgeland (9), and Dalton (8).
Gordon Lee took a sizeable lead after the field events. Anna Pettigrew set personal-bests in winning both the pole vault (9-0) and high jump (5-2). She also took third in the long jump and claimed the girls' Best in Field award.
Katelyn Lee won her two specialities, the shot put (34-9 1/2) and the discus (109-2), with younger sister Madelyn Lee placing second in both events.
Kayleen Mullins won the triple jump for Southeast (30-10 1/4), while Coahulla Creek's Atianza Smith won first-place honors for the long jump (16-4 1/2).
The Lady Raiders, however, would win three of the track events and scored enough points to finally wrestle the lead away from Gordon Lee with only the 300 hurdles and the 4x400 relay remaining.
Isabel Salinas won the 1600 for the Lady Raiders (5:44). Arissa Sosebee took first in the 100 hurdles (17.47), and Kara Felts raced to victory in the 200 (29.49).
Armuchee actually won the most events, picking up first-place points in five disciplines.
JessAnn Nix had a big day for the Lady Indians, winning both the 400 (1:04.84) and the 300 hurdles (52.96) to take home girls' Best in Track honors.
Gracie Fredrick won the 3200 (13:16), while Armuchee also got wins from Natalie Shoemaker in the 800 (2:38) and the No. 1 4x400 relay team (4:30).
LFO's lone win came in the 4x100 relay where the Lady Warriors' No. 1 team won with a time of 52.48.
Gordon Lee was second in the 4x100 relay, while Tiffany Holland (400) and Juliana Spradlin (300 hurdles) each got a third-place finish.
For LFO, Ashlee Adamson was second in both the high jump and the 400 and third in the pole vault. Danielle Lee was second in the long jump and the 100. The 4x400 relay team also raced to a runner-up finish, while Allyson Johnson was third in the 100 hurdles.
The boys' meet was even closer, but a 1-2 sweep by Southeast Whitfield in the final 4x400 relay race turned out not to be enough as Coahulla Creek (99 points) held on for a one-point win over the Raiders (98).
Gordon Lee (85) was a solid third, followed by LFO (76), Armuchee (72), and Ridgeland (64).
The Colts won just two events, but both wins were turned in by Best in Field winner Josh Foxx. Foxx swept the high jump (6-0) and the long jump (20-2 1/2), scoring valuable points for his team.
Southeast won four events, two by Aaron Thomas, who took home Best in Track honors. Thomas won both the 800 (2:17) and the 1600 (5:06). Cody Ensley won the discus (118-1 1/4), while the No. 1 4x400 relay team took first with a time of 3:48.
The third-place Trojans got their lone win in pole vault as Andrew Towns cleared 11-6.
LFO got first-place points from Jackson Wallin in the triple jump (41-4 1/2), Jacob Gilbert in the 200 (23.56), Stephon Bishop in the 300 hurdles (47.81), and the 4x100 relay team (45.89).
Jared Shelton won the 3200 for Armuchee (11:18) and Mason Dillard took the 100 hurdles (19.02).
Ridgeland won three events. Jermane Conyers won the shot put (45-0). Brad Stailey won the 400 (55.14), and Xavier McLin won the 100 (11.025) in what was nearly a photo finish.
Gordon Lee picked up second-place finishes by Dylan Smith in the 3200, Colin Wright in the pole vault, and Garret McAllister in the 1600. Wright (110 hurdles), McAllister (800), Beau Williams (discus), Tanner Ellis (high jump), Scott Royal (200), and the 4x100 relay team all placed third.
LFO got second-place points from Gilbert in the 100 and Nate Long in the 300 hurdles, while Terry Ellis tied for third in the pole vault.
P.J. Gardner was second for Ridgeland in the discus, while Gage Roach (triple jump) and Mark McKevitt (400) each took third for the Panthers.