It was a historic day for the Rome High track and field teams in the Region 7-5A meet at Barron Stadium, and the success of the teams only looks to increase as the postseason moves forward.
The Wolves and Lady Wolves swept the region meet Thursday with the boys winning with 155 points and the girls taking first with 163 points.
It was the first time in school history the teams have won the event in the same year, and it's the second ever region title for both squads.
“I don’t know if you can put it into words,” Rome High head coach Nick Bridges said. “This is not a one-day deal for us. A lot of these kids have been working hard since early December. We just have a great group of kids. We had a ton of folks on top of the podium, but we also had folks right to either side, so that means we’re qualifying a lot.”
The Wolves qualified athletes in 13 different events for the upcoming sectionals meet at Starr’s Mill High School on May 4, while the Lady Wolves qualified competitors in 11 events. The top four finishers in each event will move on to sectionals before the state meet.
“I think we’ve got a good shot,” Bridges said. “We wanted to qualify two in each event. I made need two buses to haul us down there. It was big. That’s why we’ve been successful because we place everything around our kids first.”
The boys’ competition was highlighted by performances from Montrell Millsap, who took first place in 110- and 300-meter hurdles. Millsap finished the 110 with a time of 14.39 seconds and the 300 with a time of 38.59.
“It felt great,” Millsap said. “We work hard every day at practice and my coaches pushes hard to get better. I thank God for blessing me, and my family and friends supporting me. I hope we make it state and win.”
On the girls’ side, Jahlia Evans, like her teammate Millsap, swept the hurdles competition winning the 100-meter in 15.52 and the 300-meter in 46.03. Evans also took first in the triple jump with a distance of 38 feet, 8 1/2 inches.
“She’s just now getting going,” Bridges said. “The first time she ran the hurdles was last Friday night. She’s going to continue getting better. She’s only going to get better.”
Millsaps was joined in the hurdles by Jakobe Hamilton who took third in the 110 with a time of 14.87 and second in the 300 with a time of 39.44.
“Montrell’s been doing it for four years,” Bridges said. “Montrell is expected to do that, but it’s really nice when you have another sitting there right next to him.”
Hamilton also took first place in the high jump with a jump of 6 feet, 4 inches.
Other Wolves to stand at the top of the podium were Marquis Glanton, Jay Wise and Patrick Motes.
Glanton finished first in the long jump with a distance of 21 feet, 4 inches, Wise took first in the triple jump with a distance of 45 feet, 7 inches, and Motes took first in the 3200-meter run with a time of 10:10.21 Glanton also qualified in the triple jump taking third place.
Rounding out qualifiers for Rome were Cheneniah McKeever who placed third in the 200-meter dash and fourth in the 100-meter dash, Jamar Roberts took second in the 400-meter dash, and Gary Jones took third in the 1600-meter run.
The boys also qualified with first-place performances in the 4x100-meter relay and the 4x400-meter relay, and a third-place finish in the 4x800-meter relay.
For the girls, the 4x100- and 4x400-meter relay teams set school records with the team of Evans, Jackson, Enesyice Kennemore and Anniyah Williams finishing in first in the 4x400 with a time of 4:04.18. The team of Kennemore, Jataria Jackson, Renauzay Jackson and Jasmine Dennis finished second in the 4x100 with a time of 48.40. The Lady Wolves also had fourth-place finishes in both relay events.
Jataria Jackson qualified in a pair of events taking first in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.25, and second in the 200-meter dash in 25.07.
Makaela Wofford also finished high in two events taking second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 49.07 and third in the 100-meter hurdles in 16.72.
Allyson Harris and Renauzay Jackson took second and third, respectively, in the long jump. Harris had a jump of 16 feet, 6 inches, and Jackson had a jump of 16 feet, 5 and 1/3 inches.
Nora Bailey came in third in the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:35.74 and took fourth in the 3200-meter run in 12:31.23. Glick finished behind Bailey in the 1600 with a time of 5:37.97.
Also for Rome, Lucia Loarca took fourth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:33.22.